There's really no question: When it comes to pop songs about spherical implements of destruction, Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" beats Lea Michele's "Cannonball" in every way, not least in the matter of each song's central metaphor.
"I came in like a wrecking ball / I never hit so hard in love," Cyrus sings, "All I wanted was to break your walls / All you ever did was wreck me." That's good writing -- concise, emotional, easy to visualize.
Then there's Michele, who sings, "Now I will start living today / Today I close the door / I got this new beginning, and I will fly like a cannonball."
And yet despite the awkwardness of that image -- do cannonballs even fly especially high? -- Pop & Hiss will admit there's something appealing about "Cannonball," the lead single from the "Glee" star's upcoming debut, due March 4.
Perhaps it's the thumping beat that recalls Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," of which we're always happy to be reminded. It might be the soaring melody, which even saddled with that clunky lyric attains some lift-off.
More likely, though, it's Michele's unyielding delivery, a seeming vestige of her Broadway-baby days that gives "Cannonball" a kind of unembarrassed intensity. Vocally, she's going for it here in a way most pop stars don't; think Barbra, not Britney.
That go-for-broke quality carries over to the song's video, which premiered online Thursday and finds Michele thrashing around what appears to be somebody's attic as she belts out those words about closed doors and new beginnings. It's a bit much, which seems to be the point.
Watch "Cannonball" below.