Wrecking Ball vs. Wrecking Ball: Who Wore it Best?

Miley warned us when she said she couldn’t be tamed and maybe we should have been more indulgent toward ‘Lil Wayne’s three-year wish for Miley to “holla at him.” Little did we know that in those three years, she would go from real-life Disney Princess to real-life Queen of Twerk. She finally said it right when she said she “came in like a wrecking ball.”

 

In a few short hours, Miley’s emotional single “Wrecking Ball” was dominating social media. For months now, the pop star’s life has been a constant target for gossip and criticism. But the scandalous video, which released only days after her controversial VMA performance, earned her an unprecedented number of views.


The question here is, does she deserve them? Miley admitted that both the video and “We Can’t Stop” performance were done in a way that would make history. She certainly proved her point and earned her “twerky” title. But when you type “Wrecking Ball” into YouTube, is it suitable that the number-one hit should be Miley Cyrus?

Miley’s fourth studio album Bangerz might be her most popular record to date, but in 2012, Bruce Springsteen’s album Wrecking Ball was named “best album” by Rolling Stone. Not so original now are you, Miley? Wrecking Ball was Springsteen’s seventeenth studio album, an album on which he recorded his own single titled “Wrecking Ball.”

Miley backed up her provocative video by describing her being naked on a wrecking ball as a metaphor for feeling powerful and destroyed. Her so-called “metaphor” is why she believes she has the most-viewed video on YouTube but sorry, Miley, you didn’t say it first. Or quite as well, for that matter.  While many appreciate her attempt to convey her pain, artists like Springsteen invite the damaging power of the wrecking ball but do so with their clothes on.


In fact, even though Springsteen sings of living in a city where “blood is spilled” and youth and beauty will “drift away to rust,” he asks who has the guts to “bring on your wrecking ball” and give him your best shot. Instead, Miley strips, licks and cries about her inevitable shipwreck that was her relationship. 

Here’s the real difference: Springsteen’s fans are everlasting because of his impeccable song writing, traditional sound and intimate performances. Springsteen is an artist who is all about his fans. Though he writes of personal experiences and opinions and has over 40 years’ worth of a career, Bruce’s fans are unwavering in their dedication to “believe in Bruce” because they have a musical faith in him as well as a devoted admiration for everything he represents as an individual.


Then we have Miley, whose fan base stems from a beloved character she played earlier in her life on the Disney Channel. In today’s society, where these less-than moral artists are reaching younger and younger audiences and serving as role models, it is becoming increasingly more essential that artists consider the consequences of displaying tasteless material. As a pop star who began her career as a significant icon for young fans, should she be more concerned about those young fans who will continue to be influenced by her music and actions? 


Springsteen’s ultimate message is often a societal one and tends to hit home for thousands of listeners.  To Miley’s credit, she seems to be moving her sound forward and evolving as an artist.  It took certain strength and courage to change her image so drastically and it is apparent that she is capable of handling the negative judgments.  Like she said from the beginning, she’s “just being Miley.”  Meanwhile, remaining relevant in the industry by whining about her personal life in song won’t make her the timeless and adored individual that Springsteen has made himself out to be.

Miley as an artist has free reign to create and produce the type of music that encourages negative activity. The question as a result becomes whether she is bearing in mind her responsibility to her young followers or acts for want of public attention. Because people are still talking about it, Miley has recently been claiming that she will be more conscious of her twerky performances.  But the fact of the matter is that the intended publicity seems to be working for her, so we’ll see what the 20-year-old’s future has in store for us.  Needless to say, pop culture’s beloved Hannah Montana is long-gone.