#9 – Miley Cyrus – ‘BANGERZ’
Twerking her way into ninth place on my list of the top 10 albums of 2013 is Miss Miley Cyrus. For anyone who has been living under a rock for the past 12 months may not know that 2013 was the year Miley Cyrus said her final goodbyes to Hannah Montana and emerged a sexualised young woman and made sure we knew it, by any means necessary.
If I had to pin point the exact moment Miley Cyrus began her emancipation from Hannah Montana I think the best place to start is August 2012 where she cut her hair *GASP*. Its true what I Mum told me; a haircut always means something. And in this case it meant Miley Cyrus was ready for the world to see her as her own person and not that little girl from the Disney Channel.
After the initial hysteria that ensued after Miley Cyrus chopped of her luscious locks of hair died down, things seemed pretty quiet for the young adult. Work had begun on her new album and she tweeted a photo of her and Pharrell Williams in the studio which suggested Miley was going for a more urban/adult sound for her new album. It worked for Britney and Justin Timberlake so whats one more Disney alumni getting help from Pharrell to give them a mature sound?
Everything seemed pretty peachy until one fateful day March 2013 when Miley Cyrus, dressed in a unicorn onesie began ‘twerking’ on camera to ‘Wop’ by J.Dash. Stunned at this desperate act of attention people began wondering what the hell is happening to Miley Cyrus.. and what the hell is Twerking? And the rest they say is history.
From that point Miley Cyrus began grabbing headlines for her twerking antics, she openly used drugs, she became more outspoken on Twitter and her dress sense mirrored that of Rihanna. And then when reports came that she had gone on record by saying she wanted ‘a black sounding album’ she had already pissed me off to the point where I had to write about it. Back in the summer I posted an article on my opinion of Miley Cyrus and what seemed like her quest to be ratchet in the eyes of the world. Many people dismissed me as a ‘hater’ who was just being critical for the sake of it but then August rolled around and Miley decided to grind upon Robin Thicke with a foam finger while simulating various sexual gestures at the VMAS and I sat there like
I never understood why she felt the need to behave this way, its not like she isn’t a talented woman who can actually sing so it boggled my mind why she felt this was the only way she could get people to take her seriously. And to be honest it still does.
Having hated ‘We Can’t Stop’ which acted as the lead single to her album ‘BANGERZ’ because it referenced and embodied every misconception Miley had about what ‘black culture’ represents, I was reluctant to give the whole album a listen. But I am not one to pretend that curiosity got the best of me and truth be told I have always been a fan of her music prior to ‘We Can’t Stop’ so I decided listen to this new, grown up, urban Miley Cyrus.
And with one listen I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with what Miley had come up with. Her album was a diverse and well produced collection of songs that, much like Demi Lovato’s ‘DEMI’ album, showcased Miley’s vocals amazingly. Beyonce by no means in terms of vocals but she knows her strengths and works towards them.
This is by no means an original body of work as this sound has been done many times before (Nelly Furtado ‘Loose’/ Ashlee Simpson ‘Bittersweet World’ to name a few) but what seemed like it was going to sound like a Souljah Boy mix tape, Miley pulled it out of the bag here with BANGERZ.
It wasn’t all about twerking and getting turnt up on this album. ‘Adore You’ showed Miley is a more vulnerable and endearing light than what we had grown accustom to seeing from her in the media. And the Pharrell William’s produced track ‘Get It Right’ was a playful ode to the boy she yearns for so badly and introduces Miley Cyrus as a young woman with sexual needs and desires.
Produced primarily by Mike-Will-Made-It who provides the album’s more ‘urban’ moments such as ‘Drive’ and ‘Love-Money-Party’ the album didn’t sound like the hot mess I assumed it would be if I was going to base it on her antics alone. And funnily enough the biggest song to come from the album is the ballad ‘Wrecking Ball’. Produced by Dr Luke who is responsible for the work of Katy Perry and Britney Spears, the song sounds like something we would have heard from Miley during her Breakout/Can’t Be Tamed albums and went to show that no matter how ratchet or urban Miley tries to be, pop will always be your lane. SO STAY IN YOUR LANE BITCH. (If you have listened to the album you would have gotten the reference there, sigh!)
But kudos to Miley, I am all for ladies embracing their sexuality and wearing their femininity on their sleeves which is why prior to her twerking and appropriating what she thought was black culture, I was all for this new, grown and sexy Miley.
Shame she had to ruin it by thinking the only way she could get ahead by her shocking and sometimes vulgar stunts such as kissing a man dressed in a giant baby suit, really Miley?
An album full of surprise that does good in introducing Miley Cyrus as a young woman but is let down by her off stage antics and stunts that show there is still a lot of growing up to do for Miss Cyrus.