5. Miley Cyrus – Bangerz

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Miley Cyrus debuted this year with her corker of an album Bangerz (and I will call it a debut because it basically is one). Tightly constructed with a variety of up-tempo club smashes and heart-string-tugging ballads, it is not surprising that Miley has gone on to arguably become this year’s biggest artist.

I will say here that the songs are brilliant. Production, writing and overall exposition is sound and Miley takes centre stage even when collaborating with stars that were that are bigger than her. Wrecking Ball, Drive, FU, and We Can’t Stop are particular highlights.

However, what I want to talk about is the controversy that Miley has caused over the past year. She may have twerked provocatively against Robin Thicke at the VMAs, and she may have deep-throated a sledgehammer whilst riding a wrecking ball naked. She may have openly advocated the legalisation of marijuana and melodramatically spoken about her mental insecurities. However, she has also had the most viewed video on VEVO for Wrecking Ball. She has also won countless awards this year. She has also managed to launch an arena world tour off the back of one album (and it is one album because if she bursts into Best of Both Worlds in 2014 I will be seriously pissed). She has also gained worldwide media coverage for her provocative actions which will undoubtedly be very lucrative when exploited cleverly and enable her to love, money, party without a care in the world.

Well done Miley, well done.

In what has been a brilliant promotional campaign for what has carried the brand Miley Cyrus along at the fundamental core, her music. Miley is an intelligent young woman who isn’t afraid to show off her body and she knows how to manipulate music industry to generate those all important single and album sales extremely well. In a recent documentary on the sexualisation of music videos and their dissemination to a wider, unrestricted audience, head of music video at Black Dog Studios Svana Gisler acknowledged that Miley is fully in control of the image that is presented to the general public. She knows what she’s doing, and people can’t accept that.

It also annoys me when Miley is criticised for exposing young people to such material. Whilst I don’t believe that young people should be watching some of the music videos available today, I don’t believe that it is Miley’s place to restrict the viewing. She is a music artist which has to satisfy BOTH adult and younger demographic needs, and therefore I believe that the discretion of whether the video is viewed or not lays in the hands of the parents.

It is partly the promotional campaign, public stunts and frenetic public persona that Miley has carefully articulated over this campaign why I find Bangerz so enjoyable. It functions well as an independent body of work. However, when placed into relation of the network of promotional grandeur Miley and her team have put into place, this impressive framework raises the quality of the album astronomically.

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