Miley Cyrus makes it so easy for us to dismiss her with her bizarre antics, annoying tongue and abuse of social media. Our eyes rolled so hard they almost stuck when she released a picture of herself in the shower on the anniversary of Sept. 11. We were just about to label her the Antichrist, and then she goes and does this. She reminds us that she actually has talent.
For those of us residing in everyday America — the vast regions of the nation where people work hard, pay their bills and try to be good parents — Miley Cyrus is akin to the Antichrist. The mere mention of her name (or Justin Bieber‘s) will be answered with an audible groan, followed occasionally by a brief diatribe about how she represents everything that is wrong with America — entitlement, instant gratification and a general we-do-what-we-want-with-little-regard-for-others attitude.
So we get in a groove where it’s easy to hate on Cyrus. She bugs us with her hair-turned-devil-horns, she offends us with her soft porn displays on stage and she gets under our skin with her attention-getting stunts on social media.
But then once in a very great while — perhaps twice a year — she reminds us that she has talent. Real f***ing talent. That is exactly what she did Friday night when she released a lo-fi recording of Led Zeppelin’s ”Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” (which Cyrus re-named ”Baby, I’m Gonna Leave You”.) Cyrus has got balls of steel to tackle such an iconic cult classic. There is no faster way for an already scorned musician to open himself or herself to ridicule than to take on a legendary rock ‘n’ roll tune. That is just inviting criticism. So, we hand it to Miley for having the stones to record this song in the first place.
Now we’re annoyed for a different reason: She killed it. She absolutely nailed it. It’s gritty, soulful — and in places, beautiful. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if Cyrus made more headlines for knocking our socks off with recordings like this and fewer headlines for going out in public in nipple pasties? Take a listen to this recording, via MTV.