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June 21, 2010 / Author

Will Fans Go Gaga For A Sexier Miley Cyrus?

Hats off to you, hard-working pop tart handlers.

First, you have to find your own little JonBenet to pimp out to Disney or Nickelodeon. Then, when puberty crashes the party, you have to push your budding stars’ inappropriate-but-oh-so-lucrative sex appeal without having the exposure destroy her (see Britney Spears, Jamie Lynne Spears, Lindsay Lohan).

This month, the hardest-working handlers belong to Miley Cyrus. When it comes to burying the Hannah Montana brand and hyping Miley’s new album – Cyrus’ modestly-edgy new “Can’t Be Tamed” is out today – the 17-year-old’s people are putting on a clinic. 

Her album-release show at the Sunset Strip branch of the House of Blues will be streamed live around the world; catch it at 10:30 tonight on MTV, VH1 and CMT. Friday, she performed “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” on “Good Morning America” with the ubiquitous Bret Michaels.

And there was one more creepy/unsavory/titillating thing fueling the buzz: last week, Perez Hilton tweeted an upskirt photo allegedly showing off the minor’s junk to his two million followers. Whether or not Cyrus’ handlers are deciding when she will and won’t wear underwear, they know how to balance the carnal and the cute.

Shockingly, her brain trust nailed one thing that is often an afterthought in a teen titan’s career: the music.

“Can’t Be Tamed” is a canny strategic stepping stone. It occupies the space between the Disney-approved kiddy tunes of “Hannah Montana” and the erotic thump of Lady Gaga and Ke$ha.

On dance-y, playing-at-pop-punk tune “Robot,” Cyrus pushes back at the Mouse. “Stop trying to live my life for me,” she sings, “I’m not your robot/Stop telling me I’m a part of this big machine.”

And she’s legitimately tender, if cheesy, on “My Heart Beats for Love,” a power ballad – reportedly written for a gay friend – that recalls a sugary Coldplay (or Bonnie Tyler?) anthem.

Because she’s 17 and micromanaged by a stable of managers, producers and songwriters, there are missteps. The “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” remake is obvious, redundant, flat and robotic. The line “Don’t call me a Lolita/Cuz I don’t let ’em through” from “Permanent December” perversely sexualizes the girl as much as any photo, but when its Cyrus’ own people conning her into referencing a novel they don’t even understand it seems doubly exploitive.

But let’s lighten up. Mostly the album is innocent fun. It generally copies the “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” ethos Britney tried to espouse. Of course, a couple years after Spears came out with that hit she had a total breakdown. Here’s hoping Cyrus’ handlers have more heart than Brit’s and let up before Hannah Montana appears on the cover of People headed to rehab with a shaved head.

SOURCE: BostonHerald. Thanks @xSoMuchFun!

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