Bangerz is the type of music that you keep hidden from your loved ones, only indulging in it secretly in your dorm room. Miley Cyrus has created a pure musical addiction that is so wrong, it feels right. The album is a bipolar mix of self-aware anthems celebrating wild-child behavior and songs of heartbreak that perfectly capture the ups and downs of 20-something life. There’s a clash between the carefree attitude of “SMS (Bangerz)” and “Love, Money, Party” and the familiar pain of failed love found in “Wrecking Ball” and “Maybe You’re Right.”
The album’s obvious singles are “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball,” which have the most wide-reaching appeal on the record. Southern hip-hop is a prominent feature throughout the album, with Cyrus even trying her hand at rapping. Although her lyrical finesse may not be at its best when she mentions an orangutan.
Of course, Bangerz is far from deep, with lyrics discussing topics like discovering suspicious text messages and preferring a vibrator to a boyfriend. However, who was really expecting profound insights from the woman who gave us “Party in the U.S.A.”? In “FU,” Cyrus showcases her impressive vocal range, proving why she deserves to be among the great female singers.
Miley Cyrus’ recent appearance at the Video Music Awards caused a stir among fans, both positively and negatively. This buzz was partly due to the anticipation for her fourth album, Bangerz. The album marks a shift in Cyrus’ persona from her previous identity as Hannah Montana, a wholesome country girl with a double life, to the edgy and provocative character of Miley 2.0. This new version of Cyrus is characterized by her grill and tiny peroxide buns, among other things.
Those who are surprised by Cyrus’ transformation may not understand the behavior of twenty-somethings. This generation has a unique wildness that is self-aware, which Cyrus embodies in her public persona. Cyrus’ fashion choices, such as the “Pretty Woman” hooker dress, crop tops, and super-stacked platform shoes, coupled with her “I don’t care if I look crazy” attitude, showcase a controlled rebellion that exudes confidence and independence.
Cyrus opts for red carpet ensembles that could have been replicated by Forever 21 and GoJane ages ago. The moves witnessed on Sixth Street on a Thursday night would be more daring than what Cyrus displays on stage. It’s no secret that Cyrus has faced criticism for her new image, which is perceived as lacking in sex appeal. Take a look back at the VMAs, where Cyrus can be seen playing with long hair that clearly isn’t hers and sticking out her famous tongue while emerging from a teddy bear. It’s unusual, it’s playful, but it’s far from sensual.
Female pop stars such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have undergone transformations by using revealing performances. One example is Spears’ crystal bodysuit at the 2000 VMAs, which was considered scandalous yet acceptable because of her sexual appeal. However, Miley Cyrus has taken this approach to the extreme, reaching a point of sexual saturation where she is no longer seen as the epitome of “H๏t.” In fact, some of her lyrics on the track “4 x 4” are not even remotely sexy. Coupled with her strong Southern accent, it’s a major turn-off for many. Despite this, Cyrus has proven that there is still a place in the pop world for the unconventional chick wearing strange costumes and creepers, even amongst the barely-legal crowd sporting crystal biκinis and long blonde hair. Cyrus is a formidable force who doesn’t give a fig about what anyone thinks. She’s just being herself, and that’s something to be admired.