Switched On Pop | "Flowers" and the art of the response song
A podcast breaking down the music of pop hits.
Switched On Pop
Published 14 February 2023
Miley Cyrus

Pop music surrounds us, but how often do we really listen to what we’re hearing? Switched on Pop is the podcast that pulls back the curtain on pop music. Each episode, join musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding as they reveal the secret formulas that make pop songs so infectious. By figuring out how pop hits work their magic, you’ll fall in love with songs you didn’t even know you liked.

“Flowers” by Miley Cyrus is spending another week on top of the Billboard 100 – quite fitting for Valentine’s Day.

The disco-country track has gotten people talking for a few reasons, but most notably, Cyrus invokes Bruno Mars’ classic "When I Was Your Man" in both lyrical and melodic allusions. The connection between the two songs is not one of interpolation, but rather, Miley is responding to Bruno’s hit through her own words: making "Flowers" an answer song.

This episode of Switched On Pop, we take a deeper look at "Flowers" and how it fits in the canon of response songs throughout history, from classics like "This Land is Your Land" to Nicki Minaj’s "Anaconda".

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