Miley Cyrus in Wrecking Ball music video © RCA

Miley Cyrus’ Crazy Antics Continue, But Her “Nightmare” Is Tame (Review)

Screen Shot of Miley Cyrus Twerking on Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV VMAs (MTV)

For all the fanfare of a recent NSFW spread for Paper Magazine (remember when Kim Kardashian broke the internet?), Miley Cyrus’ new song, entitled “Nightmare,” is much more conservative than one might envision. No “dancing with Molly” (“We Can’t Stop”) or coming in “like a wrecking ball” (“Wrecking Ball”) this time. Nope, just simply “trying, to wake up from this / from this nightmare / where everything is, in its right place / but you’re not there, no you’re not there.” However, can’t you totally envision Cyrus coming up with some way to over sexualize and violate “Nightmare” when/should the music video clip bow?

Cyrus seems to be all about the shock value and two years after Bangerz, she wants to thrive off that same shock value that made that project such a success. The question is, will it work for a second time? Yes, controversy piques interest, but overdoing controversy or trying to be more or too controversial can also have the adverse effect. Personally, Miley’s antics are growing much more annoying as opposed to endearing. Still because all press is press, the over sexualized sensation that Miley Cyrus in her current form has become is achieving exactly what she wants.

Miley Cyrus in "Adore You" music video © RCA

But this isn’t about really about Cyrus’ numerous antics, whether it’s the masturbatory sentiment of “Adore,” twerking on doghouse-bound Robin Thicke, or that scandalous, giant penis at the G.A.Y. Club. No, while all those are truly “something,” let’s strip (no pun intended) the gloss and raunchiness and merely examine how “Nightmare” adds up. As aforementioned, personally, nothing about “Nightmare” screams a reinvention or rebooted Miley as far as her second liberated foray is concerned. But then again, “Wrecking Ball” became over sensationalized because of the video clip as opposed to the song itself, which is much more respectable.

Screen Shot From Miley Cyrus' Performance of "We Can't Stop" at 2013 MTV VMAs (MTV)

So here goes nothing. On the first verse, Cyrus is literally dreaming, singing, “In this dream I never see your face / I’m just a step behind.” On the pre-chorus, she’s distraught, adding, “I woke up in a broken dream / with no one lying next to me / It’s not how it’s supposed to be / so why’d you have to go?” So basically, he’s not there, so the chorus confirms the “nightmare” she’s experiencing, as referenced in paragraph one – “But you’re not there.” Verse two offers more of the same fare – “Table’s set for two, but it’s a wasted” and “The quiet’s getting loud” – while the bridge elevates the drama to new heights, capped off by key lyric, “Scared to death but I’m only dreaming.”

Ultimately, the script is predictable – you know exactly where Cyrus is going to from the beginning. This doesn’t make “Nightmare” bad and in a way, it is almost atonement fro Cyrus’ coarse image. That said “Nightmare” is no real extension of Cyrus’ edge that she possessed on Bangerz unless she manages to provide that extra oomph and bite through her antics. One thing’s for sure though – Miley Cyrus is predictably unpredictable.


Video screen shots © RCA (“wrecking ball” & “Adore You” music videos) & © MTV (2013 VMA – Miley CYRUS & Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performances).
Rihanna, Talk That Talk © Def Jam

Rihanna’s 10 Most Unapologetic Songs

Rihanna, Unapologetic © Def Jam

Rihanna began as one of the most wholesome pop/contemporary R&B artists in the music industry. After ditching most of her tropically tinged sound from debut album Music Of The Sun, Rihanna’s next two albums were filled with family-friendly pop. But post Good Girl Gone Bad, well the ‘good girl’ really did go ‘bad’ as Rated R, LOUD, Talk That Talk, and Unapologetic showed both a more mature, but also more explicit pop star. Here are Rihanna’s 10 Most Unapologetic Songs.

1) “S&M” (LOUD, 2010)

Before all the talk about Fifty Shades Of Grey, there was “S&M.” This has to be Rihanna’s naughtiest song of her career that just happens to serve as the opener for her fifth album LOUD. The best line comes by way of the chorus: “Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it / sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it / Sticks and stones may break my bones / but chains and whips excite me…” Girl, you so freaky!

