‘BANGERZ’ Review: Miley Cyrus’ Music Speaks For Itself On Her Fourth Album
GigaOM discovered in August that playlists were being touted as a core part of the Beats Music experience. Freelancers had been commissioned to compile thousands of these centered around a particular artist, activity, or the general mood of the listener.Wood corroborated this report: Were going to focus really heavily on playlists, because thats how we consume music and thats how most people consume music. Music streaming is a highly competitive space at the moment, with established brands such as Spotify, Rdio and Deezer fighting for new subscribers. Microsoft and Google are trying to muscle in with similar offerings, while Apple opts for a Pandora-style approach with its recently launched iTunes Radio . Wood emphasized that Beats Music would be different and based around a very specific idea. The service is focused on curation, rather than forcing users to search blindly for new tracks or artists that they might like. Were talking about real depth of personalization and knowing who I am, who you are, what were listening to, what we like, what weve listened to before and then offering up music that is highly relevant to our taste profile, he added. Beats has created a formidable empire based on its popular range of high-end headphones, earphones and speakers. It has similar ambitions for Beats Music and will supplement this curation with an algorithm-based approach. You need to start with a great editorial team that has a point of view, but we want to have a situation where we can really scale to the depth of your appetite, he said. If you really love music, we want something that can go deep with you for a really long time. And that requires a perfect harmony between the algorithm and human curation. Between the man and the machine. Prior to joining Beats, Wood was chief strategy officer of Interscope Geffen A&M and President of the imprint DGC Records.
Sure, Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis made a pretty penny from the song’s success, but I’m willing to take the popularity as an indication of America’s shifting viewpoint on sexuality and not as a slimy moneymaking move on the part of the artist. Plus, Mary Lambert, who is featured on the track, is an out lesbian who writes about the social issues that affect her as a queer woman all the time. She’s not the one getting the credit, though, which brings me to my next point. Here’s the deal. Macklemore is not the first person to write a great song that could be celebrated as the gay marriage anthem. There are documented recordings by queer artists singing about queer issues (read: their lives) that date back as far as the 1920s, and there is an alliance of out queer artists who continue to sing out loud. They have read the YouTube comments lately, and they do have plenty of reasons to think that hip-hop hates them. We’re used to seeing images of attractive white people as the faces of the movement for LGBTQ equality. We’re used to getting excited when another straight, white person says they support our equality movement, because it’s certainly better than the alternative. But forgive me if I’m tired of doling out cookies to everyone who isn’t a bigot. Most of these celebrities charge events a “nominal fee” to the tune of $10,000 or more as compensation for standing for equality, and much of their support goes to causes like marriage equality, which benefit well-off, white gay people most significantly. Queer recording artists who have been singing out loud before any major media outlet would have celebrated it, and who write about the wide range of issues that plague the LGBTQ community, truly represent the rawness of our diverse community. It would be nice if Macklemore and his crew could give them a shout-out and acknowledge that Macklemore’s ability to get his message out so beautifully had something to do with him being a white, straight, cisgender man.
Desperately Seeking Music Equality: Looking Beyond Macklemore’s ‘Same Love’ Success
Even “Do My Thang” where Cyrus isn’t too convincing as a rapper sounds good thanks to the groovy hook that she sings, and will.i.am’s Southern hip-hop-flavored beat. Cyrus’ outlandish behavior is helping her get attention. She’s become a social media queen, the talk of every news program and music’s “it” girl, even stealing thunder from new releases by Perry and Lady Gaga. It’s good for the Pop Star Cyrus, but for Artist Cyrus? Not so much. Aside from everything that made headlines following her MTV Video Music Awards performance, vocally she was horrific (she should also learn some better dance moves). When less is happening onstage, Cyrus sounds better check out her strong singing in a gritty rendition of “Wrecking Ball” on this past weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” If Cyrus would concentrate more on showcasing her music than trying to become the latest shock queen, perhaps we wouldn’t be shocked that “Bangerz” is a good album. She should focus less on the antics and let her music do the talking and keep that Sinead O’Connor letter in her back pocket (whenever her outfit allows it). ____ Follow Mesfin Fekadu at http://twitter.com/MusicMesfin Loading Slideshow August 23, 2012 February 9, 2013 BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 09: Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at Clive Davis & The Recording Academy’s 2013 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 9, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) February 11, 2013 NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 14: Miley Cyrus poses backstage at the Marc Jacobs Collection Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at New York Armory on February 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs) February 24, 2013 WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 24: Singer Miley Cyrus attends the 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party at West Hollywood Park on February 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF) May 6, 2013 NEW YORK, NY – MAY 06: Miley Cyrus attends the Costume Institute Gala for the ‘PUNK: Chaos to Couture’ exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The Huffington Post) May 19, 2013 LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 19: Miley Cyrus arrives at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.