Miley Cyrus, BANGERZ © RCA

The Case Against Miley…

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A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

To say I have never been critical or judgmental of Miley Cyrus in the past would be a flat out lie – I’ve stated strong opinions towards Cyrus. Yes, that popular song about climbing a mountain (“The Climb”) irked me like no other, and don’t get me started about “Can’t Be Tamed” – Lordy, Lord!

A fan I won’t attest to be, but being a music critic, my goal is to judge every artist’s work as objectively and fairly as possible. That said, is it really ‘normal’ for anyone to be swinging naked from a wrecking ball or wearing ice cream in favor of a bra? That should be a big resounding “hell no” (to quote Cyrus).

Recently, via Starpulse, I laid out my 10 reasons Why Miley Cyrus Is A Hot Mess! Yes, Cyrus super fans will cast stones while others might be quick to call me square (I’m a liberal for heaven sakes), but, personally, I find Cyrus’ antics as ridiculous and unnecessary. Sure, she shocked with her promotion of BANGERZ, but after a while, shock value isn’t shocking, but rather annoying.

But to each his own, meaning anyone can make his or her own judgment about Cyrus. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, I’m quite open-minded, but still, I’m not sure I’m onboard with Cyrus hypersexual behavior – it’s a bit much.

Matt Peterson’s Viral Video Plea To Miley Seems Appropriate…


Miley Cyrus25-20130917-26The power of love (for Miley Cyrus)? Perhaps! This viral video from Matt Peterson (from January 31, 2014),  caught my attention via Ryan Seacrest.  Take a look for yourself… Peterson did this video up in true Miley fashion – nudity, foam finger, and tongue.  Think back to the VMAs and of course the infamous “Wrecking Ball” video.

Sigh, Miley couldn’t be prouder, even if she couldn’t make the high school student’s prom – or just rejected him, LOL.  Still, “he came in like a wrecking ball” and gets to hang out with Cyrus during her tour.  SCORE…I guess… 


The Frozen Soundtrack Remains Atop the Albums Chart


31-q26oFwyL._SL500_AA280_Beyoncé tried to reclaim the glory of being number one – something that she did for three consecutive weeks, but Disney’s popular Frozen film has also taken the music world a storm remaining atop the Billboard 200.  The numbers are ugly, but a number one album is a number one album right? Well, sort of… Frozen sold only 86,000 copies.  86,000 copies for the top-selling album in the country is pretty modest.  That said, it’s January and the charts are a ‘hot mess’ early on in the year.  ‘Yoncé didn’t find herself to far behind, moving 79,000 more copies of Beyoncé.  The ‘visual album’ has sold like a beast, selling over 1.5 million in five short weeks.  Yes girl, you are “***Flawless”.

51GAgaeFo3L._SL500_AA280_The top ten is pretty quiet this week, though Kid Ink arrived with In My Own Lane at number three.  The drop off between albums two and three is pretty wide though – Ink sold 50,000 copies.  It is what it is.  After that, the top ten keeps Eminem, Lorde, One Direction, Katy Perry and Imagine DragonsMiley Cyrus regains her swag to rejoin ‘elite’ company with horrific numbers (can you say a legit “Wrecking Ball”).  The most shocking re-entrance in the top ten comes from R. Kelly.  Still, according to Billboard, not too many folks were on them Black Panties – the album sold 17,000 copies!  So the top ten ranges between 17,000 and 86,000 copies in sales.  Add the approximate sales totals of the top ten and what do you get? 385,000 copies… It took ten albums to sell that much.  Record execs everywhere are cringing.

51qdjT+U7PL._SL500_AA280_On the Hot 100, Pitbull and Ke$ha keeps things “going down” with “Timber.” They might as well, as little else is going down.  Thankfully, a hot release week should infuse some life into the albums chart next week.  Bruce Springsteen should definitely bring some High Hopes after such tepid numbers this week. Also, don’t count out Jennifer Nettles – surely some of that Sugarland crowd will join her for the solo ride That Girl.  Also don’t underestimate the power of parents buying wholesome music for their offspring.  Kidz Bop, it sells people!   Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings may not be a household name, but those who have a soft spot for retro-soul – the real deal mind you – will eat up Give The People What They WantRecord companies have done a fine job of stacking January 14, 2014 with interesting releases… hopefully people partake.

