Well, you’ve surely seen it by now: Miley Cyrus premiered the video for “We Can’t Stop” today, directed by Diane Martel. Or maybe you haven’t yet, because you’re not ‘about that life.’ (In that case, scroll down below the cut.)
I didn’t know how to feel about the Miley video when it first premiered. I still don’t know how I feel about it now. So I’m just going to feel all of the feels right now until something feels…right-ish.
Basically, Mileybird’s having a wild party in a giant house — she’s twerking, she’s swimming, she’s breaking Billy Ray‘s achy breaky heart, for sure – and she’s just run clean out of fucks, really. She’s dancing with giant teddy bears, working on her fitness, gritting her teeth, eating T-W-E-R-K alphabet soup, whatever. And that is where the video begins and ends — it’s entirely ‘a lot’ and nothing all at once.
The problem is that “We Can’t Stop” wasn’t due for a video filled with money-stuffed sandwiches and french fry skulls. Want a thoroughly silly pop video? Try P!nk‘s “Stupid Girls” in 2006. Legendtina also pulled it off brilliantly with “Your Body” last year — who doesn’t associate that thirst anthem with blue goo, trailer parks, bloodlust and a baseball bat?
“We Can’t Stop” is a more mature production sonically — it’s sort of sad and twisted and celebratory all at once, like an after-party going on one hour too long past the comedown. Singing about standing in line to do lines in the bathroom, and that drunk, dark R&B throb courtesy of Mike WiLL Made It? No, this video had the potential to be much edgier (in a sleek and mysterious way) than slapping a drag queen’s ass.
Then again, maybe that’s way harsh, Tai: Maybe it is smart. Is this all just social commentary of some sort? A mockery of LA hipsterdom and gold grills and Instagram and twerking and GIFs and youthful extravagance?
Or maybe Lesley was right, ultimately — maybe Miley’s just being Miley. Maybe it’s funny! Hysterical, even: Hot dogs, booty drops, getting kicked in the head! Maybe it’s all just one big montage of a newly emancipated Disney pop princess having herself a blast with friends in her LA pad. Is the point simply just to let go and laugh along with Miley?
It’s probably that, but then, is that enough? Is that what we wanted to see from Miley? Does her confidence not often just come across as irritating, try-hard cockiness? What is parody and what is sincere? Are you guys having a fun time? Am I just not fun? Because it doesn’t feel like we’re included in the fun. Will I just end up enjoying this tomorrow? And didn’t Gaga sort of do this already (and better) with her own campy house party in “Just Dance”?
We can’t stop, sure — but maybe we could reel it in a little bit.
Meh. My head hurts.
“We Can’t Stop” was released on June 3. (iTunes)