At over an-hour-and-a-half one could it more bang for your buck, were it not distributed for free on Soundcloud. Definantely following the example of the Flaming Lips (collaborating with Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd), one might expect this the first in a series of oddities, given their history of strange cover albums, USB sticks encased in gummy babies and brains (marijuana flavoured no less), and massive collaborative projects. It wouldn’t come as any surprise were we not to witness anything that even her devout fanbase might call ‘normal’ from Cyrus for a long time. Unfortunately, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz isn’t a very enjoyable place to start.
It poses an all important question though: Is she becoming the nutty Shia LaBeouf figure of the pop world? Well it is only fitting that the excruciating opener is entitled ‘Dooo It!’, a shot at trap from a few rooms down the corridor, which delivers such distorted vocals beginning upon “I smoke pot, yeah I love peace. But I don’t give a fuck, I ain’t no hippy” and closing with the age old conundrum of “why do they put the dick in the pussy? Fuck you.”. Good question. And no thank you Miley. You don’t really sound quite sober enough to make the right choices. Don’t worry. We can be sure that Wayne will guide you to the sofa.
This being the first three minutes of the album, and the lead promotional single (assuming that the mass dump of twenty-two tracks can be called a fixed tracklist), and followed by the garbled fifty-second montage of profanity ‘Fuckin Fucked Up’, whether it serves a purpose – to encapsulate those most intrigued, and to brush away anyone too unadventurous to explore what really is going on in Cyrus’ mind. It is just a pity that with tracks like ‘Fweaky’, it portrays nothing more than a contrived (and obviously misspelled) rebellion. Where once her Bangerz tour was a humorous caricature of media portrayal – a joke based around how the media seemed hell-bent on driving her into the ground – Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz removes all context, leaving behind ‘sexx’ and ‘druggz’ (a realistic guess until the album get a physical release and a sleeve) sparsely for no good reason, and when it is filled, it is often headache inducing.
Amongst this entanglement, that isn’t to say that there isn’t the odd lapse of tolerability, with emphasis on the ‘odd’ – enticing is ‘Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz’, which (perhaps true to the supplementary ‘zzz’ in the title) is one of the calmer tracks, and even amongst the oddities throughout this album, it is bold with strings and use of the titular Tibetan bowls. On top of this, Cyrus’ lyrics finally no longer extend beyond “aaaah”, and take a nice break from the “it was like we were fucking homies and shit and then all of a sudden you started with some fucking baby goo-goo tongue down my fucking throat” and lyrics about emojis during ‘BB Talk’. The former is the kind of ‘experimental’ that one might have hoped for had Cyrus announced beforehand that experimental content was on its way – cool, calm and light interludes sandwiched between heartstring tugging ambient ballads.
Yet the closest this album delivers is the sole ode to the ‘dead pet’ – ‘Pablow the Blowfish’. It is a tear-inducing scenario, quite literally. Lamenting the reminder of poor Pablow with every visit to the sushi bar, it is a strange enough that the emotion begins ambiguous, at least until Cyrus begins to weep, and her vocals succumb to her sniffles and a punch to the piano keys, giving up on finishing. It’s just a pity (not to bestow misery upon her) that it is shaken off instantly in favour of a giggle and a “dayum”. By this point, one can’t help but wonder, as teased by the horrors of its opener – are listeners meant to be confused? Dead Petz closes on ‘Twinkle Song’, admitting that “I had a dream that David Bowie taught me to skateboard, but he was shaped like Gumby… I had a dream I didn’t give a fuck, but I give a fuck.” Was this the awakening from a ninety-minute dream sequence – an uncensored venture through that gloriously mischievous mind of hers? Perhaps this attempts to justify every oddity from throughout Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, but with purpose doesn’t come listenability.
As fun as it might have been to meet David Bowie, you might not fancy having the same stream of thought of Miley Cyrus if subjected to this garbled scramble on a nightly basis.