Inside the Black Mirror: Nine Inch Nails vs. Ashley O

Inside the Black Mirror: Nine Inch Nails vs. Ashley O

Happy November! Can you believe that 2019 will end in less than 60 days! This year has gone by so quick! Speaking of 2019, have you checked out the latest episodes of the Netflix show Black Mirror? One of my co-actors in a play production that I am involved in told me about the show. Since then, I have been hooked on it! I watched the majority of episodes in the span of two weeks.

Have you seen the show? What is your favorite episode? My favorite is Season 3’s “Nosedive”. It kind of gave me a fright because of the premise of how a social media-like rating system could affect our lives. Wouldn’t it be scary for people to rate your every action and saying just instantly like social media? Another favorite is “Shut Up and Dance” from the same season. I love the suspense in that one!

Inside the Black Mirror: “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”

Today’s battle is inspired by the recent Black Mirror episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too”. Now, this hasn’t been everyone’s favorite episode in the series. Most of the critics disapprove of the episode with a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the arguments on why this episode fell flat are like the critique from The Verge‘s Adi Robertson: “After a promising start, its story becomes simultaneously overstuffed and underdeveloped.”[1]

Hannah Montana

Even though many have not liked “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too”, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Like Matt Miller from Esquire Magazine, I feel like this episode comes full circle with Miley Cyrus’ career. The musician’s first singing/acting gig was Hannah Montana on The Disney Channel. My sister, though she won’t admit it now, was a big fan of Hannah Montana as she had the merchandise, watch the show religiously, and even saw the movie.

The character of Hannah Montana was appealing to my sister’s age range as she was inspirational and appealing with her kid-friendly humor and content. Ashley O and Hannah Montana have so much in common in terms of fanbase and music. But also, their artist being controlled by another person: Ashley O was controlled by her aunt and Hannah Montana was controlled by the writers and producers with The Disney Channel.

Gradually, Miley Cyrus transformed from the wholesome character of Hannah Montana into the musician she has become today. Although I was initially shocked by the transformation, I eventually embraced Cyrus’ transformation. I, as a creative person too, looked at Cyrus’ changing musical and artistic directions as something she wants to express wholeheartedly. Although I don’t listen to former Disney star’s latest releases, I support whatever she releases because its something that makes her happy.

Miley Cyrus in "Slide Away" MV

I won’t go into the whole plot of “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too” as I encourage you to watch it on Netflix (or, if you don’t have the internet streaming site, you could just read the summary here). Like Miley Cyrus breaking free from her Hannah Montana persona to create the music she wants to create, Ashley O gets that same freedom. However, Ashley O’s journey in how she gets there is unusual as it involves AIs, holograms, power control, and an unusual hero. Watch the episode to find out!

Battle of the Songs: Stepping Into the Black Mirror

Ashlry O from the Black Mirror episode "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too"

Two songs that were featured in the Black Mirror episode “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too” were “On A Roll” and “Right Where It Belongs”. These two songs are happier, positive remixes of Nine Inch Nails’ tunes “Head Like a Hole” and “Right Where I Belong”. Series creator Charlie Brooker re-wrote the two tunes for the episode and sent them to Trent Rezor, the frontman of the band, for his approval. Rezor approved of the remixes. He even thought the episode itself was funny.

The two songs that are up for this battle is “Head Like a Hole” and it’s happier version “On a Roll”. Which will win? Listen and vote!

Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like A Hole”

When I first listened to “Head Like a Hole”, I didn’t really believe it was a Nine Inch Nails song. My understanding of Nine Inch Nails is more like “We’re In This Together” where the instrumentation and vocals are gritty and distorted in a lower range. Songs from the Nine Inch Nails discography, to my understanding, are supposed to be like 90s punk or thrash metal.

Nine Inch Nails in 1989

But when I listen to “Head Like a Hole”, I hear elements of dance music. You can hear it in the main synthesizer holding up the melody throughout the song. The song is labeled as industrial dance-rock as it mixes the elements of dance and thrash metal together. You can hear the thrash metal in the chorus when Rezor screams the lyrics. But, it is still weird to hear thrash metal mixed with dance music? Maybe it just with me when my ideal thrash metal tune is System Of A Down’s “B.Y.O.B.”

I like Miley Cyrus’ version better as it features more of a metal edge. She covered it at the end of the Black Mirror episode where Ashley O got to finally perform the music she always wanted to perform. Instead of being the pop sensation Asley O, the character became the metal trashing Ashley Fuckin` O.

