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Love it or hate it, ‘Bangerz’ a hit

Maddie Daly | Tuesday, October 8, 2013

No matter whether you love her or love to hate her, there is no doubt Miley Cyrus is one of the most successful artists in the current music scene.  Starting with the mega-million franchise that was Hannah Montana, moving on to actress, singer and fashion icon combined into one and finally ending up as a controversial topic in nearly every publication, Miley has had taken advantage of the media every step of the way.  Her new music has been wildly successful, not necessarily because people like it, but because it catches their attention.  Her edgy, provocative new look has turned her into one of the most talked about stars in the past few months –  the perfect way to publicize an upcoming album.   

How many people have not seen or heard about the “Wrecking Ball” music video in which Miley, well, appears naked swinging on an enormous wrecking ball while singing the highly emotional song?  As the second single released from her new album “Bangerz,” “Wrecking Ball” has ranked No. 2 (currently third) on the iTunes top 100, and its scandalous video has been viewed over 200 million times.  Say whatever you want about her, but the girl is making a serious splash in the music world. 

Besides the already-popular singles “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop,” Miley’s album contains 16 pop, borderline hip-hop songs, including several featuring some seriously famous artists.  Her song with Britney Spears, titled “SMS (Bangerz),” is an electric party number featuring Spears’ breathy voice with a repetitive verse by Miley that is sure to get stuck in your head after just one listen.  You’ll be “struttin’ your stuff” all around campus after hearing Miley repeat the phrase over and over again.

Another song on the album, “Hands in the Air,” features rapper Ludacris and features Miley’s mature alto voice singing over a slowed-down, chill beat.  Her song “FU” featuring French Montana is similar, with a relaxed tone and a catchy, angry verse.  

Although Miley leaves most of the rapping up to a few real rappers, she does attempt some rapping of her own in a few songs, which does not turn out well.  Her song “Love Money Party” is a rap number and, although it has a decent rhythm, is ruined by her unnatural, unexpected rapping.  

One of my favorite songs on the album is called “#GETITRIGHT,” hashtag and caps included.  The song has a 70s retro groove to it, and Miley sticks to singing rather than rapping, giving all of our ears a nice break.  She shows off her wide-ranged voice and sings provocative lyrics without making them too explicit.  Her song “On My Own” blasts a similar beat but has a completely different message, one of self-dependence.  

Unlike several artists these days, Miley knows how to vary her music without straying too far from her overall genre.  Each song has its own significance and sound, making it impossible to confuse one for another.  And though her new look has straddled the line between inappropriate and downright unacceptable, I don’t have any major problems with the lyrics of her songs, which may be due to the fact that I have come to expect overly sexual material from her.  Either way, my jaw didn’t drop like it did when, let’s say, I accidentally stumbled upon her recent photo shoot with Terry Richardson.  We get it, Miley; you’re not Hannah Montana anymore. That doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing clothes. 

Starting with a haircut and the release of her single “We Can’t Stop,” Miley began the revamping of her career as a musician and an overall public figure.  By acting overly mature for her age and stirring up controversy with her new, extremely provocative look, Miley gained the attention she needed to dominate the music scene with a new album. It doesn’t matter if you adore or despise her or her music, because either way there’s no way to avoid talking and hearing about her.  All the while, she’s just being Miley.  Cue the infamous Miley-sticking-her-tongue-out image.