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Miley Cyrus: Plastic Hearts

Grindr
&
Editorial team
July 15, 2024
5
min. read
Miley Cyrus: Plastic Hearts
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Miley Cyrus: Plastic Hearts

Pop, Trap, and Country Miley are long gone. Please welcome to the stage, Punk Miley.

BY: NICK LEVINE

From hyper-wholesome Hannah Montana to the sex-positive Bangerz era, Miley Cyrus has made it clear she’s a pop star who can’t be tamed or put in a box. New album Plastic Hearts sees her really lean into ‘80s-style arena rock: if you bought a pair of fingerless gloves during your emo phase, you’ll want to dig them out again. Here’s our track-by-track review.

WTF DO I KNOW

This savage opener tells us two things we really need to know about Plastic Hearts.

First: Miley is serving us '80s rock queen complete with guitar solos where necessary.

Second: this is a defiant break-up album that offers tantalizing hints about one or several of her relationships. "Wakin' up with people that we met for the first time," she sings here. "Loved it, then I hated it, and I let you go." Ouch.

PLastic Hearts

The catchy title track finds Miley confronting her demons over a bouncy new wave beat. There's a namecheck for "the Chateau" – L.A.'s Chateau Marmont, obviously – and a probable dig at the city generally, which she describes as "the sunny place for shady people." Still, this song is mostly about Miley's own mental state. 'Frightened by my own reflection, desperate for a new connection," she sings. "Pull you in, but don't you get too close." Babes, we've all been there.

Angels like you

We've known Miley can sell a ballad since "The Climb." This one's a big, swelling number on which she takes the blame for a toxic relationship. "It's not your fault I ruin everything, and it's not your fault I can't be what you need," she sings in her gutsiest voice. One to listen to in the bath with a large glass of Pinot noir.

Prisoner feat. Dua lipa

The album's evocative second single takes us right back to 1982 – Miley and Dua come off like old friends doing shots in a dive bar while complaining about their shitty relationships. To add to the '80s flavor, the melody even interpolates Olivia Newton-John's iconic club hit "Physical." It sounds slight on first listen, but “Prisoner” is a true grower.

Gimme what I want

A seriously hot stomper about craving a one-night-stand – perhaps one with a kink element. "Pleasure leads to pain / To me, they're both the same," Miley sings on the first verse. Either way, she's going to make sure she gets off. "I just need a lover, so gimme what I want or I'll give it to myself," she commands on the chorus.

Night Crawling feat. Billy idol

Look, if someone had asked you at the start of the year, "Do you want a Miley Cyrus and Billy Idol duet?," you'd have said no. But in 2020, all bets are off, and "Night Crawling" fully slaps. It sounds like the theme song to a post-Blade Runner sci-fi movie – all dry ice and attitude – and the chorus is enormous. It’s the sort of song that only Miley could pull off.  

Midnight Sky

You know this one; it's a song of the year. After five or six plays, "Midnight Sky" will make you want to listen to Stevie Nicks' "Edge of Seventeen," but Miley knows this, which is why you'll find a remix/mash-up on the album’s digital edition. As you'd expect, Miley and Stevie’s equally throaty vocals blend magically.

high

Miley explored country-pop on 2017’s Younger Now, but “High” feels properly gutsy and lovelorn where that album was a touch restrained. Lyrically, it deals with messy post-breakup feelings in an all-too-relatable way. "And I don't miss you," she sings on the chorus, "But I think of you and don't know why." Eugh. Do yourself a favor, Miley, and mute their stories.

hate me

Miley gets existential on a midtempo track which has echoes of her experimental post-Bangerz release, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. It's not as weird and wonderful as that album, but there's a definite comedown vibe here. "I wonder what would happen if I die, I hope all of my friends get drunk and high," she ponders with more than a hint of melancholy.

Bad karma feat. Joan jett

Miley and the legendary Joan Jett go way back. When she inducted her into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, Miley described the Runaways star as "superwoman" and began her speech by recalling "the first time I wanted to have sex with Joan Jett." Thankfully, this slinky collab captures the two women's chemistry. When Miley sings, "I've always picked a giver 'cause I've always been the taker," it's up to us to interpret the line however sub – sorry, suggestively – we like.

never be me

Miley moves into '80s movie ballad territory with this wistful and candid slowie. "But if you're looking for stable, that'll never be me," she sings. "If you're looking for faithful, that'll never be me." Future partners can't say they haven't been warned.

Golden g string

An unusual title for an unusual song. The reflective album closer sees Miley ruminate on her own notoriety – "at least it gives the paper somethin' they can write about" – and the cruel brutality of the Trump era. "You dare to call me crazy, have you looked around this place?" she sings on the chorus. Frankly, it's quite a lot of ground to cover on one song, but Miley's unselfconscious sincerity helps her pull it off.

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