By the way, the Nine Inch Nails were nominated for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fans can vote up to five artists a day to see their favorite artists in the 2020 class. You can vote here.


Ashley O (aka Miley Cyrus) – “On a Roll”

Now onto the happier version of “Head Like a Hole”. This song was remixed into a typical EDM pop song from this decade. It is filled with the electronica melodies, the drum kits bringing in the chorus, and the vocal samples. And of course, Miley Cyrus’ vocals add a nice texture to the song. They are also fit nicely with the electronica instrumentation.

I can admit that I am in love with “On a Roll”. For one week, I played this song over and over on Spotify. I don’t know why. Maybe because I love the inspirational lyrics. Or, the fact that I learned the word “verve” from it. Or, maybe because I love the pop sound. Whatever the reason may be, “On a Roll” is a great tune to listen for inspiration.

(By the way, Miley Cyrus dressed up as Ashley O for Halloween a couple of days ago.)


Who Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor? Tell me in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of the “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles:

🌞 Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit STMoC PRESENTS BATTLE OF THE BANDS by clicking HERE.


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The Results of the Last Battle of the Songs

Before you leave, check out the results of the last Battle of the Songs: 2 Classic Halloween Hits for This Upbeat Monster of a Battle.

The winner is…

Bobby Pickett’s “Monster Mash”

Here are the results, for anyone who is curious:

Results for "2 Classic Halloween Hits for This Upbeat Monster of a Battle"

References

[1] Robertson, Adi. “In ‘Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” Black Mirror Does Teen Comedy.” The Verge, The Verge, 7 June 2019, https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/7/18653290/black-mirror-review-season-5-rachel-jack-ashley-netflix-charlie-brooker-miley-cyrus.

This Post Has 65 Comments

  1. I love NIN, and when I watched that episode of black mirror, I was kinda taken back from Miley singing it. I still will go with the NIN version any day of the week.

  2. I really love this episode. I had mixed feeling about Miley’s version of Head Like a Hole. That is a tough song to cover and make it awesome.

  3. I’ve never seen Black Mirror before, but maybe I need to watch this episode just to see Miley singing NIN!

    1. I haven’t watched that episode yet but my favorite is White Christmas and San Junipero, love how it ends.

  4. Ok, I’ll admit, I was a fan of Hannah Montana. Not in the way that I had merchandise and all that, but I did enjoy the show with friends. I haven’t watched Black Mirror before, but I have heard a lot about it.

  5. I don’t watch Netflix shows so yes, haven’t seen Black Mirror! Loved reading your detailed post and yes, my vote goes to ON A ROLL by Miley! ☺

  6. Haven’t watched it yet but with these things, I might schedule it on my free time. They started a new trend with watching experience..

  7. I haven’t watched this episode yet, I am not much of a fan of Miley right now.

  8. Whoa! I’ve been watching Netflix but never checked out this one! – I’ll definitely start it to get to the episode where Miley sings hehehe. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ok, I need to confess. I’ve not watched Black Mirror. However, I’m going to have to take a look now. It looks really good.

  10. I’m looking for some great TV series to watch & entertain myself with. The Black Mirror seems very interesting!

  11. I have not warcged this series I will have to look out for it next time I am looking for something new to watch

  12. Things got crazier when Miley came in. Makes it more interesting to watch and follow. She did a pretty good job acting too.

  13. I have never watched black mirror, but I love NIN. I’m going to have to check out black Mirror when I have some extra time.

  14. I have never been much of a Nine Inch Nails fan. I hadnt heard either song!

  15. NIN all the way! I don’t like Miley or her voice.

  16. i’ve been wanting to watch the miley one!! I’ve only seen a few episodes

  17. I’ve never been a fan of Nine Inch Nails so it is no surprise that I didn’t like their version. Miley Cyrus, I like. I am not particularly a fan, but I like her singing voice. Her version is fun.

    P.S. I’ve tried to watch “Black Mirror” several times, it didn’t appeal to me. I dunno why.

  18. I have been a huge NIN fan since I was a kid. It is amazing! I actually have not seen the series yet, but I keep hearing amazing things.

  19. Black Mirror is awesome. I’m not into Miley but liked thst version.

  20. This episode wasnt my favorite either but it did make me think it would be cool to copy a famous person into a robot! Miley wins!

  21. I love both Miley & NIN! I do like the Miley version better though! She did a great job

  22. Okay – I love NIN. I’ve grown up with Trent singing me to sleep his halos for ever. But, as much as it pains me to say – Miley is a bit more catchy for me. I find myself dancing more to that one instead of headbanging rage that I used to feel when I’d listen to Trent’s version.