Miley Cyrus’ “Adore You” Continues Down The Provocative Path

Miley Cyrus-AAG-017241

Is it just I, or does Miley Cyrus keep milking this risqué, unapologetic thing to the excess?  SMH, in fact SMFH!  Miley Cyrus got that “fifteen minutes of fame” with her shocking artistic makeover and now that the buzz has cooled/settled off a bit, she keeps on seeking more and more attention.  Ole girl said she “can’t stop” and “won’t stop” and true to her word, she hasn’t.  Perhaps to some this is a blessing (if a blasphemous one) while others of us are pretty tired of the outrage, oversexed image that Cyrus has identified herself with.  I’m quite open-minded, and “It is what it is”, but still, it’s…um… very provocative.

As usual in her latest music video – third single “Adore You” – Ms. Cyrus is out to shock the world just like a buzzer-beater shocks a basketball team.  When I reviewed Bangerz back in October, “Adore You” wasn’t among my favorite tracks.  I thought it was too slow and lacked punch to be the opener of Bangerz. Hearing it now, the song is more appealing, though by no means the ‘end all, be all’.  Still, Cyrus finds a way to make even a lethargic ballad like “Adore You” plumb controversial.

Miley Cyrus-20130917-29After the violation of teddy bears, a foam finger, and a wrecking ball respectively, it truly seemed like there was little left for Miley to do.  So without any object to desecrate, she decides to touch herself…yep.  Perhaps some will find Cyrus’ pleasuring titillating, but personally, it’s a bit much.  Few will deny they enjoy a little eye-candy in their music videos, but still, whatever happened to a thing known as ‘subtlety’?

The ‘sexy’ music video has now been supplanted by the ‘sexual’ oversexed music video, and there is a difference between both. Just because one word stems from another, doesn’t mean they are really one and the same.  This is a misconception that too many artists and music video directors seem to have.  “Adore You” is just another example of this.  2013 was filled with plenty of sexed-up vids including offerings from Kanye West (“Bound 2”) and Robin Thicke (“Blurred Lines”).  It’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be dying anytime soon.

One Direction Claim Yet Another No. 1 With ‘Midnight Memories’

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61fcHm45rQL._SL500_AA280_One Direction do the predictable – debut at no. 1 and move lots of albums.  Midnight Memories managed to sell 546,000 copies, giving the Brit-Irish boy band its largest sales week ever.  2012 sophomore album Take Me Home moved 540,000 copies to give the band a second no. 1 in the US.  It was history when their debut effort, Up All Night,  debuted in the top spot in early 2012, though its numbers were just a fraction of what the  last two studio albums have sold (176,000).  As for newbies on the chart, Garth Brooks does some work as Blame It All on My Roots sold 164,000 copies good for a no. 3 bow.  That is awesome considering it’s a box set.  Box sets tend to be more expensive and generally move less copies.  Given it’s release during the Black Friday hubbub and its exclusivity via Walmart, it’s not shocking Brooks had some takers.  Besides One Direction and Brooks, the week was all about previously releases efforts. 

91C6DnbKH1L._SL1500_Eminem once more was forced from the top perch to no. 2, but sold 199,000 more copies of The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (already platinum).  Others holding over include The Robertsons’ Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas (no. 4), Katy Perry’s Prism (no. 5), Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red (no. 6), Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP (no. 7) and Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party.  What is significant about those albums? They all sold > 100,000 copies.  Miley Cyrus also and Now 48 close out the top ten at nos. 9 and 10 respectively, but sold 79,000 and 77,000 copies, breaking the >100,000 copies sold.  

Lorde’s Hot 100 reign is officially over with “Royals” – well at least for the time being.  It was a nice nine weeks for Lorde, who has no reason to hang her teenage head. Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” climbs it way back to the no. 1 spot.   “Wrecking Ball” is the song that just can’t keep people from talking, really!  Better yet, it can’t keep people from making their own versions…

51NEnClCNbLWhose Got NextBritney Spears of course, but the numbers are looking relatively small, with Billboard prognosticating between 115,000 to 120,000 copies sold. Yuck Britney! Why those numbers suck? Well, Britney is usually a lock for no. 1 or at worst no. 2 like Blackout, however, the numbers may not be strong enough to hold back previously released (aka holdovers) from charting ahead of the pop diva.  Could Spears be blocked out of the top 3? Possibly.  Besides Britney, it’s a pretty boring week for new releases.

