If "Party In The U.S.A." was the sort of apex or peak of the first part of Miley Cyrus' musical career, then her new single and video, "Can't Be Tamed" is obviously the beginning of the second part. "Party..." was fun, fresh, carefree, welcoming; everyone was invited to the backyard barbecue!
But the gathering got crowded, and like most teens, Miley needed her space. And, again, like most teens, Miley's now going through the process of figuring out who she is. And part of how someone does that is by trying on different looks, often borrowed from others.
Which brings us to Miley's new "Can't Be Tamed" video. It's visually accomplished to be sure, but what's striking is how it almost looks like a video scrapbook of Miley's favorite clips of the last few years. You'll see:
+ Nods to the high-concept thinking of Lady Gaga
+ The bird-lady/ Dumpster diver fashion of Ke$ha
+ The butterfly-as-transcendence metaphor that's been the throughline of Mariah-Carey's career.
The "Can't Be Tamed" video, which kicks off with an upper-crust crowd ogling a caged Cyrus who emerges from a bird's nest -- is a pretty clear metaphor for both Miley living a constant life of scrutiny, always under the microscope, and her rebirth as a young woman and different kind of artist. We can't wait to see where she flies off to next.