Single Review: Miley Cyrus’ “Lighter” Has Little Flame

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, so I will readily admit that over the years I have developed a certain fondness for pop music’s free-spirited, nude-loving, glitter-covered girl, Miley Cyrus. I also have an unwavering love of The Flaming Lips and after seeing Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips perform twice this year (at the incredible Beale St. Music Festival in Memphis, TN and The Bethlehem Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA) my excitement to learn that Wayne Coyne had teamed up with Miley Cyrus could not be contained.

So, imagine my disappointment when Miley released her most recent music video for her latest project, Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz. As one of the few tracks on the record not produced by Wayne Coyne or The Flaming Lips, it lacks the raw energy and magnetism of Miley Cyrus and the complexity and intensity of Wayne Coyne. Instead, the song drones on for 4 minutes and 36 seconds and leaves the listener wondering when its going to finish. Still, despite being unimpressed with the music video and song in general, it’s not hard to admit that the song is not short on a sense of longing and presents lyrics that are actually quite meaningful and powerful, such as the line “And I’ve heard we never truly see ourselves. You gotta leave it up to someone else.” However, while the intention of the track seems to be to showcase Miley’s vocals, her voice gets lost in a swirl of vacant electronic beats and 80’s sounding synth-pop. Wayne Coyne’s contribution to this particular song was as co-director for the music video. The music video seems like a psychedelic, 1970’s James Bond opening, except way less awesome. While definitely trippy and colorful, it quickly loses it’s holding effect and reminds me of those old background ambiance you used to be able to choose when you played a song using Windows Media Player. (Does anyone else remember those?)

Despite my disappointment in this newest music video release, this unlikely collaboration has definitely peaked my interest. While I am a few months late, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz was released at the end of August, I am looking forward to reviewing the rest of the album. On quick glance, the album has a collaboration with the flamboyant and dreamy Ariel Pink, proving that Miley is definitely branching out and taking chances. In short, I’d give the music video and song a C-, but I remain hopeful that the rest of the album proves to be more impressive.

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