By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated January 10, 2008 at 12:00 PM EST

I like to consider myself a more than usually open-minded music listener, but even I’ve gotta draw the line somewhere. Such as: For several years, I have observed a strict policy of willfully tuning out the recorded output of Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, and any other perky alter-egos she might have. I’m only willing to go so far in defense of prefab Disney Channel tween-pop, especially when all anyone seems to want to talk about are the various complaints and scandals involving her concert tickets. There’s just one problem: I am secretly, unbeknownst even to myself until this week, actually kind of a big Miley Cyrus fan.

Oh, what a fool I’ve been! I’ve spent the last few weeks absent-mindedly wondering who sings “See You Again,” the extremely catchy pop-rock hit I keep hearing everywhere I turn. The driving rhythm is irresistible; the twitchy melody is compulsively re-listenable; and the lyrics are, no kidding, really well crafted. Especially in the chorus: Has there been a more vivid portrait of a panicky high-school crush on the radio in the past decade?

As everyone except for yours truly probably knew already, “See You Again” is of course sung by the apple of Billy Ray’s eye herself. (Perhaps the part of the hook where she explicitly refers to herself as “Miley” should have tipped me off sooner? My perceptive sig oth noticed it instantly.) So, yes, I’m currently eating a healthy serving of crow. And starting to mull over whether I really oughta check out that double (!) album Miley/Hannah put out last year. Anyone want to join me in admitting how much you dig this song, if not the artist in question?