    My husband most likely would swat me if he read me posting this. Rofl. Nothing can compare to the first – that is for sure. But I didn’t pick up on her’s sounding like his until this post. I’m a bit slow at times. 😀

  23. It’s kind a hard for me to vote because it’s my first time hear those songs and I really don’t know the other artists but I love Miley her version so my vote will go for her.

  24. I respect Miley for her talent and creativity. I would put her in one row with Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce.

  25. I love this group. This is really great an amazing. I hear a lot of stuff about them. They are really rocks!

  26. Black Mirror seems like a good show to watch and my idol is in it, that’s why. LOL

    1. That’s my favorite too..! The tech that was use in that episode is so judgemental yet it just simply shows how we are going to end up in the future if we judge people in the first 30 seconds of the video. Lol.

  27. I like Nine Inch Nails. I give my vote to them. They are better singers. I don’t know but I just get turned off watching videos of female singers dancing in skimpy clothes. It might just be me, but that’s only my opinion.

  28. I like this black mirror episode, particularly because I like Miley Cyrus. Though she had been a bad girl, I still like her for her transparency

  29. I gonna check this groups out! They’re looks amazing and nice. I never heard about their music and i am surely checking them out now.

  30. Ooo I will have to give black mirror a watch, this looks like it will be my kind of thing for sure x

  31. Miley Cyrus wins for me! I have listened to tons of her songs before and her music is great. So she wins the battle for me!

  32. I haven’t watched the latest season of Black Mirror yet. I’ve heard mixed reviews. I usually love the show so I’m hoping I love the new episodes, Miley Cyrus and all.

  33. I really like the show Black Mirror and I like Nine Inch Nails. Miley Cyrus is a great performer

  34. haven’t hear of any of them but great info on these artists

    1. Yes.. November came too quick. I’ve never heard of this show. It sounds really intriguing.

  35. I’ve never watched Black Mirror yet but I’ve heard a lot about it from my friends. I will definitely check this out sometime when I have the chance.

  36. Nine Inch Nails reminds me so much of my high school, always been a fan of them! Black Mirror, I haven’t watched it yet but I read a few reviews recommending them.

  37. I LOVED this episode for this exact reason.

  38. miley cyrus! i havent seen any of its trailer but it looks pretty amazing to watch.

  39. I liked Swiping Vipers over Ashley O episode. In my opinion Miley Cyrus low key played herself.

  40. I give my vote to Nine Inch Nails. I like their style better. I have not watched Black Mirror yet but I think I will try and watch some episodes this weekend.

  41. I haven’t watch this episode, but I am so excited to watch it. I’m a big fan of Miley Cyrus and Black Mirror series. 😘

  42. Omg, I think I need to go out of my cave because I haven’t seen this Black Mirror. You are making me intrigue!

  43. Miley Cyrus is a great artist and her music is just awesome!

  44. I watch Netflix a lot but couldn’t find anything to watch on the weekend. The black mirror sounds interesting to me. Now I will watch this.

  45. I had never thought of the comparisons this way. I think I will have to go back and watch/listen with this in mind.

  46. I’m going to go and rewatch this episode you brought up a few things I missed.

  47. I’ve still not seen Black Mirror and now I feel like I’m really missing out. Must go watch!

  48. It’s a no brainer, 9 inch nails gets my vote. =)

  49. I do love Black Mirror and the fantastic way each episode makes you shiver and think that whatever the subject, it can happen in the near future. I had mixed feelings about the Miley Cyrus episode, I did think it went off the plot a bit but I did recognise her own life in it.

  50. I have not watched Black mirror yet, I added it to my list a while back but never found time to watch. This post just motivated me to create time for it. I will definitely watch it as soon as I can.

  51. On a roll is my favorite. Loved Ashley o in black mirror.

  52. I haven’t really watch this series before and it seems pretty nice. Also, the song is nice but haven’t listened to the entire song.

  53. I still have yet to see that season of Black Mirror, but it does look like it was interesting. I’ll have to finish the 4th and 5th season of Black Mirror soon.

  54. I honestly have never heard of NIN, but I love Black Mirror. It is such an interesting show. (Reciprocated by Natasha Romero-Salas)

  55. I love Miley Cyrus <3 Grew up watching her as Hannah Montana and love to see the transformation she went through… Never heard of NIN before so she wins 🙂

  56. I’m not a fan of Miley. . .I grew up with NIN. Love this idea of battle of the bands!

  57. I have watched the first season and it is truly brilliant.

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