The very first time I can recall hearing this song on my parents’ turntable, I was struck by that groovy little bass riff between the lyric lines “tell you something” and “I think you’ll understand,” and repeated throughout the verses in the same spot. What makes this little flurry of notes so clever is the sudden change in meter (coming out of the slow, steady rocking on the root and sometimes the fifth) and the double emphasis on the leading tones.
In 2013, a 20-year-old Miley Cyrus was trying to shed her Hannah Montana good-girl youth image. Stuff like that can usually take an album or two, a couple promotion campaigns, and some time to sculpt, but not for Miley. Her image was resculpted in a matter of minutes with this viral good-girl-gone-bad performance at the the VMAs alongside the also-controversial Robin Thicke.