Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Miley Cyrus – Adore You

41 million views and the world hasn’t even read our ringing endorsement yet!…

Will Adams: Opening an album called Bangerz with something as listless and nondescript as “Adore You” seems to be Miley’s way of saying fuck you to both me and pop music aesthetics. I don’t mind subversion, but the problem is that she wants to smear her cake on the walls and eat it too. She wants to push boundaries with crassness but she also wants to be received as an authentic artiste. These aren’t mutually exclusive qualities, but it galls how much Miley fails to achieve either (the pairing of “Adore You” and “We Can’t Stop” on Bangerz particularly boggles the mind). It would help if her output from either end didn’t suffer from such enervating melodies. It would also help if she stopped confusing wild with wildly offensive and serious with seriously boring.

Katherine St Asaph: Miley Cyrus has hijacked altogether too much of the pop and R&B conversation, so it’s time for turnabout: Stacy Barthe wrote this, and her 2011 Sincerely Yours, Stacy Barthe is a revelation: Frank Ocean and Luke James features, Miguel and Elle Varner co-signs and drifty trip-hop-n-B pitched between Sade and Jhene Aiko if her voice and persona weren’t so marketably pliant. “Adore You” isn’t a revelation — the idea was probably “write a love song ’cause we need one, maybe get it to sound a little like Sia” — but I hope it gets Barthe a pile of royalties.

Anthony Easton: I’m interested in Miley’s desire to tell the world that she can sing and that she’s fashionable. I wonder if she thinks that when the latter falls away, the former can mean something. There’s something cagey or at least clever about this. That this tension is found within the text suggests that something more interesting may come along.

Alfred Soto: All Cyrus’ conviction and the best Auto Tune money can buy can’t carry the load of those ponderous verse melodies. Speaking of, she should use better ones to tickle the oddity of “I feel like I’m standing with an army of men armed with weapons.”

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: A doodled smattering of endearments, Cyrus’ limber voice stretching to find space in the song where a song barely exists. Something this weightless shouldn’t read as a challenge but there’s Cyrus all the same, elongating her slurring to make this candy-floss feel substantial. She almost does it, too.

Patrick St. Michel: My mom really likes Miley Cyrus. We talked a lot about her recently (yes, this included a ten-minute aside about twerking which was as terrifying as you could imagine), and these chats coupled with “Adore You” really make the genius of Miley 2.0 stand out. “We Can’t Stop” made the world confront the new, molly-poppin’ Miley and paved the way for Cyrus’ own Second Impact (VMAs). Yet the singles since have been… pretty straightforward. The videos have carried all the controversy, while the songs have been vehicles to display her vocal skills and show off her talent (and win over people like my mom). “Adore You” trumps “Wrecking Ball” because it isn’t trying as hard to be HUGE, but rather content to be a swaying vocal workout. Problem is, it sorta just floats there, sounding pretty and never going beyond that. Now all she needs is a song that brings it all together.

Crystal Leww: God will someone please stop this endless parade of bland imitations that is Miley’s career right now?

Jer Fairall: The aimless pacing feels calculated to accommodate Miley’s limitations as a singer, but makes the mistake of asking the world’s least competent female pop vocalist to fill up too many empty spaces with elongated vowels and various other ululations, and the result is as ghastly as anyone should have reasonably predicted. The syrupy strings and the lyrical treacle hint at the power ballad that might have been but mercifully wasn’t.

Zach Lyon: All told, it’s gorgeous, but Miley — and everyone involved — needs to get that she can’t get away with this. This is a song that requires the talent of someone capable of singing it. They thought she could get away with it if they smuggled her vocal beneath an instrumental using lush and stonerlike as diversion tactics, but her long notes still sound like a MIDI that’s been decompressed a couple thousand times. It isn’t to say she’s incapable of singing, only that she is incapable of singing this. The plan backfires anyway, but she gets what she wants.

Brad Shoup: When she draws her vowels out, it sounds like a demo. The “you-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo,” while nimbler, isn’t particularly distinctive. But the halting, uncertain text is. Are you listening? Can you hear me? It’s actually more poignant for folding romantic Calvinism into the mix — people often think like this, but rarely so specifically, or at least so out loud. (It’s also funny, cos if he wasn’t listening before, she’s got his attention now.) Now that I think about it, perhaps this is a grab for wedding-reception dollars, insistent strings and chugging drumtrack and all.

Reader average: [5.57] (7 votes)

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