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Miley Cyrus’ “And My Dead Petz” reviewed


If Miley Cyrus and Wayne Coyne weren’t two self-indulgent potheads with a tenth of the brains they think they have; the duo would have cut Miley’s fifth solo album And My Dead Petz, they’d have parsed it down from 23 songs to 10 songs, and had a truly good album, or even 5 songs and had the world finally wanting more not less of the woman who gives full frontal nudity a bad name.

And My Dead Petz is a low key affair, with the exception of (the excellent) “Dooo It” , there is barely a banger in sight, indeed, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a slower and less sexy song with the name “Bang My Box” ever; there is an asexuality about the album, it is like a self help book for the very rich. Written as a response to the death of her goldfish and her dog, Miley channeled her love of doggie Floyd onto floppy eared Coyne (“oooh gross” she says about a sexual relationship with Kevin: this from a woman who would fuck a vacuum cleaner if it was plugged in, and if that sounds sexist I bet I can find the exact quote if I look hard enough) for one song after another.

The true antecedent for this is the Drake mixtape, it is a pop album move disguised as an offhand one off. But it isn’t good enough. I wasn’t crazy about Bangerz but it sure grabbed the moment and ran, And My Dead Petz doesn’t even grab Flaming Lips moment and runs. And, naturally enough, it is Coyne’s fault. Another guy who just won’t shut the hell up, he goes on and on and on, on his own album and they go on and on here till they stop being funny, stop being show offs, and are simply bores.

It isn’t that And My Dead Petz runs out of steam, it remains somewhat even keeled despite a third act cratering, for song after song after song, mediocre alt-y rocky heart feltness. The problem is that we the listener run out of steam. If we listen to the third song on the album, her lovely ode to one of the pets in question, “The Floyd Song (Sunrise)”, the equally lovely 13th song, the not dissimilar “I Get So Tired”, you are so sick of the damn thing, you begin to wonder if you overestimated the “The Floyd Song (Sunrise)” in the first place.

But it isn’t just a question of tired same tempo performances of songs that might sparkle with a good shining, it is about the sort of would be talents who simply suck. It is an LA school of musical hippie meets experimental endeavors. I agree it is difficult to do this stuff but the Ariel Pink song is just a bellyflop, the Big Sean track a bore, and everywhere else it misses because Kevin Coyne… what is it with this fucking guy? He seems to sit on the album and kick the rhythm with his bigboots, destroying every single pop instinct Miley has had in her 20 years. This is her fifth album, and it is the only one that fails to connect with a large audience.

If we must live with Cyrus’ wooly headed concept that showing your tits equals artistic integrity, I guess we have to do so, but 2009’s “Party In The USA” (off Time Of Our Lives) has more integrity in any given moment than “Evil Is A Shadow” ever will. Look, music that is manufactured by people has as much soul as music that is made by people. Do you think robots designed the Chevy just because robots manufactured it? It’s like we’re arguing whether the industrial age has killed off the human race. Miley is proud that it is all made by real people, but I don’t see what it matters if the real people are making worse songs.

The album heads to the finish line with another memento mori “Pablo The Goldfish” and the piano ballad is quite moving, then it gives up the ghost and heads to the exit. Around 20% of this is really good and 20% is complete crap and 60% is whatever. It has an ebb and flow, starts off strong, slows to a halt, picks up speed and bows out. Miley needed an editor, and she needed a producer, and instead she got a flaming enabler.

Stream it here

Grade: C

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