Today’s piece for review is the video that has become the center of the latest Internet memes and media frenzy, and Miley’s most recent attempt at proving to the world that she is a grown up now and can lick hammers if she wants to. It’s no big secret that she has jumped right up on that crazy train with Ozzy and we have the oversized teddy bears, pasties, and outrageous lyrics (“dancing with molly,” “everyone in line in the bathroom/tryna get a line in the bathroom,”) to prove it. Because of her previous “big girl” antics, I didn’t go into this with high expectations. What I got, however, was a much needed and pleasant surprise.
“Wrecking Ball” is a surprisingly sentimental piece for the ever-partying Cyrus. It is real and down to Earth, with meaningful lyrics and a shockingly deep perspective from the eyes of someone at the bad end of a break up. In the wake of her engagement recently being called off, the video for the song captures Miley’s heartbreak and struggle to pick up the pieces and move on with her life. The song talks about how she “came in like a wrecking ball/never hit so hard in love…,” which is her way of saying that she came into the relationship forcefully demanding love, something we have all done at some point in our lives. “We clawed, we chained our hearts in vain/we jumped, never asking why…” The first few lyrics display the somber, dark tone of the song. “I put you high up in the sky/and now you’re not coming down…” Haven’t we all been there? Putting someone up on a pedestal for so long that you lose sight of yourself only to wake up and find them gone one day? Beautiful, sentimental lyrics that she sings with feeling and emotion that we thought she had lost. I was thoroughly impressed with the song, and even more so with the video.
The video begins with a close up of Miley’s face, flashing her signature red pout but other than that, very little makeup. I was struck by the amount of emotion she showed in her eyes right from the first word of the song. The video was impeccably timed right after her break up and you can see that the pain is raw…and real. Cyrus stands in front of a bright, bare white wall, drawing focus to her eyes and lips. There is a lot of white in the video; a color for new birth, new innocence, and a fresh start. Possibly the most controversial part of this video is the nudity, and while there is a lot of it, few fail to see the meaning behind it. Nude…stripped, raw, bare, defenseless… It is a way of symbolizing all that love can take from us; all that love took from her. She is starting out again with nothing. I saw past the naked girl riding the wrecking ball and looked deeper. The meaning behind the nudity is truly a beautiful one. The truth is, when we lose someone we love, we feel very much…naked, inside and out.
I was a bit taken aback when I first saw the next scene: Miley seated, leaning against a gray cinderblock wall, kissing a sledgehammer (quite passionately, at that.). She later explained that this was her way of showing that she still loves the pain of her lost love. I get the reference, but wasn’t totally sure about this particular scene. The meaning ties in well with the rest of the video, but unless you know what to look for as you read in between the lines, it seems a bit…erotic and strange.
The hook of the song (“I never meant to start a war, I just wanted you to let me in/but instead of using force, I guess I should’ve let you in…”) is what sold me on this video. Flash forward to a close up of
Miley’s face again, only this time, triple the emotion in her eyes. Throughout the length of the hook, we watch tears flow down her face, we see her gasping for breath through her tears, we see her pain and we feel her pain along with her. Some may call it good acting, but I call it like I see it: Real emotion, real hurt, and real suffering.
The video stays simple, using mainly the same few scenes: a close up of Miley’s face, the star riding a wrecking ball in a small, enclosed cinderblock room, and laying in a pile of crushed cinderblocks. The simplicity of the video is what drew me in. There weren’t any over dramatic breakup scenes, clips of Cyrus laying in a fully made bed crying with stunning makeup and a rockin’ wardrobe, and there was no story to the video. The viewer takes away from the video what he or she chooses to see. I didn’t really know what to expect when I sat down to watch this video, but I’m glad I did. I’m all about reading between the lines. I can see how certain parts of the video may strike people as trashy or just wrong (due to her recent VMA tragedy and ongoing controversial antics), but this video proves that sometimes to see the beauty in something, you have to look deeper than just what is on the surface. This video gets five of five stars from me!