Album Review: Miley Cyrus – Bangerz

This is the second post from our contributor Dan. Check out his previous post here. Thanks for reading!

What a year 2013 was for Miley Cyrus.  She went from almost falling off the face of the planet through sheer irrelevance to becoming the biggest pop culture phenomenon of the year.  Following all her ridiculous/attention-getting antics at the VMAs, Miley released her first album in 3 years.  Bangerz is exactly what it wants to be – an over the top pop album with synth-beats on almost every track and some big names in the Rap game (Big Sean, Future, etc).

One of the four album covers for Bangerz. The rest can be found here.

One of the four album covers for Bangerz. The rest can be found here.

I will be giving my overall grade (on a scale of 1 – 10; 10 being the best) of the album at the end, but instead of reordering the songs into ‘best to worst’ order I will be using colors to visually demonstrate which songs I like the most, least, and the songs I am apathetic about.

If a song is green – I like it more than others; if a song is blue – It’s listenable; if a song is red – I don’t really like it. I will be adding purple to the list as well; purple will be for my favorite song on the album.

I have written a short review of every song and highlighted it based upon the scale above.

Track List

1. Adore You
2. We Can’t Stop
3. SMS (Bangerz) feat. Britney Spears
4. 4×4 feat. Nelly
5. My Darlin’ feat. Future
6. Wrecking Ball
7. Love, Money, Party feat. Big Sean
8. Get it Right
9. Drive
10. FU feat. French Montana
11. Do My Thang
12. Maybe You’re Right
13. Someone Else

Cyrus performing on December 2013. (Source)

Cyrus performing on December 2013. (Source)

Track reviews

 1. Adore You

This was the opening song on the album, and it quickly bored me.  Not a great way to start an album, but lucky for Miley she was able to pull the rest of this album out of the rubble.

2. We Can’t Stop

Not a bad song.  Initially I did not like this song when I heard over the summer because it was not Party in the USA but it has eventually grown on me.  It’s green because as hard as you try to avoid this song, hearing it is inevitable.  Very catchy, very Miley.  This was the first everyone saw of Nu-Miley.

3. SMS (Bangerz) feat. Britney Spears

The first really cool sounding song on the album.  Very cool feature of Brittney Spears.  Still pretty repetitive.  First time I’ve listened to a Miley Cyrus song that she said a swear word. She is no longer Hannah Montana and that’s okay.

4. 4×4 feat. Nelly

There is a very interesting instrumental track for this song.  Almost sounds a bit country at times, which makes the Nelly feature make so much sense.  You really get to hear the Southern roots of Miley in her vocals for this track.  Nelly continues to do Nelly things, makes me miss ‘Country Grammar.’

5. My Darlin’ feat. Future

There is a lot of emotion put into the first lines Miley has in the song, but then Future comes in and ruins it.  Honestly, any other feature would make this an okay song.  The lyrics shift from pretty emotional and heart broken at the start, to “we gon’ make a movie, its gon’ be in 3d.”  This song had potential, but it just couldn’t keep me interested.

6. Wrecking Ball

Everybody and their mother knows this song and video.  There really isn’t anything I can say about this song that hasn’t already been said.  Pretty good lyrically, pretty catchy.

7. Love, Money, Party feat. Big Sean

Miley is channeling her inner Ke$ha on this song.  The words “Love”, “Money”, and ”Party” are repeated over and over and over.  Kind of gives me a headache.  If it wasn’t for Big Sean’s verse on this song I think this would have been a red song.

8. #GETITRIGHT

This song reminds me of a Robin Thicke song, with Miley playing the role of Thicke.  When you think of the song like that it is pretty interesting. The similarities to this song and ‘Blurred Lines’ are apparent.

9. Drive

Miley opens this song showing off her impressive vocal range. I am a big fan of the instrumental track used.  It made me want to freestyle at times, which is always a good thing.  Lyrics follow the heartbreak of most of the album.

After listening to the whole album, I have decided that this song is my favorite.  This song is good summary for the album.  It is very catchy at times, but it’s coming from a place of pain.  Miley is weak, confused, and scared.  To me, this song shows that.

10. FU feat. French Montana

This is another pretty cool song.  French Montana is another poor feature, but he doesn’t do a whole lot, so it doesn’t affect the track a whole lot.  The vocals are grandiose over a very dub-by instrumental – which sounds like a weird combination – but it ends up working for the song.  The lyrics are slightly goofy at times and don’t really go with her vocals, but it still ends up working.

11. Do My Thang

Stop trying to rap on trap beats Miley; I don’t think it works for you as much as you think.  A lot of “bitch rhymes with bitch” rhyme patterns… Weak.

12. Maybe You’re Right

Meh.  The whole ‘every song is about Thor’s Brother’ thing is getting a little boring at this point in the album.

13. Someone Else

I enjoyed this song.  I couldn’t tell you what I really enjoyed about it, but I know that I liked it.

The bracelet on Cyrus's knuckles reads 'NICK.'

The bracelet on Cyrus’s knuckles reads ‘NICK.’

Overall:

2013 was Miley Cyrus’ year as far as popularity goes, but it also has been a year full of heartbreak and self-destruction for the young pop star.  She dealt with the end of a marriage proposal, which is never an easy thing for anyone to do.  She came back from all that to release an album that was nothing like anything she had done before.

Personally, I enjoyed a chunk of the album.  Miley has amazing talent when it comes to singing.  There are times when I see her have the vocal range of someone like Christina Aguilera, which is amazing, but there are also times where she feels that she would rather rap.  I was not a fan of the latter.  The album was filled with “Bangerz” that you would typically hear at a college party or a club, but if that is not your scene then this album is not for you.

 Final Grade : 7/10

Too much of the CD was boring, or repetitive, to the point where I couldn’t see myself giving a much higher rating, but overall the CD was not terrible.  Miley is still young, so I can see her making many more albums following this; lets just hope the next one isn’t all about Thor’s Brother.

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Sinead O’Connor Writes Open Letter To Miley Cyrus

I try to keep my posts regarding Miley Cyrus to a minimum, but I believe this letter has value; not just for Ms. Cyrus, but for young people (mostly women) everywhere in the music industry.

There is some NSFW content in the letter, but if you’re an adult then this shouldn’t be too profane for you. The letter is presented as it was written, so consider any grammatical mistakes with a grain of salt.

Here is the letter in full (Source):

Dear Miley,

I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today i’ve been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love.

I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping.

Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.

I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.

The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.

None of the men oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.

Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them pray [sic] for animals and less than animals (a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and the associated media).

You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money.. we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.

You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.

English: Miley Cyrus singing in concert

Miley Cyrus singing in concert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.

As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.

Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Miley.. its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

Wow. That’s a great read, and I really hope Miley takes Sinead’s advice because so many women are taken advantage of in the entertainment business. They’re told to do these things because the young women believe it is the path to success, when in reality it just ruins them. There’s nothing wrong with being sexual, but there’s something wrong in pushing a young star into being sexual.

What are your opinions on this open letter? Do you believe Sinead should have presented the letter openly, or kept it a private matter?