Last week, MTV aired Miley: The Movement, a one-hour documentary offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Miley Cyrus’ new album, Bangerz. Apparently, the silly, surreptitious spectacle that unfolded at this year’s VMAs is part of this “movement.” Here’s what the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana had to say to all of those silly, hifalutin, smarty-pants critics at The Times and The Atlantic:
“This isn’t some mess. This is all thought out in my mind. Every decision goes into a bigger plan. It’s part of a movement..the movement needs to be bigger than the record. It represents taking over the world.”
Aha! See, guys, she was never trying to pull a stunt for attention — it was merely the opening salvo in the first Generation Y pop movement, like, ever. Of course, the only way we’ll be able to measure the revolutionary magnitude of Miley’s Millennial uprising is through the Instagrammed lens of my generation. As a member of the ADD-addled, unashamedly narcissistic demographic the grown-ups call Generation Y, I can tell you all right now that theorizing and postulating and hyper-analyzing will accomplish jack shit. There’s only one appropriate way to get into Bangerz, and it’s the Millennial way. And with that, may I introduce…
The 7 Big Take-Aways of Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz
1. It doesn’t do labels.
This is a post-internet world we live in, kiddos: with centuries upon centuries’ worth of songs just a click away, the opportunities for boundary-pushing musical fusions are endless. Pharrell-produced country jams about driving so fast you piss on yourself. Frat-basement dubstep. Broadway-style kiss offs. You call it a lack of focus, I call it ~diversity~ Check your privilege.
2. Mike Will Made It.
Over half of Bangerz’s twerktastic beats come courtesy of Mike Will Made It. Don’t worry, he’ll remind you about six or seven times. And why shouldn’t he? The Atlanta producer is #major right now, and on recent albums like Ciara’s stellar self-titled debut, he pretty much hit it out of the park. The stomping spine of “We Can’t Stop?” That’s all him, baby.
3. “Party ain’t nothing but a party every day/ It ain’t nothing but a party.”
This is an album called Bangerz. If you come into this record expecting anything but pregame fodder, it’s your own fault. Songs like “SMS (Bangerz),” “We Can’t Stop,” and “Love Money Party” exist to provide the soundtrack to nights spent chugging Nikolai, buying ecstasy, and winding up at some rundown Arby’s to Snapchat your ex’s pictures of roast beef sandwiches. Generation Molly = Generation Miley.
4. Breaking up is hard to do :’(
The vast majority of Bangerz’s tracks revolve around a breakup — ostensibly, Cyrus’ split with fiancee (and major hottie <3) Liam Hemsworth. Seriously, there’s more heartache on this thing than an Alanis Morissette convention. Sometimes, like on the outstanding “Wrecking Ball,” the emotion calcifies into catchy, mature hooks, propelled forth by Cyrus’ oft-underestimated vocal heft. Then again, the breakup also produced “FU,” a dismally adolescent electro-soul duet with French Montana. She uses “LOL” as a verb. French Montana tries to sing counterpoint, but he can’t fight the urge to put in the perfunctory Kanye “HANNH”s after every line. Yup, #awkward.
Did I mention there’s a Pharrell-produced sex jam on this thing that has a hashtag in the title? Super Millennial. Kids will love it because of the funky guitars and whistles in the background. Parents (and Sinéad O’Connor) will hate it because of the lines about making your tongue “go do-do-do” and dancing in the mirror sans underwear. But parents (and Sinéad O’Connor) will always hate things they don’t understand. Because they’re haters.
6. THE RAPOTHEOSIS OF DESTINY HOPE CYRUS
“23” was only the beginning of Cyrus’ rap career. On “SMS (BANGERZ),” Miley showcases her Yung Montana (Hannah, not French) flow: twangy, high-pitched, Lil Debbie by way of Disney. “All the way in a back/ With a tree in my lap,” she purrs. “All the boys like to ask me/ What you doing with that?” Later, on “Do My Thang,” she pulls a DMX and rhymes “up in here” with itself. Three times. Consecutively. #sorrynotsorry
7. Bangerz isn’t really all that bangin :(
This review is best summed up with something mindless, repetitive, and instantly gratifying. A cat gif.