I have to hand it to dear Miley Cyrus – she spent years working on Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz only to finally release it for free on her own label. Produced in collaboration with Mike Coyne of the psychedelic band The Flaming Lips along with the usual suspect Mike Will Made It, this one is one hot mess of an album that sees Ms Cyrus ditching the R&B and urban vibes of Bangerz for a more kitchen-sink kind of pop sound.
It is obviously a self-indulgent vanity album, but there is some beautiful method behind the craziness here. The faster tracks are basically a hedonistic orgy of pot (Dooo It!) and sex (Bang Me Box), but they are all catchy as hell. Bang Me Box is sexy and infectious – a bit like herpes, only far more fun – while the raunchy yet absurd Something about Space Dude is just too adorable. Likewise, Milky Milky Milk is crazy stupid, but the chorus is perfect for rude drunken singalongs.
If Ms Cyrus constantly acts like she’s the first person in the world to discover pot, and the second person to discover sex (the first person to do so is, of course, Janet Jackson), she wants all haters to know that she’s in a Zen place now, so all those haters can go die. She says so in I Forgive Yiew:
How dare you bring another chick in our bed
You’re lucky I’m doing my yoga or you might be dead
But it’s not all about peering at the world through a pothead’s eyes. There are some gorgeous ballads here, like the haunting Karen Don’t Be Sad and Tiger Dreams (which also features Ariel Pink – how does she know these people, through her dealer?). But the biggest surprise has to the stunning tribute to the 1980’s power ballad – Lighter, which gets bonus love from me for sneaking in yet another reference to her favorite past time while making my eyes mist with other lovely declarations of romance:
And you roll another one
You wanna get higher, and
When I need the fire
You’re always my lighter
Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz is a rough album, with this little darling doing her best impersonation of that crazy chick who has been given free rein to play in her rock star boyfriend’s bedroom studio. And yet, the end result is still very much a ball of fun. From rude songs about her naughty bits to romantic paeans to soul mates who always “got” her, this one is a lovely kind of gem in the rough.