November’s Playlist: The Best of October 2013

I’ll admit that during the month of October I missed out on a couple of albums (Pearl Jam, Scotty McCreery, Korn, Paul McCartney, etc.).  Alas, that is the life of a music journalist and music critic – you can’t listen to ‘em all.  Despite this, from the albums I did partake of, I’ve assembled a list of ‘gems’ to start out November 2013 just right!


Panic! At the Disco, “Nicotine”

Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die 

(Fueled by Ramen)

Panic at the disco2-20111101-36Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die is filled with standouts.  Rather than revolve towards “This Is Gospel”, “Miss Jackson”, or “Girls/ Girls/ Boys”, I selected “Nicotine”.  Excerpted from my review of the album, I wrote this of “Nicotine”:

Nicotine” is nowhere near “f*cking drag” Urie speaks of throughout the song referencing addictive alkaloid […] “Cross my heart and hope to die / burn my lungs and curse my eyes”, Urie poetically sings on the first verse. “I’ve lost control and I don’t want it back / I’m going numb, I’ve been hijacked.”  The allusion of love and smoke is flawlessly executed, best evidenced during the refrain: “I taste your lips and I can’t rid of you / so I say damn your kiss and the awful things you do / you’re worse than nicotine.”  Ultimately, “Nicotine” proves to be as addictive a listen as it is the “f*cking drag…I need it so bad” which the frontman conveys.

Addictive indeed!


Katy Perry featuring  Juicy J, “Dark Horse” 


Katy PErry4-20131017-108

“Dark Horse” provides a spark to Perry’s PRISM once it appears.  Juicy J is a perfect fit on this hip-hop oriented pop cut which sports one sick beat.  The chorus definitely latches: “So you wanna play with magic? / boy, you should know what you’re falling for / baby, do you dare to do this? / cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse…” Second verse vocal harmonizations make the deal sweeter while Juicy J’s lines such as “Uh, she’s a beast / I call her Karma / she eat your heart out / like Jeffrey Dahmer…” seal the deal.  “Dark Horse” ‘roars’ equally if not more so than the ubiquitous “Roar” itself.


Danny Brown, “Dip”


(Fool’s Gold)

51Sz35Wx2KL._SY300_From my Playlist: Bangers That Get It Poppin’ At The Club… (Part 2) I commentated on “Dip”:

Dip” has so many one-liners that an entire essay could be written examining each and everyone.    The premise of the song? Well Danny Brown is pretty to’ up, period. The Forrest Gump reference definitely captures attention early on (“Like Lieutenant Dan, I’m rolling back to back / I keep on smoking…”).   My favorite moment involves you guessed it, ‘molly’: “Now all these rappers talking ‘bout that molly / bet a million dollars these n***as ain’t dipping / pure MDMA, put it in a shot we talking ‘bout crystals / been thizzin’ hard up all day, rest in peace to Mac Dre…” Banger? Yes…also seems like Brown is way past the need for rehab… just sayin’


Arcade Fire, “Reflektor” 



51wzw69ySAL._SL500_AA280_Excerpted from my  Review: Arcade Fire, ‘Reflektor’:

Reflektor” initiates things shockingly given its percussive, danceable groove.  Thankfully, this cut does danceability conservatively and tastefully, eschewing today’s EDM bass drops and pointed synths in favor of something that sounds both neo-disco and Arcade Fire-like simultaneously.  The songwriting is accessible, well perhaps save for Régine’ Chassagne’s pre-chorus French, LOL (“Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore / entre le royaume des vivants es des morts”). The chorus is incredibly catchy and simple though: “I thought I found a way to enter / it’s just a reflector…”


Pusha T featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Nosetalgia”

My Name is My Name

(Def Jam)


On “Nosetalgia”,  rap IQ goes off the charts, between Pusha T and guest collaborator Kendrick Lamar.  Among Pusha’s best lines is his proclamation that he was the “Black Ferris Bueller, cutting school with his jewels on…what I sell for pain in the hood, I’m a doctor…” while Kendrick Lamar’s slaughtering verse is capped off with “Go figure motherf*cker, every verse is a brick.” Rap musicianship at his best, two of the best in the game rock it out here, no questions asked.


