If her past didn’t make her enough of a contradiction, Miley Cyrus is adding new irony to the classic Flaming Lips tagline, “Finally The Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid.” And acid doesn’t seem to be the only thing making Miley trip hard on this new psychedelic romp, entitled Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, as she’s enlisted a little help from her friends, The Flaming Lips. What we’re given on her latest offering is a double album chock-full of adventurous songs.
The most obvious aspect of this record is how much intervention we see the Lips having instrumentally. Miley takes lead vocals on fourteen of the tracks, with Wayne Coyne assisting for the other nine, and while we hear Miley belting like she usually does, these instrumentals will certainly throw Bangerz die-hards for a loop. We see densely layered electronics that breathe in every direction, and while Steven Drozd’s trademark drumming stands at the front of a handful of these songs, I find the Pet Sounds-inspired instrumentals fitting comfortably on to an Animal Collective album. This is especially refreshing for a pop singer making a foray into the land of weird, and on this record, Miley is certainly queen there. Her delivery can go from a subdued, comforting tone to an outrageous freak-out, screaming about topics that range from an obsession with marijuana to a poor friend that needs your help. It’s a very odd mix of delivery styles, and they can get pretty exhausting as the record progresses through its 90-minute run time. My biggest issue with the record has to be how long-winded it is. It seems to sputter out and get very confused in certain places, and the raunchy lyrical content made me cringe a few times.
Overall, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz is an outright crazy record, and though it can be thoroughly exhausting at times, it still manages to be great fun, and proof that pop artists can experiment with sounds and make wild things.