Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz is Miley Cyrus' fifth studio album that was released independently for free streaming on Soundcloud on August 30, 2015 by Smiley Miley, Inc.
- Dooo It! 3:38
- Karen Don't Be Sad 4:52
- The Floyd Song (Sunrise) 5:16
- Something About Space Dude 3:28
- Space Bootz 4:39
- F*****g F****d Up 0:50
- BB Talk 4:32
- Fweaky 3:47
- Bang Me Box 3:41
- Milky Milky Milk 4:47
- Slab Of Butter (Scorpion) (featuring Sarah Barthel) 5:01
- I'm So Drunk 0:47
- I Forgive Yiew 3:14
- I Get So Scared 3:53
- Lighter 5:19
- Tangerine (featuring Big Sean) 5:05
- Tiger Dreams (featuring Ariel Pink) 5:52
- Evil Is But A Shadow 4:35
- Cyrus Skies 5:33
- 1 Sun 3:59
- Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz 2:09
- Pablow The Blowfish 3:30
- Twinkle Song 3:43
On October 4, 2013, after the release of "Bangerz", Miley Cyrus announced that she was working on a follow-up album. She said, "I'm already at a different time than I was when I finished [Bangerz]" and was so removed from daily life because of her career that "I need something to work for".
Cyrus befriended Wayne Coyne and his band, the Flaming Lips; they joined her for performances during her Bangerz Tour.
She recorded cover versions of The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "A Day in the Life" for the Flaming Lips' 2014 fifteenth studio album With a Little Help from My Fwends.
Fascinated by their live instrumentation and its contrast with "Bangerz"'s computerized elements, Cyrus began writing material with the Flaming Lips for her then-untitled fifth studio album in May 2014 and expected to finish it after the Bangerz Tour later that year.
Producer Mike Will Made It, who collaborated with Cyrus on Bangerz, hinted in July that they were working on a new project and said in December that they had recorded six unfinished tracks for her record.
That year, Cyrus severed creative ties with producer Dr. Luke to pursue a "different direction musically" and punk rock singer Kathleen Hanna offered to help her with a record "only [Cyrus is] daring enough to make".
During its early conceptual stages, Cyrus called the album "a little psychedelic, but still in that pop world".
Mike Will Made It described it as "like country Lana Del Rey backed by a choir, except it's Miley pouring her heart out".
The album is experimental, psychedelic, psychedelic pop & psychedelic rock with elements of alternative pop, synth-pop, art pop & space rock music
The first half of the album has "a healthy dose of the [Flaming Lips]' warm guitars and uniquely unsettling approach to melody"; in its second half, the band's "organic approach" is integrated with the "throbbing computer [pop]" of Mike Will Made It's production.
Jason Lipshutz of Billboard interpreted the album's drug and sexual references as Cyrus' way of "addressing the parents put off by her twerk-happy antics during her "Bangerz" run: You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
"Dooo It!" incorporates elements of hip hop and trap music as Cyrus sings, "Yeah, I smoke pot / yeah, I love peace / but I don't give a fuck / I ain't no hippie" in a style called reminiscent of "M.I.A.'s abrasive bravado".
"Karen Don't Be Sad" is a "hazy ballad" which has been described as a "lost track from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
"The Floyd Song (Sunrise)" was written after the April 2014 death of Cyrus' dog, Floyd, while she was on the Bangerz Tour.
The combination of "acoustic guitar, zapping electronics and warm synth pads" has been said to make Cyrus' vocals sound like she is "fronting a Flaming Lips cover band".
Like "Karen Don't Be Sad", the acoustic "Something About Space Dude" has been compared to material from The Flaming Lips' album, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
In "Space Bootz" Cyrus expresses affection for a love interest who is "emotionally unavailable" with a more "cosmic-pop" production and "interstellar whooshes and synths" than the lyrically-similar "Something About Space Dude".
"Fuckin Fucked Up" is a witch house-inspired interlude before "BB Talk".
In "BB Talk", Cyrus expresses distaste for public displays of affection from a love interest and a desire for him to "fuck [her] so [he stops] baby talking."
The "swaying, stoney, piano-based" "Fweaky" describes a sexual encounter after drinking and using drugs.
"Bang Me Box", a "raunchy electro R&B" song, expresses an explicit desire for lesbian sex.
