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Miley Cyrus’s desire to channel Britney Spears in “hot mess” mode doesn’t look too smart after her excruciating bottom-waggling duet at the MTV Video Music Awards with sleazy Robin Thicke. But the idea isn’t really so bizarre.
Spears made the jump from Disney brat to pop superstar with the aid of a lot of risqué imagery; now Cyrus, former Hannah Montana star, is attempting the same.
Like Bangerz’s tawdry name, the opening songs don’t inspire confidence in the venture. “Adore You” is a nasally sung plodder, “We Can’t Stop” is a crass Rihanna knock-off and Spears herself makes a robotic appearance on the lackadaisical duet “SMS (Bangerz)”.
But the apple of Billy Ray Cyrus’s eye steadies the listing ship on the high-tech weepie “My Darlin’” and the futuristic retro-soul of “FU”, sloughing off her child-star past with more composure than recent antics might suggest.