How Miley Cyrus Stole My Heart

miley-cyrus-as-vma-host-2015She smokes pot. She loves peace. But don’t call her a hippie. Collaborating with The Flaming Lips front man, Wayne Coyne, Miley Cyrus is back with a very artistic (and trippy) album that you could describe more as a labor of love than a follow up to her 2013 platinum pop album, Bangerz.

Since she surprise dropped Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz Sunday night following her hosting gig at the VMAs, I’ve found myself in this haze of Miley obsession. This album is so different, so weird, and I love it. It’s almost as if Miley melded together music from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Lady Gaga’s darker period, and pretty much all of the 70s together to create a refreshingly original take that is so quintessentially Miley.

While I missed the live performance (stupid migraines) on Sunday night, I’ve realized that Miley’s over-the-top performance of her first single off the new album, “Dooo It,” was the performance I was waiting for. It was reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s ‘Paparazzi’ performance of 2009, as like Gaga, it was a defining moment in her music career. I still get chills every time she starts bleeding.

But Miley’s music is maturing–she’s played the game better than most of them. From Disney star, to country singer, to pop superstar, the 22-year-old has finally reached the point in her career where she can work on projects that she wants to do versus what her label tells her to do (Cyrus still holds a contract with RCA and will at some point return to her pop days). With Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, you get a glimpse into Miley’s world, her interests, and her lifestyle. It’s great to see her continuing to branch her talents out into different genres.

Of the 23 songs on Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, it’s hit or miss. She has some pretty big misses that lyrically go nowhere, but in terms of music composition, the Lips really carry her. However, when Miley gets a hit on this album, you can tell. ‘Bang Me Box’ pulls you in almost immediately with its bass-heavy acoustics, while ‘1 Sun’ has a sick psychedelic beat that makes me want to get up and dance. ‘Dooo It’ was a solid first choice to release, and ‘The Floyd Song’ emanates Coyne’s influence so heavily that I actually returned to old Flaming Lips albums after blazing through Miley’s album a dozen times or so.

It wasn’t until I read The New York Times‘ article on Miley that I was fully on board with her new vibe. Her whole “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude isn’t new, but it is evolving. She’s still music’s wild child, but now with a little more direction and understanding of herself. And let’s not forget to mention her emotional ballad “Pablow the Blowfish,” the only thing that makes me feel bad for eating sushi.

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