I hope you’re sitting comfortably and that you brought a snack because I’m about to unleash the definitive Miley/Flaming Lips/VMA/ new album analysis. This is not a piece just anyone could write, this is an op-ed so daring it could only be written by someone whose first instinct upon hearing that Miley released a new record for free was to put on my Happy Hippie hoodie, crawl under my desk, and listen to it through a rotary phone handset while pretending to be Andy Warhol.
Because to me, if the songs don’t sound compelling on shitty speakers, they probably aren’t good songs. And I’m happy to report the first listen was A++, FOR ME (get Miley And Her Dead Petz here). You may not like this record, and that’s ok. The Flaming Lips are my favorite band of all time besides Pink Floyd, which is conflicting because their lead singer, who’s one of my personal heroes, doesn’t have a very good voice. Miley Cyrus does, and she’s a wizard (see my Miley And Wayne Are Trying To Tell Us The Modern Condition Is Cracking Into Something Beautiful story), so her making a record with The Flaming Lips is my wet dream come true. 2007 Molly would have never believed this could happen.
2007 Molly had a fair amount in common with 2012-13 Miley Cyrus. Also at the age of 22, I cut off all my hair, bleached it blonde, went thru a dramatic breakup and discovered The Flaming Lips, weed and corn on the cob not just as things I liked, but as a way of life. Wayne Coyne has given me heartfelt life advice on more than one occasion, every time we’ve talked he’s been eager to have his mind blown so it’s open season for someone like me. When she brought him out onstage in LA at her Bangerz Tour show last year I felt like the Universe was looking right at me.
Now it’s 2015, the VMA’s have come and gone, ‘Miley And Her Dead Petz’ is on it’s third play all the way through, and this morning, I legitimately put crispy bacon back at a breakfast buffet because I was overcome with love and guilt thinking of Miley’s pet pig. As of April, I volunteer every week at My Friend’s Place, the youth homeless shelter in Hollywood she raised money for at the VMA’s last year when she brought one of their clients Jesse Helt onstage to accept her award for Video Of The Year. When I applied at MFP, they asked how I’d heard of them and why I wanted to volunteer there. My response was, “Cause Miley said.” I was shocked to learn I’m the only volunteer applicant to show up at her direction.
“You know Molly, I’m hearing a lot about you in this article and that’s not what I signed up for.” You’re right, I just want to make the point that Miley Cyrus in her own small way has changed my life. Her contributions to my psyche via the pop culture machine have made me a happier/healthier person and I think that’s a really big deal. At this time 2 years ago I wasn’t sure about her “transformation”, but I had to see Bangerz Tour just to make sure I was right about her being wrong. That tour defined her cultural significance in my mind by asking who’s “allowed” to sing about fucking and weed? Not white girls who were kiddie stars a few years ago. By acting like a stereotypical male rapper and female model in the same performance, she is spitting the hypocrisy of pop culture back at us.
Her Jimmy Kimmel appearance, easily the best thing on the Internet from last week in case you missed it, made a point: male and female nipples are unequal in the eyes of the law/society and it’s unfair. Even her relentless harping on weed smoking at the VMA’s/on Instagram/all the time is normalizing marijuana use to many parts of America and the world. In 2013 when I bought iFoundMolly.com and dedicated my life to becoming a professional weirdo, even before I was sure that Miley was positive programming, I had to give her props because she prepped the butthole of pop culture for everything I wanted to do creatively. She introduced the mainstream to ‘Molly’ in her single ‘We Can’t Stop’.
Kanye West thinks he’s a martyr for artists to be able to say how they feel, if that’s true then Miley is definitely a way less annoying version of this archetype. Anything any of us do on the sex/drugs/party front is inherently less shocking because Miley has already shocked everyone into at least having discussions about traditionally taboo subjects. This album is the record she wanted to make because she wanted to make a Flaming Lips record. She turned the VMA’s into a giant commercial for everything she’s about: music, female empowerment, weed, unconditional love, eliminating shame from the human condition, sexual fluidity, art, and Jeremy Scott. She’s providing disruptive positive programming at the mass level by being herself, relentlessly, at all times, and by doing so is encouraging us to to the same.
I’ll leave you with my favorite lyrics from the record in no particular order:
The only laws I obey, the ones I’m makin’ for myself, So why you make me play on the road to something else? Self control is not something I’m working on
I forgive you, I ain’t ’bout that shit, so I forgive you, Too late to switch, so I forgive you, It ain’t ’bout that bitch, so I forgive you, But I forget you
I’m on a trip, no luggage, no ticket, I’m looking in the mirror and I’m the only thing missing, I been tryna find myself, I feel so long distance, Made a promise to myself, I wouldn’t just be a statistic, No, no, I’m the one of the one on one’s, Twenty some but my soul a hundred some
The game of life is changing, Man is about to awake, Electric sun beams dancing in a liquid in my skull
Fuck me so you’ll stop baby talking
Seems like everyone I know is getting married, Everyone else getting buried, Life should come with a sign saying, “Results may vary”, Straight up
watching my friends eat my friends, ruined my appetite (PS. I’ve not yet made it through ‘Pablo the Blowfish’ without crying)
There might be a day, When everything goes away, To remind us how ungrateful our culture is, We need to take time, To replace what’s stolen from mother nature
why are bitches bored? And why them motherfuckers, Putting bullets in their mouths, Violence is king, But peace is the way, Someday we’re gonna see it
And I’ve heard we never truly see ourselves, You gotta leave it up to someone else, To know how beautiful you really are, baby, We never get to see ourselves, Sleeping peacefully next to the ones that we love, We never see us cry, when someone dies, see us cryin’, Someone new was born, baby
I’ve been alive, But I’ve been a liar, There’s some kind of love, That’s so much higher