Miley Cyrus Wants Your ‘ATTENTION’
On March 27, fans of Miley Cyrus were gifted a surprise treat. The eccentric pop star announced via Instagram the release of her first-ever live album – ATTENTION: MILEY LIVE. Primarily recorded in Los Angeles during her Super Bowl Music Festival performance, ATTENTION embodies the fullness of Miley Cyrus as an artist – authentic, gritty, creative, heartfelt, edgy, and versatile. The live album is a mixture of her recent rock anthems, popular throwback hits, and fan-requested covers.
ATTENTION kicks off on an upbeat note with the rebellious “We Can’t Stop” mashed with the Pixies’ hit “Where Is My Mind?” Miley keeps the energy going with performances of some of her most provocative pop songs, such as “4×4,” “(SMS) Bangerz,” “23,” and “Dooo It!”
Before belting out heart-wrenching renditions of two ballads, “Never Be Me” and “Maybe,” Miley took a few moments to address the crowd and confess her anxiety about performing live since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is feeling new to me again, which is f***ing exciting, but it’s also terrifying,” she admitted. “Something that should feel so natural just doesn’t anymore, and I just wanted to be honest about standing up here right now, it doesn’t feel the same … I’m just finding my feet up on this platform again, and I know that all of us are going through that same experience. We’re just trying to integrate back into reality.”
As a performer myself, I was especially impressed with Miley’s vocal strength and stamina while listening to the album. Most of her songs are demanding and require a high level of energy, but Miley consistently delivers throughout the concert. Her husky alto voice sails effortlessly through her setlist. Since her Hannah Montana days, Miley’s vocal range, technique, and stage presence have set her apart from other young child actors/wannabe pop stars. Now, 17 years into her career, Miley’s iconic voice has aged gracefully, developing a signature rasp and emotional depth that now characterizes all of her music.
Following a riveting performance of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” one of her most famous covers, Miley offered the audience touching words of encouragement.
“I hope this show is a representation of you never need to choose who you want to be, and you don’t need to fit into any boundaries or into any boxes,” she declared. “You can be anything and everything that you’ve ever wanted to be all at the same time. Everything that contradicts itself can coexist in harmony, and I believe that.”
To the audience’s delight, Miley closed her set list with three of her biggest hits, all from different eras of her career – “The Climb,” “Wrecking Ball,” and “Party in the USA.”
In my opinion, ATTENTION: MILEY LIVE is a representation of Miley Cyrus’ incredible staying power in an industry that has not always been kind to her nor fully accepted her during various stages of her career. Yet the record exudes a triumphant energy and a sense of self-assurance.
As Miley herself noted during the show, many of her longtime fans have watched her grow up in the spotlight and explore a variety of personas and identities. Now at age 29, she unapologetically accepts herself for the person she is becoming and empowers others to do the same.