Posts Tagged ‘Miley Cyrus’

Here it is, folks, another round up of the year’s hits, misses and surprises. (Note: this break down is based solely on my personal opinion, and is not a reflection of popularity, success or earnings.) Enjoy!

Best Indie Album – AM by The Arctic Monkeys

An impressive fifth album from these Brit-rockers. Their sound seems to have matured, and draws the listener in, intriguing them with mellow rock tracks highlighted with electronic accents, reminiscent of 80s synth-pop.

Best Teen Sensation – Lorde

She’s 16 and putting out music way beyond her years, and even surpassing some of her veteran colleagues. She will undoubtedly be around for a very long time. You go, girl.

Worst Teen Sensation – Austin Mahone

He’s 17 and putting out music that’s tired, overdone, and lacking substance. He will soon be replaced by his very own carbon copy. Sorry, buddy.

Best New Artist – Bastille

This four-man band from the UK has took over my musical mind this year. It’s hard to place them in a single genre because they take elements of rock, indie, pop, and electronic and make them all shine. There’s something about the lyrics, something about the music, something about lead singer Dan Smith’s voice. When they fuse together, it’s innovative, harmonious, original, and it just makes sense.

Worst New Artist – A$AP Rocky

He has a dollar sign in his name, just like pop star Ke$ha. That is not a good thing. Rap music has taken a turn for the worse over the last few years, and it has become incomprehensible how so many of them are so successful. He’s no exception; in fact it’s probably why he has these issues:

Most Successful Secret Album – Beyoncé by Beyoncé

She wins this category mostly because she was the only contender. Dropping an iTunes-only visual album (ie each track accompanied by a video) in mid-December had never been done. As if that was not enough, Bey managed to pull this off with no one – including the media – knowing about it until it was released; in fact she set Internet ablaze. I think it’s about time we all hail Queen B.

Best Soundtrack – Great Gatsby

Lana Del Rey, The xx, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Florence and the Machine, Gotye, Sia. Not sure how many more reasons you need.

Douchebag of the Year – Kanye West

He claimed leather jogging pants was his idea, and no one else’s. This year alone, he compared himself to Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, and God. He got into a Twitter-feud with Jimmy Kimmel. He’s obsessed with himself and Kim Kardashian – his girlfriend/baby mama/finacee/soon-to-be-wife – and feels like the rest of the world should be too. Hence this video. Hence the winner of this category.

Best Summer Song – “I Need Your Love” by Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding

Harris is already a champion DJ, and Goulding’s voice is unbelievably infectious. It’s fun, it’s light, it’s care free. Everything summer should be.

Least Lovable Artist – Katy Perry

She’s redundant, she’s ordinary, and she’s formulaic. She’s boring, she’s predictable, and she lacks any sense of creativity. My disdain for her is so intense, I actually have a visceral reaction to her music, and am done hearing her roar.

Most Lovable Artist – Imagine Dragons

This band from Las Vegas is just so darn delightful. Their music is uplifting, and during live shows, they are full of excitement, like kids in a candy store. In spite of their successes, they remain humble and grateful for the opportunity to play their music to the masses. I have yet to get tired of them, and that’s saying a lot.

Biggest Loss to the Music Industry – Lou Reed

Reed was an original and founding member of The Velvet Underground, one of the most influential rock bands of all time. He also managed to have a solo career after the band split up, and created his own music for over thirty years. A true icon.

Most Pretentious Artist – The Arcade Fire

For their upcoming tour in support of Reflektor, this Grammy-winning band put out a press release stating fans attending their live shows must wear a costume or formal attire. It’s unclear what the consequences are if their demands are not met, but regardless of their musical prowess, who do the think they are?

Worst Collaboration Track – “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly

Country duo Florida Georgia Line team up with rapper Nelly, in a failed attempt to marry both genres. It does not help that Florida Georgia Line look like the biggest douchebags on the planet, who have no game at all. Add to that the fact this video features sub par “video hos” who seem completely out of place. I do not know which musician is more pathetic for trying to use the other for fame, but neither one succeeds.

Best Collaboration Track – “#Beautiful” by Mariah Carey feat. Miguel

Regardless of Mariah’s diva tendencies, there’s no denying she has one of the best voices out there. Combine that with the sexiness and sultriness Miguel’s vocals bring, and what you get is this gorgeous track. Mariah strikes again.

Most Overexposed Artist – Miley Cyrus

She developed an obsession with dressing either semi or fully naked. We have all (unfortunately) seen far too much of her unhygienic tongue, and she felt the need to not only try to twerk, but also to suggestively use a foam finger. None of that however, seemed to have stopped her tracks from playing everywhere. She can’t stop, she won’t stop. Must be because she’s a wrecking ball.

Has-Beens of the Year – 98 Degrees

The 90s boy band put out an album this year, 13 years too late because no one cares about them anymore. They tried to stay relevant by joining Boyz II Men (down one member) and NKOTB on “The Package ” Tour. Riding the coattails of other washed up boy bands is no way to resurrect a career, boys.

