The mothership has landed. After months of waiting, watching and anticipating, the time is now. Bangerz is out.
We’ve followed doe-eyed and scantily (if at all) clad Miley Cyrus for years now and unwittingly become the sit-in audience for the freak show that was aired this week as Miley Cyrus: The Movement. But now the time has come to finally see the fruits of our labour; the result that leaves everything before it as waste of the gestation that was Hannah Montana: Bangerz, the 16-track encapsulation of the 20-year-old child star.
The most poignant feature of Bangerz is that it’s jumpy and lacks direction. It appears to mix every genre that the Cyrus family can spell into one big pot, alongside some teeth grills and a splash of Terry Richardson’s so-minimal-it’s-practically-porn propaganda, with the label ‘Worldwide sell out’ slapped on its lid.
She wants it all, she tells us. And she makes a damn good stab at it.
Love Money Party is the start of Miley’s new rap career. Drive sees the beginnings of a dubstep fantasy. #GETITRIGHT gives us a glimmer of the good old days of Party in the USA, if we can see past the echoes of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines in the introduction (is it just me?) and the earth shattering lyrics: “I’m dancing in the mirror / I feel like I got no panties on.”
SMS (Bangerz) begins the album’s slow descent – Miley’s collaboration with Britney Spears, the irony is crippling – and by FU, we’ve lost it. What do you call something that starts off Rocky Horror Show and ends with dubstep bass, the country singer and the broken-hearted girl all mixed in together? It’s pop, it’s hip-hop, it’s latino. Its everything and really, it’s nothing.
And there we have it. The man that broke her heart. The crux of Bangerz. Because behind the machines, drugs and sledgehammers, there are times in Bangerz that Miley becomes the girl we want her to be; the broken hearted and vulnerable child star who is surrounded by lawyers, chased by the nightmare-stronghold that was Disney, and who is grieving for the loss of her engagement earlier on in this year to Liam Hemsworth. That’s rational. That’s more like it. She’s not dead, she tells us, but she’s barely alive, and if we don’t already know that she makes it obvious in her lyrics, with lines so raw that it’s believable: “All you ever did was wreck me…You might think I’m crazy / That I’m lost and foolish leaving you behind / Maybe you’re right…I can’t help you / I’m hurting myself / I’ve turned into someone else…”
But this is Miley’s – or rather, her management’s – masterstroke. She has a great voice, there’s no denying. But Miley’s biggest talent isn’t her singing, her grinding or her penchant for nudity – it’s her transparency. Her capacity, like all other bestselling artists, to tap into what the market wants. We want her story. We want Miley; all of her, devoured. And in dribs and drabs, she is giving us that.
So if you are a Miley fan (or even if you’re not) Bangerz will be the best and worst album you will ever buy. Miley has done what so many of us struggle and fail to do: she’s exorcised her past, and if you delve into the depths of Bangerz looking for a contradiction of that statement I can tell you now your search will be fruitless. Hannah Montana is well and truly gone. In her place is a monster of our generation, or as Pharell puts it, “a product of America.” That, and an encyclopaedia of this year’s most popular genres.