Miley Cyrus featuring Nelly, “4X4”



Miley Cyrus25-20130917-26I still ask myself why do I like the song “4X4” from Bangerz.  I was in the same sort of situation back in early October when I penned a review for the album:

“4X4” would normally be the sort of cut I would tar and feather because of its stupidity.  And it is really dumb, mind you. But, the country-pop-rap cut is sort of hypnotizing.  Maybe it’s because of Pharrell Williams’s odd-ball production or even Nelly’s midwest touting rap, but for whatever reason, it sticks with you.  Still, I’m not to keen on Cyrus’s line about “driving so fast ‘bout to piss on myself…” Please girl!  Have some dignity!

I guess things ain’t changed.  I’m still listening to it and Miley still seems about ready to piss on herself.  SMH.


Mary J. Blige featuring Barbra Streisand & Chris Botti, “When You Wish Upon A Star”

A Mary Christmas


Mary J Blige-KSR-020874

When You Wish Upon A Star” finds Mary J. Blige and Barbra Streisand duetting beautifully with Chris Botti accentuating things with his warm, lush trumpet sound.  “When You Wish Upon A Star” really isn’t a Christmas song, originally serving as the main theme from Disney’s 1940 animated feature Pinocchio, but it definitely fits the vibe of A Mary Christmas.  Additionally, “When You Wish Upon A Star” has been transformed several times; it’s quite a flexible song you might say.


Eminem, “Rap God”

The Marshall Mathers LP 2



An excerpt from my upcoming The Marshall Mathers LP 2:

“Rap God” is freaking epic.  The hook varies slightly, but the beginning’s the same: “I’m beginning to feel like a rap god, rap god / all my people from the front to the back nod, back nod…” Across three verses Eminem ‘schools’ us.  On verse one he touts his flow (“Made a living and a killing off it / ever since Bill Clinton was still in office / With Monica Lewinsky feeling on his nut-sack / I’m an MC still as honest / but as rude and as indecent as all hell”) while on verse two he talks influences and disses sucky MC’s (“Everybody want the key and the secret to rap immortality like I have got / well, to be truthful the blueprint’s simply rage and youthful exuberance … hit the earth like an asteroid, did nothing but shoot for the moon since”). On verse three, he goes “H*A*M*”, ripping critics, skeptics, and some fans (“Innovative and I’m made of rubber / so that anything you say is ricocheting off of me and it’ll glue to you / I’m devastating, more than ever demonstrating / how to give a motherf**kin’ audience a feeling like it’s levitating)”. Lady Gaga said it best… “Eh, there’s nothing else I can say.”

See my previous post How Eminem Devastates the Competition on “Rap God” for full, in depth analysis.  You can literally write a book about this one song!


Arcade Fire, “Porno”



So yeah, I included a second song from the same album… but this one deserves to be here, it’s definitely interesting!

Excerpted from my  Review: Arcade Fire, ‘Reflektor’:

Porno” definitely had my attention given the title.  The song itself is no disappointment with it’s dark, sort creepy vibe.  The ultimate take away seems to be that young guys are selfish when it comes to sexual desires and how they expect their girlfriends to fulfill their selfishness. “Yeah, something’s wrong / little boys with their porno / and boys they learn / some selfish sh*t / until the girl / won’t put up with it…”

There it is!


Kelly Clarkson, “Every Christmas”

Wrapped in Red


Kelly Clarkson-20121102-116

The horn-filled six-eight balladry of “Every Christmas” serves as yet another instance of confirmation of Clarkson’s artistry and prowess on Wrapped in Red.   Having organ and a backing gospel choir doesn’t hurt her cause either.




