By Caitlin Rondino
Well, Miley Cyrus’ new album “Bangerz” is certainly working hand-in-hand with her new image — all over the place. It should come as no surprise after the MTV VMA performance, where she grinded a Beetlejuice-inspired Robin Thicke, dressed in nude latex with Scary Spice mini buns atop her head. Since then she’s become not only the target of endless parody videos, but she’s joined in on the jokes, scoring SNL the biggest ratings since March when Justin Timberlake hosted.
She’s been photographed by famous fashion and portrait photographer Terry Richardson, whose work is controversial and sexual. If Miley has made anything clear, it’s that she’s growing as an artist. Unfortunately for Hannah Montana fans, it’s the furthest thing from a role model on the Disney channel. But, judging by the sound of her new album, she might be just as unsure of exactly who she is, too.
According to an article in Entertainment Weekly, every stunt Miley has pulled has been strategically planned. She describes it as a “movement.” The MTV exclusive documentary, “Miley: The Movement” explains her rhyme, reason and method to her madness. Clearly it’s working because she’s got her audience right where she wants them — talking about her every move. And her performance ensembles are sure to be a popular choice this coming Halloween.
The Disney pop-princess-turned-sex-icon explores a variety of new approaches to her music career on her new album. Although the songs sound drastically different, as she explained in her MTV documentary, she still manages to sound like a country singer. It’s most evident in “Love Money Party” because lyrically, it isn’t a country song, but her voice gives it that feel.
It doesn’t exactly work with every song, like “SMS (Bangerz)” which features Britney Spears. Spears put her love for auto tune to the side for this particular song. The song “Bangerz” is probably the hardest song to listen to on the album. The album also features hit artists French Montana, Big Sean, Future and Nelly. She’s also worked with Mike WiLL and Pharrell Williams, who has become not only a big time supporter of her recent transition but a mentor too. It could be the reason for the albums hip hop vibe.
In the hit song that’s plagued everyone’s eardrums all summer (and then some), “We Can’t Stop,” she delivers the pop sound we expect from her. But in a song such as “F U,” featuring French Montana, it almost sounds as if she’s channeling Adele or Amy Winehouse. The inspiration behind lyrics in songs such as “Someone Else,” “Wrecking Ball,” and Adore You” is from her recent public split with ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth. Lyrically, all three are beautiful songs. “Wrecking Ball” is currently number three on Billboard’s The Hot 100.
“Bangerz” could be a stepping stone in her path to become the artist she was destined to be. She could also just be jumping the gun in changing her image while simultaneously dealing with a breakup. Even though there seems to be little to no consistency from track to track, according to CNN, her album “Bangerz” is at the top of iTunes in 70 countries. Her sound and behavior might be unpredictable, but the fame she receives for it isn’t.
Miley Cyrus may just be a diabolical genius. A twerking, tongue wagging, diabolical genius.