Cyrus sings the tenth song, "Milky Milky Milk", in a "robotic" voice over a "wiggy synth" beat. It shares the lyrics "I feel like a slab of butter / that is melting in the sun / oppression melts away / now that you and me are one" with the next track, "Slab of Butter (Scorpion)", which features Sarah Barthel of Phantogram.
The "'80s robo-funk" interlude "I'm So Drunk" precedes "I Forgive Yiew", with its elements of "cartoonish funk-hop."
"I Get So Scared" is a "soulful" number about moving on from a former love interest.
"Lighter" combines a Cyndi Lauper-esque vocal with "percolating ’80s pop" experimentation.
"Tangerine" is a "spacey, acid dipped slow burner", with a verse by rapper Big Sean in the middle, followed by the chime-heavy "Tiger Dreams" with Ariel Pink as a background vocalist.
The eighteenth track, "Evil Is But a Shadow", was compared to Portishead; when heard with "Tangerine" and "Tiger Dreams", it has "druggy" and "hypnotic" elements.
In "Cyrus Skies", Cyrus sings "I’ve been alive but I’ve been a liar" in an exaggerated manner over an "opulent pop" beat which "comes off like a horror movie Lana Del Rey."
"1 Sun" has been called a "Lady Gaga-Sky Ferreira hybrid" with an "industrial-electro-tinged" production and environmentally-conscious lyrics reminiscent of "Wake Up America" from Cyrus' second studio album, "Breakout."
According to Cyrus, she "passive aggressively" included "Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz" on the album as a demonstration of artistic control and independence when her team expressed concern that the album might be "too long".
Her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, recorded her playing the Tibetan bowls; she "[wanted] people to listen all the way through just once, because it’s a nice story".
"Pablow the Blowfish" is a piano-based ballad addressing Cyrus' grief for her pet fish, with "silly" and "endearing" lyrics (including "watching my friends eat my friends ruined my appetite", referring to a sushi outing).
The album closes with "Twinkle Song", inspired by the death of her friend's cat; Cyrus' vocal begins in a "controlled country-ballad voice" which becomes "powerful yelling."
"Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz" received mixed reviews from music critics.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 60 ("mixed or average reviews") based on 21 reviews.
According to Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly, the project saw Cyrus "pulling 'a reverse Liz Phair' in that she [started] with the glossy pop stuff and [ended] up producing something as intense and naked as Exile in Guyville"; the record represented a "distillation of an artist’s soul that is both rare and wonderful".
Nick Levine of NME wrote that "1 Sun" and "I Get So Scared" were lyrically similar to Cyrus' earlier "Wake Up America" and "Adore You", which made the new album "[feel] like a wonderfully unexpected progression" instead of a "contrived bid for credibility".
Rob Sheffield called "Something About Space Dude" an album highlight in Rolling Stone, citing the line "our lips get me so wet / while I'm singing all the verses from the Tibetan Book of the Dead" from "Milky Milky Milk" as the project's best, although Cyrus attempted several "Coyne-like high notes that don't suit her lowdown voice".
In a mixed review, Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club called the 92-minute album's unrefined production a "slog to get through", although it was "commendable for its devil-may-care bravery".
According to Jason Lipshutz of Billboard, the album should be enjoyed "as the work of an artist who ... will not be bound to the post-teen pop stardom she inherited less than two years ago"; although portions were "unlistenable", the overall project was "messy, imperfect, provocative and entertaining".
In DIY, Kyle Macneill wrote that the tracks alternated between success and failure, praising Cyrus' "gigantic foam finger to industry constraints" and describing the album as "a dazzling insight into the twinkling mind of one of pop’s biggest stars".
Jim Faber of the New York Daily News wrote that Cyrus' vocals sounded like "they were recorded through a bong"; the album "could use a hefty dose of editing" and was "annoying to any listener".
According to Dan Weiss of Spin, "the total lack of unpredictability ... is what betrays Cyrus’ true lack of imagination" and he raised the possibility of an "all-time backlash" she might experience if her return to the mainstream market "doesn't woo radio".
Sasha Geffen wrote in Consequence of Sound that the album "is a huge mess, but at least it's an honest one".
Pitchfork's Meaghan Garvey criticized Cyrus for releasing "the definition of a vanity project".