DJ Khaled featuring 2 Chainz, Ace Hood, Big Sean, French Montana, Meek Mill, Rick Ross & Timbaland, “You Don’t Want These Problems”

Suffering from Success

Def Jam
DJ Khaled-20120821-53

Excerpted from Playlist: Bangers That Get It Poppin’ At The Club… (Part 1)

“You Don’t Want No Problems” is one of the shining moments from DJ Khaled’s recent album, Suffering From Success.  On this juggernaut, Khaled is assisted by Big Sean, Rick Ross, French Montana, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Ace Hood, and Timbaland.  Highlights include memorable lyrical moments from Rick Ross (“On the phone at the light, Kelly Rowland’s a friend / Catfish in the Benz, Manti Teo’s a sucker…”), 2 Chainz (“They slept on me, I stopped sellin’ work and started sellin’ coffee…”), and Ace Hood (“My sanctuary’s that cemetery / my choppa, named it obituary…”). I mean, I kinda enjoy the “problems” personally…


Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Jill Scott, “Calls”

Black Radio 2

Blue Note


“Calls” is nothing short of a stunner.  Jill Scott is at her best as is Robert Glasper and company.  Lush, sensual, and jazz, “Calls” epitomizes the urban sound at its best.  The chorus, though simplistic it is, is a perfect representation of jazz and soul styles: “You always answer my calls / when I call, you come…” The best moment is the bridge, where Jill Scott gets in done in a big way.  “Calls” is ‘big time’ for sure.

Chart Moves, Oct. 16, 2013: Miley Is Unstoppable at no. 1


Miley Triumphs

Panic At The Disco-PFR-010814Miley Cyrus’s rebelliousness seems to have paid her dividends (sings “…we can’t stop and we won’t stop…”) as Bangerz debuts at no. 1 with an impressive 270,000 copies.  Bangerz definitely puts that album Can’t Be Tamed to shame as far as debut sales… it only moved 102,000 copies and has failed to be certified gold.  No wonder Miley decided she better ‘twerk’ her way to the top. Just sayin’!

Panic! At The Disco had a decent week bowing at no. 2 with Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, which didn’t even come close to giving the teddy bear loving chanteuse a challenge (84,000 copies sold).  Pusha T was only a couple of thousand off from PATD, as My Name Is My Name bows at no. 4 with 75,000 copies.  Honestly, which such a tame promotional campaign surrounding Pusha’s album, My Name Is My Name truly impresses with those numbers.  Also reaching the top of the charts:  The Quarterback EP (Glee) at no. 7 with 47,000; Korn’s The Paradigm Shift at no. 8 with 46,000; Cassadee Pope’s Frame by Frame at no. 9 with 43,000 copies; Mayday Parade’s Monsters in the Closet, at no. 10 with 30,000 copies.

Who remained in the new top ten? That would be Drake (no. 3), Justin Timberlake (no. 5 with huge losses according to Billboard), and Lorde (no. 6).  Speaking of Lorde, “Royals” spends a third week at no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

Who’s Got Next?

Moment of TruthOctober 15th delivered several new albums, though none of them seem to have the punch that the past three weeks have delivered from Drake, Justin Timberlake, or Miley Cyrus.  Among new releases are Paul McCartney’s New, Pearl Jam’s Lightening Bolt, Willie Nelson’s To All The Girls…, The Avett Brothers’ Magpie and the Dandelion, The Head & The Heart’s Let’s Be Still, Mary J. Blige’s A Mary Christmas, Scotty McCreery’s See You Tonight, Glenn Lewis‘s sophomore album Moment of Truth and Gavin DeGraw’s Make A Move.  Take your pick who might land at no. 1.

Review: Miley Cyrus, ‘Bangerz’


Bangerz is both flawed and lacking in cohesion, but ‘captivating’ nonetheless… 

Miley Cyrus⎪ Bangerz ⎪ RCA ⎪⎪ US Release Date: October 8, 2013

Miley Cyrus-20130917-29Somewhere between embracing the most irresponsible aspects of hip-hop culture and completely destroying  her formerly wholesome image,  Miley Cyrus has recreated herself just as she envisioned it… a cutting-edge, pop artist unafraid of shock value.  As many watched in utter disbelief (and parents likely watched in horror) as Cyrus stripped the innocence of the childhood teddy bear and a foam finger as well as  twerked on Beetlejuice (aka Robin Thicke) at the always raunchy VMAs, it was all a facet of her reinvention.  For the most part, much to my own chagrin and her many ‘haters’, her plan has been successful.  “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” have both been triumphant successes. How does Bangerz the album stack up? Well, it’s… something.

