There are two female pop stars who are currently reaching the peaks of their fame – Lorde and Miley Cyrus.
On one end of the spectrum is the New Zealand teen who began hypnotizing our ears this year, and on the other is everyone’s favorite good-girl-turned-crazy. Both artists are at pivotal points of their careers, and even though they share the same radio space, they project almost polar opposite ideals in pop music.
Lorde seems to be the more serious artist of the two. With her young, tired voice, she breezes across deep bass and dreary synths, creating a fresh melancholic feel that is rare on top-40 stations. The resulting sound is very chill, and features mature and meditative lyrics. Her breakout hit “Royals” is about a generation accepting that it won’t party luxuriously, as is described on the radio, — #Miley — and being fine with that. On “Ribs,” she reflects on growing old, saying “I want them back / The minds we had / It’s not enough to feel the lack.” Most 16-year-olds aren’t concerned with such things, but Lorde is happy to ponder them. Her heightened maturity is also displayed in the image she gives off, as she commonly wears dark conservative clothing that compliments her colossal hair. Lorde is a serious artist, and she wants us to know.
Then we have the twerktastic Miley with her thumping party anthems. Her powerful vocal chops might actually surpass those of Lorde, but — save for her ballads — Miley’s music is best listened to within a field of red solo cups. Her music and lyrics are less about the listener reflecting on himself, and more about promoting #IDGAF ideals. “We Can’t Stop” perfects this to a tee, as she assures us, “It’s our party we can do what we want /say what we want /love who we want.” The comfortable partying of “Royals” is thrown out the window — Miley just wants to pop molly and go crazy. Her revealing attire only pushes the YOLO principles further, creating the image of our modern pop queen as we see her today.
Even though these two artists seem completely disconnected from one another, they accentuate human facets we all desire. Lorde provokes us to reflect on what is going on around us, whereas Miley tells us to forget it and just have a great time. As Miley once said while wearing a blonde wig on the Disney channel – “Life is hard or it’s a party / The choice is up to you.”