Miley Cyrus’ latest video, “Who Owns My Heart?,” has been catching considerable flak from just about everybody since it debuted. Criticized for its sexual imagery — she’s blindfolded, writhing on a bed, dressed in next to nothing — and for the potential impact said imagery could have on Miley Cyrus’ predominantly young, very underage audience, the video has drawn the ire of children’s advocacy groups, parents, and bloggers. A small percentage support her or at least attempt to deflect her detractors. But the imagery and how Miley Cyrus is attempting to sell herself as an adult artist aside, there seems to be something missing in the mix. Only a few people have bothered to listen to the lyrics of the song. If they had, they really wouldn’t worry too much about the longevity of “Who Owns My Heart?”
A music video is a marketing tool, first and foremost, meant to help sell the image of the artist and the music itself. The video generally promotes a song from an album, generating sales of the single, the album(s) it appears on, and related video and DVD packages (and, later, compilations and greatest hits sets). “Who Owns My Heart?” at the moment has garnered mass attention due to Miley Cyrus’ high profile, prompting a controversy because of her age, the subject matter of the imagery, and the impact it might have on her target audience. But in the case of the “Who Owns My Heart?” video, Cyrus’ most vehement detractors might have done far better if they had just let the song run its course without comment.
Why? Simply put: The song itself is terrible. The lyrics seem to have been written by a pretentious child and amount to little more than aural garbage. Take, for instance, the lyrics to the chorus:
“Who owns my heart?
Is it love or is it art
‘Cause the way you got your body movin’ got me confusin’
And I can’t tell if it’s the beat or sparks
Who owns my heart?
Is it love or is it art
You know I wanna believe that we’re a masterpiece
But sometimes it’s hard to tell in the dark
Who owns my heart?”
Besides the publicity it is enjoying at present because of the over-reactive moral outrage over the video — a young girl laying on a bed and getting dressed to go out demands such indignation? — it is doubtful the song would have done more than a quick run on the charts. It simply does not have artistic longevity built into it. Not only is the song a shining example of the usual pop dreck being churned out by the chartload, “Who Owns My Heart?” is also especially devoid of any artistic merit, vocally or lyrically. Balanced somewhere between a singing grunt and a monotone nasality, the vocal stylings are horrendous, and the ridiculous lyrics guarantees that the song will face ridicule forever and quite possibly will at some future date be looked back on by Miley Cyrus herself, once she has reached a certain experiential and artistic maturity, as one of her more embarrassing releases. Doubly so, considering that the song was co-written by her.
Truthfully, all the controversy surrounding the video has done is guarantee “Who Owns My Heart?” will get far more airplay and video views than it realistically deserves. And all because some scandalized puritans aren’t ready for Miley Cyrus to turn 18.
The video for Miley Cyrus’ “Who Owns My Heart?” follows. Warning: it is best seen and not heard…