I don’t have the time to share every song that my eclectic music taste fancies; therefore, I don’t do music reviews. I make exceptions when it is a song that is stuck in my head, and surprisingly, Miley Cyrus is at the epicenter of this exception. I will preface this by saying that I don’t particularly care for modern pop music. There will occasionally be a catchy song or artist that catches my attention. I won’t deny that a couple of years ago, I would find myself ashamedly grooving to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” while driving in the car. I’m scared to admit this but I think my wife has video proof of that. I admittedly enjoyed a Miley Cyrus song a couple of years later. A song she released via a Youtube video. That Youtube video she posted in 2012, in my mind, took Miley from the girl on Hannah Montana to diva.
Mere months before Miley bleaches and chops off her hair, she released a cover of her godmother Dolly Parton’s hit “Jolene.” This cover was performed and filmed before Miley’s media-portrayed twerking, weed icon persona came in like a wrecking ball destroying Disney’s kid-friendly, Hannah Montana mantle. This cover from her backyard session displays an impressive vocal range that is accompanied by the talented musician’s acoustic performance. They can thank me for their increased completed views (gotta love those Youtube algorithms). I think I listened to that song a lot because it reminded me of good country music. I love good country music (not talking about the 90’s twang country like her dad did either). Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Dolly Parton, The Statler Brothers, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagner, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard – That’s country music. That’s good country music. Strangely enough, this blog is not about her cover of a country song.
Years after pixie-cut party girl, and shortly after a painful divorce, Miley underwent surgery. She emerged from the experience, clean and sobered up. She distanced herself from the crazy lifestyle and went on with a fresh outlook on her life. During a chat with Joe Rogan on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Miley explained that following a diagnosis of Reinke’s edema, she underwent surgery in November of 2019. The forced silence days after the operation, she reflected on the doctors discussion of how our lifestyles can affect our voice. She went on to say that, “over the last year I noticed a really big change to my voice, kind of a heaviness to it. And I experienced some heavy things. I feel like it is a reflection. It is a kind of scar in a sense. But also kind of having the surgery was a gift because I was able to understand my instrument.”
In September of 2020, Miley took her instrument and performs at the two-day virtual (thanks COVID-19) iHeartRadio Music Festival mega-concert. Despite memorable performances by Migos, BTS, Coldplay, Thomas Rhett, and many more, it was Miley’s soulful rock-n-roll cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” Her voice, which she describes our voices as being like a face because it ‘collects wrinkles and it tells a story’, was already iconic; but her performance of “Heart of Glass” was breathtaking. I don’t want to say that the evolution of Miley is complete because she still has so many years of performing left under her belt; but this may be where she needs to stay for a while. Two weeks later, I am still listening to the song via Youtube and iTunes. I hear she has plans of making an album of just Metallica covers. As a Metallica fan, I am elated. I am excited to hear what the future has in store for this pop icon. Do I want to hear more covers like this? Definitely! (Especially knowing that she has in the past performed and covered some of my favorite songs. Songs by Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Metallica) Do I think you need to listen to her rendition of “Heart of Glass”? Most definitely!
If you don’t, I’ll be disappointed.
Miley Cyrus performs at the “Kid’s Inaugural: We are the Future accredited to Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O’Donald, USN – Miley_Cyrus_at_Kids’_Inaugural_2.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7411913
Miley Cyrus accredited to Greg2600 – Miley Cyrus, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76200374
Miley Cyrus performs on the Today Show accredited to Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins – https://www.flickr.com/photos/fwnypao/34909141255, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59324175
Screen grab from Miley Cyrus – “Heart of Glass Live from the iHeart Festival” Youtube video https://youtu.be/NbdRLyixJpc, Fair Use.