"Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz" Exhibits A New Genre Of Musical Freedom

"Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz" Exhibits A New Genre Of Musical Freedom

Miley Cyrus has given the world a gift.

After hosting the VMAs on Aug. 30., Miley announced that a surprise album, "Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz," was available for online streaming. For free. Under her own label, Smiley Miley. CHRISTMAS!

I was a little hesitant to click the link after watching the live performance of the album's lead single “Dooo It!” at the end of the VMAs, which featured a stage full of drag queens and chants about pot. If mothers across the country wouldn’t let their Hannah Montana-loving daughters listen to "Bangerz" because of its profanity, a third world war was about to erupt over this album. I crossed my fingers for Miley and was glad I did so.

The album contains 23 tracks of raw musical expression. Unlike her 2013 "Bangerz" album, these songs are scantily edited and computerized. They carry a heavy influence from The Flaming Lips, a psychedelic rock band (and Miley’s good friends) and feature Big Sean and Mike Will Made It, who also had a hand in "Bangerz." Despite the collabs, Miley solo-wrote 10 of the tracks. I repeat: 10 of the tracks.

The album is 100 percent Miley, and it’s a beautiful thing. And yes, I am even referring to the tracks titled “F***in F***ed Up” and “I’m So Drunk.” The girl literally says whatever she wants. It’s almost like she locked herself in a recording booth for two hours and poured her heart out singing whatever lyrics came to mind. It’s organic. It’s honest. And, plot twist, you can actually HEAR that she has vocal ability.

I got the chills during “Twinkle Song,” a narrative about a bizarre dream Miley had in which she hung out with David Bowie and was chased by alien monsters. Her lower register is delicate and dreamlike, and then launches into a passionate belt as she wonders, What does it mean? Her nonsensical dream transforms into an emotional ballad that gives you the feels.

There are some tracks that confuse the hell out of me. “Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz” is two minutes of Miley crooning “ah” with some strings backing her up. I imagine it playing in the background of a slo-mo fight scene in the "Lord of the Rings" or something. “F***in F***ed Up” and “I’m So Drunk” are each less than a minute long and repeat the same five words, but I guess that’s OK because they’re interludes. We’ll let that slide, Miley.

Then, of course, there are the songs dedicated to Cyrus’ “Dead Petz.” “The Floyd Song (Sunrise)” commemorates her Alaskan Klee Kai pup that passed away in 2014 (may he rest in peace). My personal favorite is “Pablow the Blowfish,” a surprisingly heartbreaking tribute to her deceased fish friend. Over a pretty piano melody, she sings, “How can I love someone I never touched? You lived under the water, but I love you so much.” She even breaks down into sobs by the end. It sounds absurdly cheesy, I know, but the emotion is so strong that you kind of forget she’s singing about a fish.

There’s no doubt that this is exactly the sort of album Miley wanted to make. She's trying to figure out who she is as an artist, and it's bringing out her inner passions and true musical talents. Her experimentation with a new style places her interest in drugs and psychedelia front and center, and the musical honesty is refreshing.

With "Bangerz" being considered Pop/R&B, "Dead Petz" definitely ventures into a genre all its own. It's pretty clear Miley is veering off the mainstream, but that’s OK because some artists just don’t belong there anyway.

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12 Beautiful Views Of Purdue's Campus, One For Each Month

A photo story of Purdue's beautiful campus.

Because Purdue University is located in Indiana, the campus experiences many seasonal changes. One thing is for certain, no matter the month the views are always beautiful. The photos below are meant to represent each month of the year in Boilermaker territory.


Large snowflakes are peaceful when the sidewalks are not slick.


Overcast views create a moody view from the top floor of a residence hall.


The Hello Walk is a serene view at dusk.


The white flowered trees blossom to surround the Engineering Fountain.


The campus is coated in fog and mist after a humid day.


The arch casts magnificent shadows during any time of the day.


The sunset glows down University Street from the top of Grant Street parking garage.


Students or little kids can play in Loeb Fountain during a hot day.


The sun during golden hour shines brightly on the Bell Tower.


Bright lights shine down on the Ross-Ade Stadium during a football game.


Colorful trees line campus sidewalks in the fall.


