Miley Cyrus: Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz (Smiley Miley Inc) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus and her Dead Petz

Smiley Miley Inc

Oct 05, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

There is unlimited supply, on the Internet and in "real life," of opinions about Miley Cyrus, but nobody can deny that she is interesting. The young, innocent girl behind Hannah Montanaa property often synonymous with Disney's clean, family-friendly imagegradually evolves into a typical child-star trainwreck, exploring drugs and sexuality, and then into something else entirely: a relentlessly real, authentic, down-for-anything crazy person. That's not a dig; Cyrus herself would probably proudly accept such a description. And Her Dead Petz is a culmination of the last few years of Cyrus' self-exploration, and it contains about as many uses of the word "fuckin'" as it does references to smoking weed; that is to say, hundreds (or so it seems). It's Miley at her most vulnerable, defiant, and unashamed. The album makes her more interesting, or at least more understandable; unfortunately, she doesn't make the music interesting at all.

This may be more of a problem for The Flaming Lips' career than Cyrus'. After all, Dead Petz is an album-length collaboration with Wayne Coyne and his cohorts, and their influence looms large over most of the 23 tracks. Coyne and Cyrus seem made for one another, but for their partnership to flourish and continue, they'll have to start breaking new ground, as the tracks here sound like half-assed appropriations of previously-trodden Lips ground. There's Yoshimi-esque balladry ("Karen Don't Be Sad," "The Floyd Song (Sunrise)"), The Soft Bulletin drum-machine-and-synth atmosphere ("Milky Milky Milk"), and Embryonic weirdness ("Dooo It!"). Cyrus' vocals sound bland and unambitious, content to float over the Lips-lite arrangements, making impact only through their drug references and strange sensual imagery.

"Dooo It!" starts the album, and it is strange and grating, yet admirable for its brazenness. The sense of sonic adventure ends there, though, and it's not quite enough to justify the lyrics' confrontational defensiveness. Sure, there's plenty of weirdnesssee "Fuckin' Fucked Up," "I'm So Drunk"but none of it seems essential or purposeful in any way. Musically speaking, the only person who manages to impress is Cyrus' hip-hop producer of choice, Mike WiLL Made It, whose handful of songs in the middle chunk of the album are the real thing propelling it forward. Though she wants to be part of The Flaming Lips' established psych-rock crowd, Cyrus is naturally more comfortable over a mainstream pop sound.

Dead Petz isn't inherently ugly; in fact, there are many gorgeous moments. These moments tend to not go anywhere, though, and they are surrounded by mostly superfluous and even boring songs. The problem isn't that the weirdness and the drugs and the moodiness isn't sincere. It's just that Miley Cyrus is a pusher of boundaries, a wild child looking to shake up the status quo. Dead Petz is just more mannered than it tries to appear on the surface, too long, and doesn't end up shaking up much of anything, let alone the artistic ambitions of Cyrus or The Flaming Lips. (

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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