Miley Cyrus, “The Climb”


March 12, 2009





Grade: D+

Listen: The Climb

Buy: The Climb

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Category: Single Reviews

40 Comments so far

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  1. RussNo Gravatar says:

    Greatest. Review. Ever.

  2. Steve from BostonNo Gravatar says:

    Pictures speak volumes, and this is frekkin’ sad and simulatneous hilarious commentary! Well done Dan…

  3. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    Russ stole my post!

  4. StephanieNo Gravatar says:

    …and that about sums it up.

    Thanks for that, Dan.

  5. CarsonNo Gravatar says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words.
    You’ve got two!

    Yep, that sums it all up. Cheesy, generic song and lyrics, it’ll go far because it’s sung by Miley.

  6. Kevin J. CoyneNo Gravatar says:

    This is really funny.

  7. JaneNo Gravatar says:

    LOL. Great review… Those pictures say it all!

  8. lauraNo Gravatar says:

    My favorite review ever.

  9. Matt B.No Gravatar says:

    Nice. It’s short and to the point and, most of all, funny. No need for a dissertation and longish discussion on it, either.

  10. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Damn funny!

  11. Chris D.No Gravatar says:

    So true. I almost kind of half like it, but then I started hating it.

  12. FelipeNo Gravatar says:

    That’s not fair… she’s not cute at all… hahaha

    Loved it!

  13. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    There are almost redeeming qualities to the song, but not enough to make it even close to good.

  14. Roger NewcombNo Gravatar says:

    I actually love this song. Are you saying that Miley is successfully cute? The song is only a hit because she is cute? Or the song is cute?

    I would expect someone like Perez Hilton to just dismiss Miley with a silly picture but I expect more from you guys around here. You have shown amazing credibility and insight in your reviews in the past.

  15. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. This was definitely fun to come up with.


    I’m saying that this is a bad song that will still attract a lot of attention because Miley Cyrus is Miley Cyrus.

    And believe me, I would think this was a bad song no matter who performed it. I actually boosted the grade a bit because I think she’s a pretty good singer for someone her age (at least as demonstrated on this song).

    I’m sorry you didn’t like the format of the review, but the reason why I think it’s a bad song is implicit in my using those “motivational posters.” To me, the song is a soulless rephrasing of an extremely famous philosophical message (so famous it borders on cliche) that doesn’t provide an emotionally coherent context or justification for the use of that message (and it has nothing to do with country music, but let’s ignore that for the sake of this point).

    Rodney Atkins retooled a Winston Churchill quote with “If You’re Going Through Hell,” but it happened to be a quote that lent itself to carrying an entire song about the singer’s situation. You know? The quote actually makes sense as self-talk for a song about someone feeling discouraged by life. I don’t think “it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts” does, especially when the song is a big power ballad where you expect the melody to swell because the emotions are intense. “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” isn’t the kind of idea I personally reach for when I’m feeling desperate or hopeless (“Lost with no direction / My faith is shaken”).

    The idea has its place and time, but everything else about “The Climb” suggests that the singer desires encouragement and direction, and all that idea provides is…lightweight philosophical perspective. It just doesn’t make sense to me. But meanwhile, the record spirals into bombast, as if the revelation of this (again, very, very well-known) idea is, like, a life-changing epiphany for the singer, and a highly emotional one at that. I just don’t buy it.

    That said, I do respect Miley’s talent and will certainly offer her praise when I feel she’s earned it with her music. I just don’t think she has here, not very much at all.

  16. KentNo Gravatar says:

    Wow. That was great!

    Something I will say to defend Dan’s review: not every review has to be long and serious. Sometimes it’s fun to add some humor to the mix. Also, part of the use of the first picture is that it sums up the entire song in one sentence.

    That aside, I kind of like the song, even if it lacks substance. And the music video is very cool!

  17. TejasNinaNo Gravatar says:

    We should start calling Miley Nermal instead.

  18. TejasNinaNo Gravatar says:

    We should start calling Miley Nermal instead. she probably is the world’s cutest kitten…

  19. Canadian BoyNo Gravatar says:

    Well that sums it up pretty well.

  20. TrailerNo Gravatar says:

    Well done! This reminds me of Pitchfork’s review of Jet’s last album. This review showed remarkable restraint in comparison.

  21. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    I unwittingly heard the song on the radio tonight, and it struck me as a bad “American Idol” winner’s song, without the singing chops behind it. It’s not a bad song, but it is a bad performance.

  22. tinaNo Gravatar says:

    Awesome. But I totally don’t agree with the second poster. she’s not cute at all

  23. MikeNo Gravatar says:

    Hilarious review, but the song doesn’t bother me. It’s nothing revolutionary, just a nice slice of country-pop to roll the window down to.

  24. InsertNameHereNo Gravatar says:

    I like the song, only because I think her voice is strong in this one (out of most of them). Although, I think she’s has talent, she’s just not using it wisely (same goes for fame), doesn’t seem like she’s the determined type of artist (as you have put out in the second poster, “Success: Everything is easy when you’re cute”). But that’s just my opinion.

  25. †♫No Gravatar says:

    What I thought was a redeeming quality was the melody of the verses, though it must be said the theme is quite common in music especially country, I have to admit to that because I too am composing a similar song and I know it sounds cheesy but I still love it, haha!

  26. nessaNo Gravatar says:

    one of the best reviews i’ve ever read. but one thing i’d like to ask, is it SENSIBLE for a sixteen year old to be spouting off about life in an OVERSUNG song, even if it is written by some one else??????? makes NO SENSE AT ALL to me. just want to know what you think, even if you disagree with me. which you probably will.

  27. nessaNo Gravatar says:

    im sorry, did i say one of the best reviews????? i’m changing it to the best review i’ve ever read.

  28. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    i like cats:P:P.i brought one but then i send it back coz my mom didn’t like much but it was very small will little blue eyes .cats are my favourate pets

  29. Kerry CoxNo Gravatar says:

    Kinda reminds me of the 2-word review of Spinal Tap’s album, “Shark Sandwich”…
    I have a specific beef with the lyric, too, where she says, “I may not know it, but these are the moments I’ll remember all my life…” or some such drivel. My beef is: How she be telling herself something that she doesn’t know? Doesn’t the fact that she is saying it mean, by definition, that she “knows” it? It would make sense if someone ELSE were telling her “You may not know it…” but telling it to herself in this song borders on Dissociative Identity Disorder…

  30. I don’t know why the critics don’t love miley’s latest song – I think it is cool.

  31. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    Why is this on a country site?

  32. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Perhaps the real question is “Why was this played on country radio?” It’s on a country site because it was released to and played on country radio.

  33. PatrickNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve never heard it on country radio. Then again, country radio seems to be playing anything these days :\ I mean Bon Jovi is considered country because they have a duet with Jennifer Nettles :\

  34. Reynaldo KettelNo Gravatar says:

    Seems like Miley has ruffled some feathers with her latest video. I think it is great – go for it!

  35. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar says:

    Somebody is twenty and without children, and is simply annoyed by mediocre pop power-ballads getting shipped to country radio.

  36. RebeccaNo Gravatar says:

    This made me laugh. I love this site; all of the reviewers are excellent.

    Dan, you’re only twenty? From your way with words I always thought you were something of an old pro! I myself am nineteen, nice to another Gen Y country fan.

  37. RebeccaNo Gravatar says:


    Nice to be finishing my first year of university rendered completely fatigued and braindead too :P

  38. Paul DennisNo Gravatar says:

    You were too kind – this song is, at best, a D-. More dreck from the current pre-teeny bopper idol

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