Saturday 12 September 2015

Review of 'Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz' by Miley Cyrus

That's it. I’m throwing my Hannah Montana DVD box sets in the skip. Who does this outrageous woman think she is, poisoning the minds of children? Does she not think of the children? WILL NO-ONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

If cutting her hair and twerking wasn’t enough to rile her original fanbase, the Disney Channel sweetheart has now decided to abandon pop music entirely, teaming up with experimental rockers The Flaming Lips and hip hop producer Mike-Will-Made-it to create this left-field psychedelic album lyrically centred around sex, her love of the herb and her dead pet blowfish.

It’s taken me a while to get my head around what the hell is going on here. I can only assume that this is Miley’s way of telling the world she’s no longer a pawn to the pop industry, that she can do whatever she likes.

The album opens with the line: ‘Yeah I smoke pot/ Yeah I love peace/ But I don’t give a fuck/ I’m no hippy’. Here we learn everything - that Miley not only wants to rebel against her status as a pop star, she wants to defy all labels entirely: ‘I’m no hippy’. 

 You’ve got to give some credit to Miley for breaking free from her pop shackles and creating an album that is entirely hers. Even when told by peers that the album was too long, Miley responded by adding another track to the ninety minute leviathan entitled ‘Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz’.

That said, as much of a beautiful expression of freedom this album is, by doing away with editors Miley has now revealed her total and utter lack of song-writing ability.

The tracks on Dead Petz fall mainly into two categories: unlistenably obnoxious and unlistenably boring. The unlistenably obnoxious tracks are produced by Mike-Will-Made-It and see Miley trying overly hard to shock her listeners. The result is lots of gross sexual imagery that no-one wants to hear (‘you fingered my heart’) and lots of use of the word ‘fuck’ because Miley thinks that’s so fucking edgy. In contrast, the unlistenably boring tracks see Miley desperately pushing forward her stoner side to the accompaniment of droning Flaming Lips instrumentals. The lyrics on these tracks are largely spacey babble and are moaned out in a style similar to Lana Del Ray in order to sound druggy or alternative or something like that (I already hated Lana Del Ray. You can imagine how I feel about a cheap Lana Del Ray imitation).

Clearly, Mike-Will-Made-It and The Flaming Lips are also to blame here, as they fail to produce any kind of exciting backdrop for Miley to lay her shoddy lack of poetry over. I guess you could make an exception with ‘Slab of Butter (Scorpion)’, which does feature a pretty groovy guitar interlude that gets the shoulders moving. I also love the trippy sample in ‘Milky Milk Milk’ taken from The Flaming Lips' The Terror (although the lyrics over the top about licking milky nipples kind of ruins the mood).

Overall, there are probably only two good songs on this album lyric-wise (two out of twenty-three - not bad). The first is ‘BB Talk’ in which Miley genuinely comes across as sincere whist discussing previous relationships. The second is  ‘Pablow the Blowfish’ in which Miley genuinely comes across as funny, mourning the passing of her dead blowfish and hoping he’ll find love in the afterlife with a seahorse named Sadie (I admit, it made me chuckle). Both are surprisingly emotional and show that Miley can be endearing when she wants to be.

Sadly, these tracks can’t make up for the rest of the album, which tries so offensively hard to offend that they might as well be cherries placed decoratively on the top of a steaming turd. In fact, the album is so desperately offensive in every way possible, I fail to see any audience Miley had in mind other than herself. It’s lack of hooks and experimental instrumentation deliberately alienates pop fans, but it’s dumbed-down lyrics are just as much an insult to chin-stroking indie fans (e.g. 'Why they put the dick in the pussy?'). Maybe Miley simply gets a kick out of being the sole person who enjoys her music - in which case this is a vanity project and whilst we are left feeling empty, she is left feeling complete. Selfish bitch.