Miley Cyrus and her weird, fascinating, ugly album


Miley Cyrus poses in the press room at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

“Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz” is one of the few albums that looks about as ugly and strange as it sounds. While it illustrates Cyrus’ experimental aspect as a musician, her August release also highlights her tendency to take a lot of risks, which isn’t always great for the uber-progressive and eccentric former pop star.

Unlike other pop albums, which usually have a series of hit singles and a few other experimental songs, “Dead Petz” opts for more of an alternative approach. The album is a grueling 92 minutes long and not exactly something to listen to while driving to work every day. Production from psychedelic and alternative rock band The Flaming Lips on more than 10 of the album’s tracks probably had something to do with its hypnotic – but sometimes tedious – feel. Many of the songs feel spacey and drawn out far longer than they should, making the album tiring and overwhelming. 

If the album’s music was geared towards stoners – not exactly breaking news considering Cyrus’ all-too-apparent love of marijuana – it certainly went full speed ahead. Along with the length of “Dead Petz” is the general production on songs like album single “Dooo It!” where the glamorous, yet garish and oversaturated mixing comes off like a track that a rapper like Riff Raff could listen to. Billboard writer Erin Strecker described the video as “gross, intriguing, performance art-y.”

Sure sounds like it. 

In order to understand how overwhelmingly the album celebrates, or at least depicts hedonism, take a look at the track titles: “Fuckin Fucked Up,” “BB Talk,”. “Fweaky,” “Bang Me Box,” “Milky Milky Milk,” “I’m So Drunk” and “I Forgive Yiew”. Not exactly award-winning songs, are they? If this is supposed to be a deeper statement on hedonism’s prominence in our society, it’s about as subtle as a bowling ball to a pin. Or a wrecking ball.

Perhaps her album is a statement about breaking through sexual taboos of contemporary American society from a woman’s standpoint, while exposing the double standard we have towards violence and if men do them? Cyrus’ confidence in sticking with her unrepenting party-go-hard persona is somewhat admirable and understandable, given her status as a public feminist and member of the “free the nipple” movement. The album’s juxtaposition of glittery songs with its harsh sound can also be symbolic to Cyrus furthermore shedding her old status as an innocent teen star. 

Miley Cyrus went from being a public joke two years ago to being a memory of the past, but also someone that doesn’t care what people think of her and considers herself a serious artist. While listening to this album, people can appreciate that and respect her message, but sitting through an hour and a half of it is not exactly something that they will want to bear through.

Anokh Palakurthi is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at anokh.palakurthi@uconn.eduHe tweets @DC_Anokh.

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