MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014 |
Posted by: K. Hess
Miley Cyrus seems to be in that classic rock discovery phase most of us went through in high school. You know, when the germination of sophistication sets in and suddenly the gods of rock n' roll reveal themselves to you in all of their pre-digital glory. Typically this revelation is an unsorted jumble of very different moments of sixties and seventies rock; The Grateful Dead to Pink Floyd to The Velvet Underground all the way to The Beatles, and usually including pit stops with The Clash and The Ramones. Looking back one can't help but blush at the indiscriminate blending of subcultures that tend to get stored under the classic rock umbrella during this phase of revelation. It's probably the memory of your own journey towards musical maturity that inspires one to look at Miley and think, "Oh brother! Just when I thought you couldn't get any more cliché..."
Now, you'll have to excuse my impulse to rise to the defense of Miley Cyrus, but I think the kid gets something of an unfair rap. The fact is, we've had far worse pop icons with far more bland interests and much less talent. Miley, for all her yawn-inspiring Lolita-on-acid nudie spreads, at least has interests. Sure, her Dirty Hippie exhibition wasn't particularly thought provoking, but let's not forget this kid is the same age as a recent undergrad—look me in the eyes and tell me you've found every senior thesis show you've been too brilliant and inspiring—with a high school degree from Disney and a Hollywood University education.
Homegirl is a money generating machine, who doesn't seem to come from a crop of particularly taste-making individuals. So, how is Miley's cliché experiments in Classic Rock cooler than yours were? Well, for one, she has literally millions of pint sized fans who could use a bit of a musical education (thanks for nothing Justin Bieber), and they find Miley to be a much more credible source on cool than their lame old parents. Second, unlike you with your teenage angst inspired acoustic covers of Led Zeppelin songs, MILEY CYRUS CAN FUCKING SING. Whether you find her to be another modern pop abortion or not, the fact is that Miley Cyrus has a beautiful, unique, and mature singing voice.
Over the weekend she put up a cover of Anne Bredon's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You," (cannonized by Led Zeppelin's appropriation of the song). The cover's flaw is in it's utter lack of creativity, but the kid's got undeniable talent.
I realize that you're too cool, but try to give it an unbiased listen: