97 Words: “River” by Miley Cyrus

Vincent Anthony
2 Min Read

This song is part of our “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist. Check out the full list.

If sexual energy were a river, Miley Cyrus is here to ensure it never runs dry. On the energetic dance-pop track “River,” she recalls the ‘80s sound and melody of Flo Rida and Kesha’s 2009 hit single “Right Round,” and emulates its not-so-subtle double entendre. Though Cyrus’ is not so blatant, like the assumed metaphor of Mariah Carey’s “Honey,” it’s there if you look for it. It’s not a cover of the Joni Mitchell sometimes-Christmas standard, that’s for sure, but it seems to take inspiration from the Queen of Christmas. Is she sure she’s never been a fan?

Watch the “River” video, stream it, or grab “Endless Summer Vacation” on vinyl.

In celebration of summer, the staff at THE 97 has compiled a playlist containing some of our favorite summer songs, from then and now. Each day we will reveal one song, rotating daily between past and present with pairings from 1998 and 2023, for a total of 97 days/songs. Since we love nostalgia, we’re celebrating summer songs from 1998 as they turn 25, alongside new songs that we feel deserve some shine. Pairings could be thematic, sonic, or based connections between the artists.

Check out our full “THE SUMMER 97 (1998 x 2023)” playlist here.


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Vincent is the founder of the magazine and has had a strong passion for popular music since, well, 1997! If it's not obvious, his favorite artists include Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, P!nk, and many more. Vincent lives in New York, where he is a high school English teacher, and currently he is pursuing a Master's in Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.