Adore You” opens the album disappointingly, particularly given the electricity of  Cyrus’s gargantuan promo singles.  The production and overall vibe of the cut play out soundly.  As for the songwriting itself, there is a clear lack of more development.  Verse one in particular seems to have few too lyrics to match the slow tempo of the cut.  Even the unifying chorus trends to simple:  “When you say you love me / know I love you more / and when you say you need me / I know you need me more / boy I adore you…” Sure Miley is just shy of 21 (aka still young), but this opener certainly doesn’t support her newfound, ‘grown woman’ daringness.

The should’ve been opener “We Can’t Stop” atones for a literal ‘slow start’, in all its irresponsible glory.  What more is there to say that hasn’t already be stated? Mike WiLL Made It’s production is top-notch and as much as I want to hate this song, I just can’t.  There’s just so many lyrics that are absurd, catchy, and memorable including “If you’re not ready to go home / can I get a ‘hell no’?” (Verse 1) or “So la-da-di-da-di, we like to party / dancing with Molly / doing whatever we want…” (Pre-Chorus).  It’s a song that literally doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Miley Cyrus25-20130917-26I wouldn’t go so far as to say that “SMS (Bangerz)” packs a punch during its brief duration, but it certainly raises an eyebrow.  Miley and special guest Britney Spears definitely keep it 100.  Among the more notable, multiple interpretable lyrical moments comes from Cyrus’s verse: “They ask me how I keep a man, I keep a battery pack…”  Well, we know the first part refers to her broken engagement, but that second part… I’m not touching it.  There’s another gem in “All I need is milli’s when I got Billy on my speed dial…” Is all Billy Ray Cyrus really good for is money?  To each his (or her) own. Who am I to judge?

4X4” would normally be the sort of cut I would tar and feather because of its stupidity.  And it is really dumb, mind you. But, the country-pop-rap cut is sort of hypnotizing.  Maybe it’s because of Pharrell Williams’s odd-ball production or even Nelly’s midwest touting rap, but for whatever reason, it sticks with you.  Still, I’m not to keen on Cyrus’s line about “driving so fast ‘bout to piss on myself…” Please girl!  Have some dignity!

My Darlin’” definitely doesn’t yield a ‘match made in heaven’ with Cyrus and autotune-loving Future.  I get the concept and almost feel it, but it just falls short.  Again, Cyrus can’t escape her broken engagement, evidence on verse one: “I walked through a pool of water / when I see the shadow of a broken-hearted girl / picture us walking to the altar / for better or worse.” I realize Cyrus is in pain, but when I heard that line about “a pool of water”, all I saw was Cyrus crying those tears at the beginning of the “Wrecking Ball” video.  Is that cruel of me?

Speaking of “Wrecking Ball”, it arrives in the nick of time.  Like “We Can’t Stop”, it is one of the very best songs of Cyrus’s career.  Forget the questionable video, the song itself truly showcases Cyrus’s potential once she’s keyed in.  And don’t deny it that you’ve broke out into the chorus heard ‘round the world: “I came in like a wrecking ball / I never hit so hard in love / All I wanted was to break your walls / all you ever did was break me / yeah you wreck me.”  Hey, I even found myself busting into the memorable chorus in church – just don’t tell my pastor!

Miley Cyrus-JTM-064938As Nelly Furtado sang on her Loose album “why do all good things come to an end?” Well that’s life, and that’s exactly what happens after “Wrecking Ball” finishes and “Love Money Party” is the follow-up.  To say it pales in comparison would be quite the understatement, as the message of “Love Money Party” is given away by its title leaving nothing to the imagination.  Maybe lyrics like “money ain’t nothing / money can’t buy you love…” offers some redemption, but ultimately the song is pretty shallow.  As for Big Sean what does he bring to the table? “My girl and watch both coordinate” and “Red cup get messed up boi…” Charming.

Pharrell Williams once more saves the day with “#GETITRIGHT” which is all about S-E-X.  “You’re sexy sexy / I got things I want to do to you / make me make me / make my tongue just go do-do-do…” I think I just threw up a little, but you get the point.  The chorus just comes out and sums up all of Cyrus’s desires: “I been laying in this bed all night long / don’t you think it’s time to get it on / but we gotta get it right, we can’t get it wrong…” Okay… Regardless, “#GETITRIGHT” is one of the better ones.

