Rachel Abreu, our Music editor, weighs in on Miley Cyrus’ newest release. 


 

In case you missed it: Miley Cyrus released a new (free) album, containing 23 psychedelic tracks co-produced by the band the Flaming Lips and featuring the likes of Big Sean and Sarah Barthel from Phantogram. The album –intended to be entirely experimental and reeking of psychedelic rock and space pop influence– is 92 minutes and six seconds of odes to petz long gone and what one can only assume are figments of Miley’s weed-induced bouts of “inspiration”. I did try my hardest to be objective in this review, but to be perfectly honest, the only word I can think of to describe this album is agonizing.

Do not get me wrong, there are definitely some (albeit very few) artistic and experimental elements apparent in the album, with the layers of synth apparent in almost all the tracks, slow rolling beats and the perpetual wail in Miley’s voice, no matter how hushed. It is admirable to see Miley go in a different direction with her music and push the boundaries of her pop-star influence, but looking at Dead Petz as a cohesive work, the sheer amount of tracks on the album do nothing but lull the listener to sleep. With some editing (do we really need four different tracks about dead pets?), perhaps Miley’s album would be a little more palatable.

 

 

Excuse me for jumping on the bandwagon here, but I must agree with other reviewers in that perhaps this trippy, psychedelic nightmare of an album would better appeal to listeners in the same state as Miley when she recorded the album (read: under the influence of marijuana), but I think even then, listeners deserve better themes than Miley’s dead blowfish, or worse, a slab of butter. Because, on the topic of slabs of butter, Miley just did not give her collaborators enough to work with! My heart goes out to Sarah Barthel from Phantogram, because her sound is, in my opinion, exactly what Miley was trying to achieve in this album. Sarah could have taken it far, yet somehow she was dealt the “slab of butter” card, and had to spend 5 minutes singing about exactly that. The irony is, however, that this was perhaps the only track I found remotely enjoyable on the album.

In a nutshell, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz is an entirely self-indulgent album, with the word weed mentioned about 300 times in one sitting (the album opens with “Yeah I smoke pot”, how about that?), Miley legitimately crying at the end of a track about her dead fish, and a copious amount of filler tracks. Had Miley narrowed down her song choices to seven or eight tracks, the recurring musical motifs, the evocative layers of synth in the background, and Miley’s undeniable vocal prowess would have given the album the chance of being a true success. But alas, it is way too long and renders on foolishness – thank God it is free.

Overall rating: 1.5/5

 

Rachel Abreu