Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz is the sixth studio album by American singer Miley Cyrus. It was announced and released for free online streaming on August 30, 2015, by her independent "Smiley Miley" record label. Opting to produce an album less heavily reliant on computerized elements than her previous record Bangerz (2013), Cyrus began planning the project in 2013 before the latter record had been released. Work continued into 2014 and 2015, at which time Cyrus befriended and began collaborating with psychedelic rock band the Flaming Lips. In addition to the Flaming Lips, executive producer Cyrus partnered with producers including Mike Will Made It and Oren Yoel, with whom she had collaborated on Bangerz. It features guest vocals from Big Sean, who previously appeared on Bangerz, Sarah Barthel from Phantogram, and Ariel Pink. The album was bought by RCA and was added to iTunes on April 10, 2017.
Following her performance of the song "Dooo It!" at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, Cyrus announced, without prior promotion or confirmation, that Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was available for online streaming. A music video for the track was premiered alongside the parent album.
Background and production Edit
In October 2013, shortly before her fourth studio album Bangerz was released, Cyrus announced that she had begun working on her follow-up record. She felt that "I'm already at a different time than I was when I finished Bangerz, and had become so removed from daily living because of her career that "I need something to work for". Cyrus later befriended Wayne Coyne and his band the Flaming Lips; they subsequently joined Cyrus for select performances during her Bangerz Tour and recorded covers of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "A Day in the Life" by The Beatles for the Flaming Lips' fourteenth studio album With a Little Help from My Fwends (2014). Fascinated by their live instrumentation and its contrast from the computerized elements incorporated throughout Bangerz, Cyrus began co-writing material with the Flaming Lips for her then-untitled fifth studio album in May 2014. She expected to complete the record after the conclusion of the Bangerz Tour later that year. Producer Mike Will Made It, who heavily collaborated with Cyrus on Bangerz, implied that they were partnering on a new project in July. That December, he commented that they had so far collaborated on six unfinished tracks for her record. That year, Cyrus severed creative ties with producer Dr. Luke in pursuit of a "different direction musically", while punk rock singer Kathleen Hanna offered to assist her in creating a record that she suggested "only [Cyrus is] daring enough to make".
Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz is an experimental album that features styles of psychedelic pop, psychedelic rock, alternative pop, synthpop, art pop, and space rock. In the earlier stages of conception, Cyrus characterized the album as "a little psychedelic, but still in that pop world." Mike Will Made It later described it as being "like country Lana Del Rey backed by a choir, except it's Miley pouring her heart out."
At the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, Cyrus commented that Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, at the time still untitled, "might take me five years" to finalize, and elaborated that "I'll just work on it until I'm done." She additionally commented that the record is "about music [and is] not about twerking". In January 2015, however, Cyrus expressed her intentions "to get this stuff out ASAP", adding that she was working on the project nearly every day. Whereas Bangerz took "a couple million" dollars to complete, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz cost roughly $50,000; she commented that her record label RCA Records had not heard the final product until Cyrus completed it herself. The project does not count towards her multi-album recording contract with the label, although the label stated that "Miley Cyrus continues to be a groundbreaking artist. She has a strong point of view regarding her art and expressed her desire to share this body of work with her fans directly. RCA Records is pleased to support Miley's unique musical vision."
Cyrus first mentioned the possibility of releasing a free album during an interview with Marie Claire in August 2015, with her manager adding that Cyrus was "prepared to buy herself out of the label" if RCA Records did not cooperate with the plan. That month, reports surfaced that Cyrus was working on two albums simultaneously, and was leaning towards releasing her partner project with the Flaming Lips free. On the red carpet for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards on August 30, which she hosted, Cyrus commented that "it's been kind of the most magical week of my life [...] It feels like Christmas." She closed the night with a previously-unannounced performance of the track "Dooo It!" with Coyne before announcing to the audience that Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was available for free online streaming. A music video for "Dooo It!" was released alongside the parent album.
Miley on 'Saturday Night Live' in October 2015 as the host and musical guest. She performed 'Karen Don't Be Sad' and 'Twinkle Song'. On the show, she also announced that she would be embarking on a 6 date tour (which was later changed to an 8 date tour across the US. The tour was called 'Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz Tour' and was later changed to 'Milky Milky Milk Tour'. Miley began the tour in November 2015 and ended in December 2015.
Music videos for 'Lighter' and 'BB Talk' were filmed in November 2015 and released in November 2015 and December 2015.
Miley's record label 'RCA Records' officially bought the album and it was added to iTunes and Spotify on April 10, 2017. Miley is currently recording her 7th studio album which has been given the nickname 'M6' by fans. The lead single is expected to drop within the first 2 weeks of May 2017, and the album in September 2017, however this has not been officially confirmed by Miley or RCA Records.
Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz received mixed reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 60, which indicates "mixed or average reviews," based on 18 reviews. Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly was quite positive in his review, scoring the album an A– and writing "Dead Petz offers an uncensored look at Miley Cyrus’ id and it’s a distillation of an artist’s soul that is both rare and wonderful, delivered so effortlessly off-the-cuff that it may occasionally sound haphazard. But there’s always an exacting method to her freewheeling madness." Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club commented "Miley Cyrus and Flaming Lips get real on a sprawling, self-indulgent album". "The new Miley Cyrus record is a huge mess, but at least it’s an honest one" wrote Sasha Geffen of Consequence of Sound. In Rolling Stone 's review, Cyrus was described as "Pop's most fearlessly out-there star goes even further, with help from the Flaming Lips". Resuming "most of Dead Petz sounds pretty much like the Lips' latter-day output--she aims for Coyne-like high notes that don't suit her lowdown voice. But she scores wacko successes like "Milky Milky Milk," "Cyrus Skies" and "Slab of Butter (Scorpion)," along with cameos from Big Sean, Ariel Pink and producer Mike Will Made It."
Boston Globe applauded the album, commending "her latest has a surplus of them [uniformly great songs]. It suggests Cyrus, at 22, has figured out how to present her views in a way that’s still powerful but also musically interesting and cohesive." Jim Faber of the New York Daily News was mixed in his article awarding Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz 3 of 5 stars and saying "the album could use a hefty dose of editing, annoying to any listener--unless, of course, they’re too stoned to care." NME called it "a thrillingly weird surprise album" and was highly positive writing "Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz is surely the weirdest album made by a massive pop star in recent memory, but more impressively, it's also an essential listen." Pitchfork's Meaghan Garvey was negative in her review, giving the album a 3.0/10 and calling it "the definition of a vanity project".
1. Dooo It!
5. Space Boots
7. BB Talk
9. Bang Me Box
10. Milky Milky Milk
11. Slab Of Butter (Scorpion) (featuring Sarah Barthel of Phantogram)
12. I'm So Drunk
13. I Forgive Yiew
14. I Get So Scared
16. Tangerine (featuring Big Sean)
17. Tiger Dreams (featuring Ariel Pink)
18. Cyrus Skies
20. 1 Sun
23. Twinkle Song