Most Mancrushed Musician – Justin Timberlake

He’s got the voice. He’s got the moves. He’s got the charm. He plays guitar and piano, he’s well dressed, he collaborated with the one and only Jay-Z. His bromance with Jimmy Fallon is endearing, and his SNL appearances pretty hilarious. And he puts out videos like this – why would you not want to be like him?

Best Live Show – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis @ Osheaga Music Festival, Montreal

This year was a bit slower than most when it came to live shows. Several stood out, but none really reached unreal heights, except this super charming hip-hop duo who were entertaining, interactive, and incredibly full of energy. The crowd was living off adrenaline the entire show, including moments like this:

Best Rap Album – Marshall Mathers LP2 by Eminem

It’s Eminem at the height of his game. Rhymes you would not believe spit perfectly, rapidly and with the right amount of umph to turn heads, without having to drop Tom Ford’s name. He’s angry, he’s comical, he’s dark, he’s real. Hell, he’s Eminem.

Album of the Year – Trouble Will Find Me by The National

What else is there to say, other than this is one of the most beautifully written albums I have heard in a long time. Every track, from start to finish endlessly evokes emotions, to the point where you find yourself distracted because you get so involved with the music. Berninger’s controlled voice both subtly and eloquently adds many layers to the music. It’s truly a work of art.

Worst Song of the Year – “Accidental Racist” by Brad Paisley feat. LL Cool J

The problem with combining two genres of music is that it can sometimes completely backfire. This track tells the tale of a white man going into a coffee shop sporting a Confederate flag on his t-shirt. The barista is a black man who takes offense to this t-shirt and the track becomes a dialogue about slavery, racism, other things. They have both tried to explain themselves publicly, but none of it makes sense.

Song of the Year – “Wake Me Up” by Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc

EDM is becoming more and more successful by the minute, and Avicii is one of the younger DJs immersed in the scene. Avicii introduced a country/blues-esque feel to the track with Blacc’s vocals, and took it to the next level by fusing two genres that are typically worlds apart. It’s creative, it’s ingenious, plus it’s freaking catchy.

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I refuse to get into it. If you want to know why Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV VMAs was so atrocious, there’s plenty of internet chatter about it. Aside from disturbing a lot of individuals, the worst thing it accomplished was it took away from some much more noteworthy moments. So let’s talk about those. (Note: MTV has done a great job of keeping all the relevant videos on their own site, so to see any or all of the awards show, click here.)

1. Besties

Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez seemed attached at the hip. Total bffs. Dancing together, making comments to each other, probably bonding over the trials and tribulations of dating bad boys (ie One Direction’s Harry Styles and Justin Bieber.) They were even dressed alike and hugged the crap out of each other when either one won an award.

Jimmy Fallon’s uncontainable man crush on Justin Timberlake as exemplified when he presented him with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. He was excited, giddy and his voice kept getting higher and higher pitched. It was kind of adorable.

2. Robin Thicke

A bi-product of Miley’s horrid performance was how ridiculous it made Robin Thicke look. It made it seem like he was a total perv who wanted to get with her, because he agreed to this duet for his hit track “Blurred Lines.” Why is the only question that comes to mind. Regardless of whether he knew what she was going to do, Miley Cyrus doesn’t add anything to any song. She outdid him by being even raunchier than the video for “Blurred Lines.” Saddest of all, he didn’t even win any awards.

3. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

It’s impossible not to love these guys. Independent hip hop musicians, a white rapper and a DJ, singing about real issues and still scoring some awards. Having said that, why were they seated so far away from the stage? At the tail end of their performance of “Same Love,” Mary Lambert and Jennifer Hudson got into a bit of a beautiful sing off. They should win awards just for being so darn awesome.

4. ‘N Sync

During Justin’s epic and lengthy performance, he enlisted the help of his ‘N Sync boys to perform “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye.” It was a treat to see for so many reasons. Lance Bass clearly could not keep up with the choreo and kept trailing behind; JC was so obviously reliving his famous days as the “other lead singer” and even tried to take over the spotlight for a second. Justin very quickly took it back. Joey and Chris made it through the mini dance routine but seemed exhausted after. Man, what age does to you.

5. Drake

When he starting getting into “Started From the Bottom,” I cringed a little because that song is so illogical on so many levels. What “bottom” did he start from? Rihanna was unimpressed, every rapper in the crowd was jamming like the song was their life story. Best of all, Jaden Smith seemed so enamored by Drake, he looked like he might even cry. Drake acts like he’s from the ‘hood and somehow has garnered all this street cred. He was wearing a cut off tee, but it seemed like it was made by a designer. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m laughing at how ridiculous Drake has become. I just can’t help it.

6. Justin Timberlake

You can hate on him as much as you want to. You can dislike him music with a passion, go ahead. But he dominated that arena with his performance and you can’t deny that. The moves, the voice, the interaction, the ease with which he does all of it. He even got ‘N Sync back together! He deservedly won “Video of the Year” for “Mirrors” – he has a dance off with himself in a room full of mirrors. Who else can pull that off?

