Music Video Relapse: "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus (2009), directed by Chris Applebaum

Posted by Adam Fairholm on June 21, 2013 in Music Video Relapse

Staff Post


So, we all got a good look at Miley Cyrus twerking this week. Diane Martel's video for "We Can't Stop" was a very popular video for many reasons (not least of which being it's just a great video), but one of the big themes people touched on while talking about it online was "OMG Hannah Montana is Officially Dead!" or something along those lines.

I guess everyone forgot Miley Cyrus already tried to kill Hannah Montana when she did the video with the giant birdcage, but admittedly, "We Can't Stop" brings it to another level. So today let's go back to a time when it was so risqué to hear Miley Cyrus say "sex" in a song that someone in the song has to say "whoa!" in the background just to make it okay, 2009's "Party in the USA".

Directed by Chris Applebaum, "Party In The USA" features Miley at an outdoor gathering where people drive their cars up and hang out. With the American flag set, it feels like an homage to Paul Hunter's 1999 video for "American Woman" by Lenny Kravitz, although the jungle gym scene is a reference to the "Sandy" scene in the film Grease. Miley is on Defcon 2-level camera mugging, and her and her crew perform throughout the video. It's a great showcase for Miley, and a fun video.

Miley Cyrus' music and music videos seems to be always viewed in the context of her level of sexualization and the rate that it is going up, and this video is a solid case in point. Remember when she did a live version of this song at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards and sort of - sort of - looked like she was pole dancing at some point and people got very upset? The line from that to everyone basically saying "yes! more of Miley Cyrus eating hot dogs out of a pinata" is not an easy path. Without "Party in the USA" there is no "We Can't Stop".

chris applebaum, miley cyrus

Adam Fairholm is the co-founder and lead developer of IMVDb. You can find him on twitter at @adamfairholm.

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