Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: RCA
Review Summary: I know I ain't got no biz, but it is what it is.When I was younger and first starting to establish a musical identity, I fell into the same pits that most teenage boys do. I decided that pop music was stupid and that most female singers weren’t worth listening to. Though I would never say it, I basically decided I was better than everyone else because I steered my trawler through blogs full of relatively obscure music and sifted through the contents of my net with what I assumed was a discerning eye.
After the release of Can't Be Tamed, Miley Cyrus took a break from singing and focused on her film career for a few years, allowing her to make a big comeback to music at the tender age of 20. Like so many Disney starlets, Cyrus needed to distance herself from her tween pop past; Can't Be Tamed tiptoed toward a more adult persona, but Bangerz kicks down the doors. This is her first non-Disney album, and in many ways it feels like a debut, an R&B and hip-hop-tinged coming-out party that introduces Miley as an A-list pop star.
With her fourth album, Bangerz, Miley Cyrus has truly popped a wheelie on the zeitgeist, pillaging and pointing to every corner of pop culture in a haze of pure id. While Cyrus's recent work and appearances have been lambasted as contrived provocation, her new album reveals, quite remarkably, that at the heart of her outlandish behavior is a newfound sense of independence. Bangerz is an album that, on just about every track, explores what it means to live in the moment, indulge baser impulses, and suffer the consequences later.
Way to kill it, Milez. Your VMA performance put the Internet in traction, enraging liberals with its dicey racial burlesque and scandalizing conservatives with its twerking-toward-Bethlehem decadence. You've taken raging-bull control of your sexuality, even if it has often looked like LBJ taking control of our policy in Vietnam. And now you've sealed the deal with the Rihanna-meets-Gaga-meets-Pink-meets-Britney party grenade of a record your special moment merits.
Peanut gallerists ready to love or hate Miley Cyrus's fourth studio album - her first as the VMA-owning, Sinéad-riling, hip-hop darling we've come to know - will be disappointed. The capital-P pop star backs up her I-just-don't-give-a-fuck persona with killer singing and decent songwriting, but keeps us waiting for a banger that never comes. Opener Adore You is pretty, but way too slow and plodding to kick off a project thusly named.
Idiotic as Miley Cyrus can seem at the moment, she's more than a gurning girl-gone-wild. Little in her back catalogue presaged Bangerz, her reinvention album. Both her heart and her musical reputation are on the line: many of the songs are about a now-ex-boyfriend, and she's adopted the bleary basslines and drum machines of southern hip-hop. All of it lays her open to ridicule, not entirely without reason; it just feels wrong to hear Hannah Montana use phraseology like "Where Mike Will at?" and "I'm-a do my thing".
I hear you. There have been problems with Miley Cyrus. Read Jody Rosen’s ironclad takedown or the countless other essays by women of color to get a taste of how she’s messed up, at her VMA performance and elsewhere. I read all of them, and I’m glad that conversation has been started, that those voices are being heard.
Remember that time when Miley Cyrus wanted to prove to the world that she was no longer a little girl by appearing in a provocative music video that sparked some outrage? You know: the one where she’s dressed like an avian goth stripper? That video above was the song “Can’t Be Tamed” from Cyrus’ absolutely dreadful album of the same name, where she set out to prove, much like Britney before her, that she was a powerful, sexualized woman that had no time for tween-friendly Hannah Montana image that brought her to fame in the first place. Of course, Can’t Be Tamed was a misguided attempt at maturity in every single way imaginable, the album even coming out on the same label that released her Hannah Montana discs, the entire thing lacking any sort of sincerity of intention while the songs themselves featured generic platitudes and a too-professional studio sheen that left her attempts at a more sexually assertive stance sound pretty darn boring. Despite numerous radio hits already to her name, Cyrus wasn’t happy with this arrangement, and soon fired her manager, label, and everyone else from her Disney days, determined to reinvent herself once more.
Over-exposure has been a hot topic in pop discourse of late. Anyone holding Haim's current media ubiquity against them, though, might do well to contemplate the stranglehold on tittle-tattle and moral outrage exercised by one singer from Tennessee. She is currently embroiled in an ugly exchange with Sinéad O'Connor over her raunchy image. Those easily shocked by calculation in pop should look away now.
It was only a month ago that everything changed. In the pre-VMA age, Miley Cyrus was just the Achey Breaky Guy’s daughter, most famous for playing a pretend popstrel for Disney and dating a Hollywood star. Then, together with Robin Thicke dressed as Beetlejuice, she created history. She changed the cultural landscape forever.
Last week, MTV aired Miley: The Movement, a one-hour documentary offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Miley Cyrus’ new album, Bangerz. Apparently, the silly, surreptitious spectacle that unfolded at this year’s VMAs is part of this “movement.” Here’s what the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana had to say to all of those silly, hifalutin, smarty-pants critics at The Times and The Atlantic: “This isn’t some mess. This is all thought out in my mind.
From the most manufactured of reality show alumni to the most earnest of authentic bluesmen, the worth, reputation and success of a recording artist has always been about more than just the music. As much as someone like Jake Bugg likes to insist that he’s “just a lad who writes tunes”, he has a brand and he has an image, and those feed into the public perception of him and the number of records he sells. However, music was always arguably the most important component of an artist’s arsenal until recently.
Miley Cyrus spent a good portion of her adolescence playing two people on a television show, so it makes sense that her new album has something like a split personality. "Bangerz" is the fourth studio disc by the former star of the Disney Channel's hugely successful "Hannah Montana," which if you don't remember, featured Cyrus — the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus — as both a normal teenager and her pop-star alter ego. This is a modal window.
The world’s gone mad and it’s all Miley Cyrus’s fault. In the last year, The Artist Formerly Known as Hannah Montana – whose performances and lyrics, it should be noted, had been getting more adult for some time; her last album was even called Can’t Be Tamed – cut her hair and fucked shit up. She made friends with professional pervert Terry Richardson and Atlanta hit-maker Mike Will (who until Miley and Rihanna got hold of him, was best known for working with Southern rappers like Juicy J, Future and Gucci Mane), got the world talking with her performance at the VMAs, got it talking again with the video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ (in which she rides a demolition ball naked and licks a sledgehammer), then got Sinead O’Connor talking about how this Vulnerable Young Woman needed to go indoors and put some clothes on.
opinion bySAMUEL TOLZMANN So I’m listening to this Miley Cyrus album Bangerz and keep thinking about The Sound of Music. No, not “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” though I eagerly/queasily await Miley’s raunchy, tongue-wagging EDM cover of that song (aside: “20 Going on 21” would be a legal-drinking anthem for the ages!) later on her mission to make it clear she Is No Longer A Child™ and therefore must necessarily ruin via sexualization and problematic race relations anything we collectively associate with childhood (R. I.