The large tree and smell of the gingerbread house fill the Purdue Memorial Union during the first weeks of the month.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn Milligan

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3 Reasons 'Black Panther' Is A Black Cultural Icon

The cultural significance behind the celebration of blackness

Nobody ever denied the Marvel Cinematic Universe's influence over the masses, and one could look no further than the box office to understand that. Eighteen films in a franchise, though, and you'd be remiss if you thought superhero fatigue would've settled in by now.

Enter 2018, and this most recent "superhero flick" prioritizes political intrigue, race relations, and moral ambiguity in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther film, the highest-grossing film of 2018, seventh in the United States, and twentieth of all time.

The biggest debut by an African American director boasts a predominantly black cast, the best reviews (beating out both Nolan's The Dark Knight and Iron Man) for a superhero movie, and yet still garners the question: What makes Black Panther so engaging to audiences? First, let's start with

1. The Director

Ryan Coogler is a well-renowned film director, similar in vein to Quentin Tarantino only in the fact that both produce, comparatively to other high-demand filmmakers, very few but powerfully-influential works.

His first feature film, Fruitvale Station, gathered acclaim and the majority of audience/grand jury awards in 2013's Sundance Film Festival, a feat he built upon when co-writing and directing Creed, the seventh installment in the Rocky film franchise, and from both films a collaboration with actor Michael B/ Jordan further flourished.

The fact that Black Panther's director who, since the age of twenty-one served as a counselor for the incarcerated youth in San Francisco's Juvenile Hall, has very much so lived out the same life he so often realizes in his films, only further adds to why Marvel's latest feature film rings truer to its audiences.

Coogler is a founding member and avid supporter of Blackout For Human Rights, a campaign designed for the specific purpose of addressing racial and human rights violations in America.

Not simply a film director making a "quick buck" or even just passionate about filmmaking as an art form, Coogler has time and again used his cinematic voice to convey the thoughts and feelings of people of color across the silver screen for all to see. Secondly, we must consider

2. The Ethnocentric Emphasis

While many filmgoers are no stranger to race relations being confronted in a film, this was a case wherein a major company, Disney/Marvel, took it upon themselves to challenge the status quo for mainstream audiences.

This wasn't BET(Black Entertainment Television), a rap video, or a stand-up comedy routine, all of which are tried-and-true methods for people of color to communicate to a wider audience; this was Marvel, the biggest name in movies today, and they were making a move.

For a time, myself included, there was fear the message would become misconstrued or miss the mark entirely, what with impeding studio interference already having plagued prior Marvel movies.

Luckily, the black representation allowed for a rare opportunity for young black children to have a superhero they could not only empathize with, but physically resembled family they already idolized.

This in no way takes away from the many fan-favorite white superheroes, but does provide a comic book character for a subdivision of audiences marginalized on a national and even global scale.

Linking back to Coogler, the director set his sights on the advanced sciences, heightened technologies, and rich cultures envisioned within Wakanda's waterfalls and warring tribes, in contrast to other films centered around black pain and suffering.

The piece handles the racial identity of itself was dignity and pride, a welcome step forward in cinema that highlights the positive blackness can offer. Last, one cannot disregard the impact that came from

3. The Control of Characters

Think back to any Marvel movie, and you can name the Chosen One protagonist, Supportive Sidekick, and Snarky, Smarmy Love Interest-type caricatures with ease, but Coogler's sense of pride and admiration for blackness with a focus on the ethnocentric vision for Wakanda brings the people of his fictional place to life.

All these fully-realized characters make for an exciting, engaging film phenomenon where, as critics have pointed out, even central antagonist Killmonger (Erik Stevens, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan) is cast in a sympathetic light.

It is not hero v. villain(again), but a dueling of two ideologies colliding in a struggle that transgresses the physical combat and becomes a philosophically-intriguing debate that, by the film's conclusion, makes for two sides forever changed.

No one character is painted in a negative fashion, or without redeemable qualities, and again creates persons both for and against immigration, in favor of and against union between "people that look like us across the globe"(black) and "colonizers" (white).

Black Panther is a monumental movie with ties to other racially-motivated pieces, a la A Raisin in the Sun, that posits African-Americans in a heroic scene. It is personal favorite of mine, and hopefully, this helps you understand exactly.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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