No. 41: Miley Cyrus, “See You Again”

You wouldn’t think it would happen this way, but the less people care about albums-as-such, the more they settle for “tracks” on hard drives and leave it at that, the less singles feel like singles anymore. Everything is just another song; here one month for its select target demographic, gone the next. But not this one; for long swaths of early 2008 it seemed inescapable.

Miley (and/or Hannah) never managed that before, and—though her so-what “7 Things” later wound up reaching No. 9 on the Hot 100, beating this song’s No. 10—maybe never will again. But even if she does, this is the Miley you’ll remember: Eurodisco pulsation below, hard Duane Eddy surfabilly twang on top (a combo that equals “new wave” by definition), a recurring melody stolen outright from Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses At Night.” And Miley, in this sleazy drawl that’s like another distant ‘80s memory (Juice Newton? Deborah Allen? Tiffany?), starting in total control of her faculties then going nuts: “The last time I freaked out! I just kept lookin’ down!” She might as well jump. She st-st-stutters, gets self-reflexive (“My best friend Lesley says, ‘Oh she’s just being Miley’”), vows future vindication (“The next time we hang out/I will redeem myself/My heart can rest ‘til then”), packs more neurotic energy into three minutes than most acclaimed artists do into 60. Hope she didn’t scare him away.

“See You Again” [YouTube]
Miley Cyrus [official site]
80 ’08 (and Heartbreak)

  • Chris Molanphy

    Agreed on all of the above.

    The video you’ve chosen, unfortunately, contains some kind of Eurodisco-ish mix of the song that blunts the best hook in the whole thing: the return of the chorus sans drums followed by that awesome two-beat kick to return the rhythm. In the original single mix, that part is some kind of magical Bob Clearmountain-style radio genius.

  • Anonymous

    Hands down my favorite pop song of the year.

    Its the kind of song that you don’t mind when it gets stuck in your head for days

  • TheRunningboard7

    My wife and I often find ourselves just being Miley. I’m only 1/8th embarrassed to love this song.

  • Chris Molanphy

    @TheRunningboard7: But what did your Best Friend Lesley have to say about that?

  • bcapirigi

    There’s nothing more disturbing than when this song comes on in divy gay bars and a bunch of toothless methy old people all start singing along. Just so you know.

    And, oops, I thought her best friend laughed and said “Oh, she’s just being Miley.”

  • TheRunningboard7

    @Chris Molanphy: She took the time to justify my st-st-stuttering.

  • Anonymous

    Are you all being ironic again? This song isn’t even so-bad-it’s-good. It’s nothing but a commercial for Miley-fandom with no content to fall back on, like wearing a boring new shirt with a huge shirt company logo on it. The song is not the convincing slice of teen-angst it seems to want to be, so I don’t feel like I’m getting anything in return for giving in to it.

  • TheRunningboard7

    @casperfandango: are you familiar with the baseless yet healing power of substancelessly shaking one’s ass? It’s what makes the humpty dance ruin anyone’s day if they see my wife and I car-dancing on the way to work.

  • Richaod

    The Mae Shi’s cover justifies this song, in my opinion.

  • Anono-Critic

    when I heard the primary version that CM refers to on the radio, I almost done drove the car off the road…stunning…

  • Anonymous

    @TheRunningboard7: No, it’s not that, cuz I’m down with ass-shakin’ for ass-shakin’s sake.

  • lempha

    @Matt_T: It was one of my favorites as well. I don’t really have an explanation for that (“guilty pleasure!”, “I’m a sucker for anything Eurodisco!”). I just think it’s a really good song, which I even find weird for Miley.
    @Chris Molanphy: Yeah, this mix sucks.