It’s often said that you cannot be surprised with what Miley Cyrus does next. However, I fail to coincide with that argument. I think that there is nothing she can do that wouldn’t leave us all in outright shock. Though this has left many to leave her fanbase, it has also resulted in even more to join it. With the release of her surprise album, Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 30, you can say that Cyrus pulled a Beyoncé. However, she also added her own little twist, making the music free for the public to hear.
At 23 tracks and 92 minutes of music, this album is unlike any other, and longer than any other! However, I think that the one aspect of Cyrus that many fear from is her ability to take great risks with such ease. Beginning the album with “Dooo It!,” Cyrus elicits lyrical rawness that further exhibits the amount of creative independence she has embraced throughout the rest of the album.
The second track, “Karen Don’t Be Sad,” takes a completely different turn, being it more of a reflective ballad. “Gotta hold on to your soul / Cause they’ll crush it if they can,” and “…you can make them powerless / Don’t let them make the rules,” are a few lyrics that lay out the song as more of a guiding piece. Although the words can easily relate to a multitude of situations, Cyrus uses it to exemplify the societal damage celebrities are forced to withstand by being placed in the spotlight. The third track on the album carries a similar melodic vibe to the previous. Touching on a soft spot for Cyrus, “The Floyd Song (Sunrise)” is known to be a tribute to her dog, Floyd, whose death left her in great distress mid-2014.
The album continues with songs such as “BB Talk” which is charged with vulnerable voiceovers, tracks that don’t even meet the minute mark including, “I’m so Drunk,” and tracks that are nearing the six-minute mark, such as “Tiger Dreams,” featuring Ariel Pink. Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz is an album that is all over the place, but that is what differentiates it from anything Cyrus or any other artist has ever done. By releasing this album outside of her label, Miley was able to create something that not many, if any, women in the music industry have gotten a chance to do – whatever they want without any boundaries. The result? A raw, open, honest, vulnerable, and unedited version of Miley – a side of her, as well as a version of music that the public eye doesn’t get much of a chance to see or hear.
With that, Cyrus has taken over as she not only bends, but lives to break the unwritten rules of pop music. Perhaps a bit provocative and not exactly ‘parent-friendly,’ but she is a woman that celebrates herself for who she is, declining to change at the will of others. Cyrus has created a new version of freedom, refusing to confine herself to live by social norms. Carrying herself with confidence and pride, living sans-judgment while using her power to give to others – all of which is best displayed through her new album – Cyrus has become an iconic figure. Being the risk-taker that she is, only the future will tell what her next move will be, and knowing Miley, it’ll definitely be big.
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Photograph courtesy of Mileycyrus.com