At some point in their lives, every kid dreams about becoming famous. Who doesn’t want to be popular and admired by millions of people? Teen pop stars accomplish a whole lot and more, before they’re even allowed to drink. They are so overexposed, being involved in everything from music to television, to films to fashion. It’s inevitable for some to lose their way – they’re expected to act like adults in an adult world, while they’re still kids. The music industry is geared towards using sex to sell (because it does), but does that apply to teenagers also? Here are a few teen pop stars who have gone through image makeovers in order to survive in the industry. Question is, did it work?                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lindsay Lohan (aka Lilo). What a train wreck. She started out as an actress at age 11, appeared in several Disney and non-Disney movies (including my personal fave, 2004’s Mean Girls) all of which were pretty successful. As her movie career took off,  in a very predictable move, Lilo decided to launch a music career. Her first single was released at age 16, entitled “Rumours”, off her first album Speak. It’s a plea to the increasing number of paparazzi that were following her around, to leave her alone. Now, I’m not even going to get into how bad of a musician she is, because it’s just  too obvious. However I will say this: the music video is shot in a club, which I’m pretty sure Lilo wasn’t even legally allowed to enter at the time (feeble attempt at appearing older); she isn’t a wearing a whole lot (clearly forgot her bra that day) and is dancing provocatively throughout the video. I’m not sure about you, but last I checked, 16 years old was nothing like this video. Lilo’s troubles have been in the spotlight ever since, being involved in countless DUIs (she started attending AA meetings at age 20), drug possession scandals, and way too many failures at drug and alcohol rehab. Her career basically peaked at age 18 so I think it’s safe to say it will be on hold for a while.

Enter Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. Another product of Disney, Miss Cyrus began her acting career at age 14 with her very own show entitled Hannah Montana. Child of none other than Billy Ray Cyrus himself, Miley to date has starred in several TV shows and films; she was deemed one of Barbara Walter’s Most Fascinating People in 2008, as well as Time Magazine’s Most Influential People; she has recorded 2 studio albums as herself (and another one as Hannah Montana; don’t ask, I don’t quite get it either); and has also found time to date a Jonas brother. Oh, and she’s 18. Talk about high expectations. Miley’s scandals include a “revealing” photo shoot at age 15 which upset a lot of her fans’ moms; heavy criticism for thinking a pole dance was an appropriate choice for a live performance (then age 16); and most recently, video footage of her smoking something from a bong. Her first album, Breakout, released when she was only 16 was your typical wholesome teenage fun. However her second album titled Can’t Be Tamed was Miley deciding to shed her good girl image and release her inner sexual being. She was clearly having a sixth-life crisis, at age 18. The first single, “Can’t be Tamed” is all about a girl telling all the boys out there that they can’t tame her. Um, ok. Relax Miley. Everything about the video is so unnecessarily provocative (reminiscent of Britney’s “I’m a Slave 4 U” and Xtina’s “Dirrrrrty”), that it seems as though she thinks that expressing her sexuality all of a sudden makes her an adult, and will get people to take her more seriously. I wouldn’t say her career is completely done, but she is definitely on her way down.

Last but not least, Mr. Justin Bieber. Here’s a kid who comes from small town Ontario, and was discovered at age 12 because of his YouTube performances. Sure, he’s just starting out in the music business, but he’s exploding everywhere and fast – I think we’re all familiar with the term Bieber Fever. If you actually check out Bieber’s YouTube videos, he plays guitar and drums and is quite a talented kid. His voice is actually good, yet none of his current music reflects that. Let me explain. I expect his songs to be cheesy and make the hearts of all 12-year-old girls melt (though when he talks about being in love, I can’t help but laugh), but I don’t think the dance moves, hipster jeans, special effects, etc are necessary. Usually all this extra “fluff” is used to mask how bad a singer’s voice is, almost to distract the audience’s attention away from it. But as hard as it is to admit, Bieber doesn’t need the distractions. Don’t get me wrong I completely understand why he’s presented that way – he’s more appealing to the girls when he dances, or wears certain clothes, I get it. But I am also convinced that he’d be just as famous and make just as much money, without all that other stuff. In his earlier YouTube videos, he has more of a boy-next-door look, but when he signed with Usher‘s label and he got more popular, he started looking and acting a lot more like Usher. I’ve seen him wearing leather jackets galore, shades at indoor venues, and behaviour befitting of someone who thinks he’s “the man”. Now I have nothing against Usher, but the last thing the world needs is another one. So far, Bieber’s career has been relatively scandal-free; however I do think it’s still too early to tell, but here’s hoping.

Not every teen pop star’s career leads to tabloid headlines, some are actually squeaky clean (see Taylor Swift). But the major issue seems to be that kids who start out in the industry at such a young age, are constantly faced with adult situations. They have to deal with paparazzi, rumours, controversies, etc. It’s as though acting like a kid only sells for so long, and in order to maintain their fame, they have to alter their image, usually by becoming more sexually expressive. Just recently, Demi Lovato a veteran of the industry at only 18 years old, checked into a treatment facility for emotional and physical issues. Who’s to blame? The parents? The media? Is it even anyone’s fault? Who knows. All I do know is infamy is ever increasing amongst teenage pop stars. And that my friends, is not alright.