The remainder of the album has its triumphs and misses.  “Drive” finds Miley spitting her emotions through the lyrics angrily and passionately.  Promising at times, “Drive” is a bit clunky, particularly opening with the chorus prior to a somewhat odd first verse.  “FU” sort of falls into the same boat.  The 6/8 retro-soul, electro, modern-pop mix is truly an interesting listen, but also bizarre.  Dramatic, unapologetic, and sort of undervaluing guest French Montana,  Miley ‘cleverly’ initials every twentysomething’s favorite profane phrase.  Genius at work (*rolls eyes).  At least the chorus is kinda catchy.

Do My Thang” is rebellious Miley’s last hoorah you might say, before she gets “so serious about it”.  Here, the listener is given the horrid experience of hearing cyrus proclaim she’s “… a southern belle crazier than hell”, “Bang b*tch / you think I’m a strange b*tch / it’s bananas like a f*cking ‘rangatang b*tch”, and that “every single night Miley Cyrus-PZH-000280and every single day / I’mma do my thing…” After her poor man’s “We Can’t Stop” thankfully dies, Miley decides to tell us about her relationship blues in both “Maybe You’re Right” and “Someone Else”.  Neither cut is particularly notable, particularly compared to earlier juggernauts.  Bangerz loses some steam within its final quarter.

The verdict? Bangerz is both flawed and lacking in cohesion, but is ‘captivating’ nonetheless… That’s crazy, I know, but so is this album.  Somehow, I think Cyrus and company wanted a big pop album with little rhyme nor reason save for Cyrus’s broken heart. Sure, Bangerz is by no means on anyone’s ‘album of the year’ list (or at least I hope not), but it has its moments.  Sometimes you have to extract those moments mind you, but there is some promise.  As for some of Cyrus’s hip-hop tom foolery, well it’s just that.  I’d hang up them MC shoes girl! We have a Fergie and that’s plenty.

Favorites: “We Can’t Stop”;  “4X4”;  “Wrecking Ball”; “#GETITRIGHT”

Verdict: ✰✰✰

Miley’s ‘Means To Ends’ Is Questionable

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Miley Cyrus-PZH-000280Justin Bieber lately you get a temporary pass from me buddy… at least until the Miley Cyrus phenomenon, machine or whatever it is ends. I’m hoping it ends soon, for all of our sakes.  My new favorite person to scrutinize for irresponsible actions is Billy Ray’s daughter, and rightfully so. Basically, all the criticism and jeering is justified.  Miley Cyrus is going through a ‘shock’ phase to get attention and the saddest part is that it is working and that is sad.  I understand she needs attention to give her a decent stab at a comeback, particularly after Can’t Be Tamed was pretty tame in sales from start to finish, but still, she’s taken it to a new level.

Sex always garners attention, so Cyrus has decided to sex up her image.  Fine, seems the natural course of action for any teen star… good or bad.  Add some hip-hop culture to the mix and now Miley has ‘swag’ (“We Can’t Stop”).   Perform given breakout single at VMAs, wear provocative clothing, scar children’s minds for ever by destroying the sanctity of the teddy bear, spank someone’s butt, strip, twerk on Robin Thicke and change the purpose of a foam finger forever…Hmm…Okay…  Then throw in tears, a wrecking ball, a sledgehammer, nudity, and plenty of tongue action, and you have a number one single (“Wrecking Ball”).  Well, the song’s good at least.

miley-cyrus-67Now Miley has taken a page out of Green Day’s book at the I Heart Radio Music Festival by making it more buzz worthy on internet traffic than it would’ve been.  Congratulations, maybe? I dunno.  Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong had a breakdown on the 2012 festival that led to a stint at rehab and certainly didn’t help propel sales of the band’s trio of albums released in the fall of the same year (they basically bombed). At the 2013 edition, it was Miley’s outrageous outfit that drew attention, though certainly didn’t have quite the disturbing effect that Billie Joe’s um issues.  Still, the outfit seems so unnecessary.  Why does Miley have to go so, um, trashy?  That’s the aspect of the new Miley I just can’t wrap my brain around.

PHOTOS: Miley Cyrus performing at the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival

WATCH: Miley Cyrus is brought to tears on the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village stage

Miley Cyrus25-20130917-26I mean, Miley has a song I actually like in “Wrecking Ball” and I didn’t mind “We Can’t Stop” that much (could’ve done without all the processing and that “molly” lyric).  So why can’t Cyrus’s endeavors be about the music and promoting it in a more refined manner? Why does everything have to become sexual innuendo?  What makes it worse is that it’s clumsy and awkward at that.  I mean there’s nothing wrong with a little naughtiness, but Cyrus’s ‘means’ to achieve a successful album and reinvigorate career seem a bit irresponsible to me.  Maybe it’s just hunger for stardom or renewed stardom, but still, the shock value is offensive, at least in my opinion.