2) “Birthday Cake” (Talk That Talk, 2011)

In no shape or form is Rihanna talking about actual birthday cake. Sure she may sing “Come and put your name on it,” but Rihanna isn’t talking about icing. How does anyone the slightest bit naïve of sexual innuendo and double entendre know this? Well Rihanna helps us out: “It’s not even my birthday / but he wanna lick the icing off…” Come on! – No pun intended.

3) “Cockiness (I Love It)” (Talk That Talk, 2011)

This one could’ve landed at number one had Rihanna not been talking about “sex in the air” and “chains and whips” exciting her on “S&M.” Face it folks, “Cockiness (Love It)” needs no explanation as Rihanna is open, honest, and lays it all out there. “Suck my cockiness / lick my persuasion / eat my words and / swallow your pride down…” Girl, you so nasty!

4) “Rude Boy” (Rated R, 2009)

One of Rihanna’s catchiest songs is also one with no shortage of innuendo driving it.   Sure, Rihanna isn’t nearly as suggestive as “Cockiness,” but there is plenty of reference to ‘the do’ by all means. “Come here rude boy, boy – can you get it up? / Come here rude boy, boy – is you big enough?” definitely doesn’t sound that innocent, right?

5) “Hard” (Rated R, 2009)

“And my runway never looked so clear, but the hottest b**ch in heels right here!” Whoa girl, whoa! “Hard” isn’t unapologetic because it is oversexed (for once). No, it’s unapologetic because Rihanna is edgy and fierce. She wasn’t messing around on Rated R and “Hard” was among the best on her darkest album to date. Also, shouldn’t Chris Brown be mentioned here?

6) “B**ch Better Have My Money” (R8, 2015)

Rihanna practically screams this song. She’s not playing – “b**ch better have my money!” What more is there to say? Definitely contrasts “FourFiveSeconds.”

7) “Rockstar 101” featuring Slash (Rated R, 2009)

Need a Rihanna joint that is dripping in unapologetic swagger? Look no further than “Rockstar 101,” where Ri is “feeling so good / looking so bad / rocking this skirt / rocking this club / got my middle finger up / I don’t really give a f**k.” And if her I.D.G.A.F attitude isn’t enough in itself, well she throws in lines like “Make sure you frisk me good / check my panties and my bra.”

8) “Raining Men” featuring Nicki Minaj (LOUD, 2010)

Who has a better knack for double entendre than Rihanna? No one! Take a line from verse one: “All you need to know that I’m a two times five / load it, cock it, aim it baby, boom bye bye.” Because Rihanna is so hot (which is true), “Men be falling like the rain so we ain’t running out.” Basically, she can get whoever she wants and more a waiting. 

9) “Wait Your Turn,” (Rated R, 2009)

Five words – “I’m such a f**king lady.” There it is! Hasn’t it been said that a lady shouldn’t curse, particularly the f-bomb? Can you say unapologetic to the nth degree? Regardless, “The wait is over!”

10) “Russian Roulette” (Rated R, 2009)

Call this tame un-apology – if there is such a thing. Rihanna isn’t being risqué in the same sense as the previous nine songs, she’s just singing about a darker theme. This was among big contrasts to Rihanna’s biggest hit, “Umbrella.”

3 Quick Musical Takeaways for Tuesday May 12, 2014

Solange Knowles-JTM-066713

Takeaway #1

  • Solange went all ‘angry black woman’ on Jay-Z, while Beyoncé maintained her normal demeanor as her man was being attacked… Hmm, so much for having “99 Problems and a b**ch ain’t one”.  Apparently, the younger Knowles is the feistier one of the two, unleashing her inner firecracker for the entire world to see.

Miley Cyrus 3-20140507-159

Takeaway #2

  • Miley Cyrus’ shock value knows no end!  She truly “came in like a wrecking ball” in 2013, and has yet to stop.  Maybe she should STOP as her antics and necessity for attention have become annoying and predictable at this point/ Anyways, whether it’s trashing her ex-fiancé or simulating sex on an inflatable nether body part (André 3000 would reference this as “the love below”), Miley’s antics truly know no end.


Takeaway #3

  • My boo (I can dream can’t I?), Jazmine Sullivan is back in the music game with new single “Dumb” featuring Meek Mill.  Her voice is still popping, just like that “Lip Gloss” Lil Mama rapped about a couple of years back.

Miley’s ‘Means To Ends’ Is Questionable

Miley Cyrus-20130917-29

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.