Party in the USA: Menacing mediocrity
Szymon Ryzner | Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Miley Cyrus is a menace. Her lack of talent, annoying demeanor and overall hideousness frighten me. Other female artists attempt to have personalities, but Miley Cyrus is a parody of stardom, a caricature marketed appropriately to “tweens” by the Disney corporation. A more terrifying fact is that college students and even adults are listening to this shameful garbage. I have heard songs by the Chipmunks with better lyrics. Concerning the hooks in Miley’s songs, they are catchy, but so is the flu, and I think I’d rather have the latter stuck in my head all day.
She’s not her own person. She doesn’t have the absurd sense of style of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry or the “girl power” attitude of Pink and Kelly Clarkson. She’s just a trashy, generic teen who rose to fame because her father sang “Achy Breaky Heart.” I will repeat that: “Achy Breaky Heart.” I hope that sunk in. Just for good measure, she is famous because her father is exploitative and sang “Achy Breaky Heart.” I rest my case.
“Party in the U.S.A.” is the least effort I have ever heard put into a song. Half of the chorus consists of random throat sounds, and the other half consists of the words “Party in the U.S.A.” What does that even mean? Miley rhymes it with “OK.” What songwriting genius came up with that gem? But this is hardly the biggest problem with “Party in the U.S.A.” How does an artist get away with singing about listening to other artists? This is a hit song? Referencing how much you love Jay-Z and Britney in a track of your own is shameful.
The plot of the song isn’t awful; it’s the story of a girl coming into the big city, trying to find her place. But it doesn’t have to be nearly as annoying at it turns out to be. Also, why the pole dancing on an ice cream truck? She is attempting to create a risqué image, and perhaps it is succeeding, but hardly any young stars escape from that stratagem unscathed. Britney had her meltdown and it was spectacular; Miley is following her step for step.
The greatest problem with Miley Cyrus is that adults dignify her with attention. Twenty-year-olds sing and dance to a song sung by a 16-year-old. Not written, not composed – just sung. There are plenty of more talented, non-sellout artists who demand our attention, yet as consumers we settle for the status quo. There is better, catchier, generally more fun music out there, so why is this spawn of Billy Ray getting so much attention?
Genuine girl-power pop and rock is out there, and that is something I entirely approve of. Ultimately, though, I have probably been too extreme with my judgments of Cyrus. Lots of little girls look up to her, and she should act like an adult in recognizing that. I will even give Miley Cyrus one ounce of credit – she’s less infuriating than the Jonas Brothers.