Miley Cyrus Continues Her Risqué Makeover With “Wrecking Ball”

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First and foremost, let me clearly state that I, Brent Faulkner, was never a fan of the ‘old’ Miley Cyrus.  I have been incredibly annoyed by the former teen star more times than not and that’s real talk. #Trill to the fullest.  “The Climb” drove me up the wall with that singing about that mountain (“There’s always gonna be another mountain / I’m always gonna wanna make it move… ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side / it’s the climb”), regardless if the intent was one of inspiration. “Can’t Be Tamed” was nothing short of eye-roll worthy either, particularly with lyrics like “Every guy, everywhere / just gives me made attention / like I’m under inspection / I always get a ten / ‘cause I’m built like that”.  PLEASE! I’m sure some had their eyes on others as well. Then you had the incredibly catchy “Party in the U.S.A.where she earned her hip-hop credibility (“And the Jay-Z song was on / and the Jay-Z song was on / and the Jay-Z song was on…”)… YEAH.  Now as unbearable as that Miley was, what we have now is nothing short of a hot mess – NO QUESTIONS ASKED!

Miley Cyrus lately has become the princess of shock value.  Previously, it was things like that awful hair cut, in which brash underground rapper Tyler, The Creator took a jab (“…She was like ‘Hey I wanna do something different…f*ck me up real quick’. Hahahaha”).  Oh and she did get him back btw, but I honestly think he could care less.  But lately, since Miley has redefined herself, she’s became the queen of provocativeness.  Honestly, the things that Miley did to a foam finger (and Robin Thicke!) at MTV’s always edgy VMAs is nothing short of disgusting. I didn’t even watch the original telecast, but after all the sensationalization about foam fingers, bears, twerking, and Beetlejuice, well I had to see what ole girl done. I just pray that little kids aren’t permanently scarred or haunted by Cyrus’s corruption of Teddy Bears.  I would’ve been, like really. And that tongue thing…EWWWWWWW!

81Nl8ClObBL._SL1400_It is apparent that Cyrus enjoys her body and the liberation of her twenties.  Unfortunately, most of us can’t say the same thing as Cyrus really needs to stop stripping, like really. I mean, yeah if you got the bod and you’re young you like to show off, but usually there is a healthy limit… Cyrus has clearly exceeded that.  “Wrecking Ball” the music video serves as Miley’s newest way to express her inner badness and rebelliousness you might say.  The song, her current single off from her upcoming swag’d up album Bangerz and the follow-up to “We Can’t Stop” is pretty normal.  It’s a pop song with gargantuan drums and humongous pop chorus (see Katy Perry, P!nk, or Kelly Clarkson ten times over).  The problem is that video.  Miley gives the sledgehammer she holds some definitely inappropriate tongue action and swings nude from a wrecking ball.  I don’t believe she points down south, but if she did, I tried to edit that out of my already outraged and disturbed mind. Miley, WTF is happening girlllll?

Miley Cyrus-JTM-064938Here’s what I get.  I understand how it feels to be young and spread your wings. I’ve never been a clean-cut teen pop star, but if you compare the experience with say being a sheltered teenager, there is always that urge to want to act out and show you aren’t a lame-o.  The problem here though is that Miley Cyrus has taken the post-teen rebelliousness, not to mention certain cues of hip-hop culture way too far.  Honestly, who wants to see her twerking? Who cares whether she likes Jay-Z or any other hip-hop artist? Why join the incredibly irresponsible molly train… didn’t you get Kendrick Lamar’s memo?  It all seems too forced from my perspective, but honestly, her PR staff needs to nip some of the risqué away.  I understand we don’t need to have another “The Climb” (Lord knows) but do we really need to see Cyrus showing so much skin or making inappropriate motions that are incredibly awkward and embarrassing? That’s definitely rhetorical.

As for “Wrecking Ball” the video… MC is doing a little too much for my tastes… Youtube has had some interesting reactions…