After a litany of false starts, Miley Cyrus has finally found her voice with her latest album, Plastic Hearts. It is the sonic embodiment of the Miley that was always there in spirit but never in sound. It’s a testament chaos-loving, freewheeling, untethered charm.
Plastic Hearts is, at its core, a love letter to the formative music of Miley’s life. Saturated in references to the glitz and glamour of rock’n’roll’s heyday. Whilst some may write it off as being a performative pastiche, I am of the belief that this is as earnest as it gets. A collection of sublime tracks that exude the same conviction as the dude that performs ‘Iris’ covers on a loop pedal at your local watering hole.
In celebration of Miley just being Miley, we’re breaking down each song on the album.
‘WTF Do I Know’
An unrelenting and unapologetic post-divorce “fuck you” anthem. It’s corny in a way that’s totally loveable. The perfect soundtrack to the self-destructive behaviour that follows a breakup.
As Pitchfork so succinctly points out, the albums titular track harks back to the showmanship of Fall Out Boy’s Infinity On High. It’s a slice of jaunty pop-rock heaven, complete with a gratuitous guitar solo. Despicably fun.
‘Angels Like You’
Miley Cyrus is such a bombastic personality that oft it’s easy to forget just how fucking great her voice is. This Joanne-esque ballad puts Miley’s sandpaper-dipped-in-honey rasp on the centre stage. ‘Angels Like You’ is one of the albums strongest cuts. Brimming with self-effacing, redemptive musings like It’s not your fault I ruin everything /And it’s not your fault I can’t be what you need. It’s a rare treat to see such a vulnerable side to Miley.
‘Prisoner’ feat Dua Lipa
When news broke that Miley Cyrus had teamed up with Dua Lipa the wind was well and truly knocked out of my sails. Steamy and sensual, it’s a track that oozes with ravenous female sexuality.
‘Gimme What I Want’
A throbbing, dance number that boasts one of the albums best choruses. A lusty, horny romp that sees Cyrus explore her indelible sexual personae.
‘Night Crawling’ feat Billy Idol
A dark, synthy number so deeply entrenched in the new wave glory of Eurythmics or Soft Cell. Rapturous.
By this point, we’re all well acquainted with Miley’s Stevie Nicks-indebted track that ignited the renewed love for Miley and marked the start of her transition from confused pop starlet to bonafide rock chick. ‘Midnight Sky’ is Plastic Hearts crowning glory.
Another confessional, acoustic-driven ballad. Yearning, sweet, sweet yearning — is there a more potent feeling?
In which Miley reckons with the self-hate of heartbreak. The intrusive, destructive thoughts of being unsavable, where you’re riddled with the feeling that you’ve disappointed everyone you’ve ever cared about.
‘Bad Karma’ featuring Joan Jett
Nihilism never felt so god damn good. The twitchy, sphinx-like track soars over impeccable chugging guitars courtesy of virtuoso Angel Olsen.
‘Never Be Me’
Straight outta the Phil Collins playbook. A slow-burning, intricate ballad that has me desperate to hear Miley cut her teeth on a dreampop ballad.
‘Golden G String’
It’s not easy being Miley. It’s hard to think of a pop star in recent memory that has been so microscopically scrutinised by the press. If every embarrassing phase and blunder that I’ve committed was subject to ruthless dissection at the hands of the media I would never step foot in public again. ‘Golden G String’ feels healing in a way that aligns with Miley’s romantic free-love mantra. We all focus on the winners / And get blinded by their shine / Maybe caring for each other’s just too 1969.