After receiving high praise for her cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and lead single “Midnight Sky,” Miley Cyrus dropped her anticipated album “Plastic Hearts” on November 27th.
This album is Cyrus at her most artistically developed self – reflecting on life and relationships, both the good and bad. Her honest lyrics, paired with glam punk rock instrumentals make this piece a relatable, fun but deeply introspective listen.
Cyrus has been an artist that has evolved drastically since her time on Disney Channel. While her Disney days were a variety of wandering albums, it felt as if there was something missing. She was still trying to find her sound. However, whatever sound that is has been found on “Plastic Hearts,” which seems to be the most cohesive and fleshed out to date of her discography.
The album has several notable features from the musicians Billy Idol, Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks. All of these talents heavily contributed to Cyrus’s newfound sound. She does a stellar job of encapsulating the melodies of these artists that came before her while still trailblazing her own distinct sound, intricately combining glam rock, punk and pop. As listeners move through the album, her tribute to late 70’s and early 80’s rock becomes clearer.
“Plastic Hearts” opens with “WTF Do I Know” which is Cyrus at her punk-iest with raspy vocals backed by a grungy, London-punk bassline. Through the song, she responds to the critics she’s faced throughout her career and the pressure to deliver apologies for breaking from the mold Disney placed her in at the beginning of her rise to stardom.
Her answer to those critics?
“Think I’m the problem?/ Honey I’m the solution.”
On one of the standout tracks, “Hate Me,” she sings “I wonder what would happen if I die/ I hope all my friends get drunk and high.”
Her take on morbidity is refreshing. That sounds strange, but I think this is a resounding thought amongst a younger generation of people who are redefining many traditional aspects of life. This track is the epitome of the glam rock that Cyrus strives for in this album.
Cyrus also showcases her vocal abilities throughout, most notably on her track “High.” This is one of the slower songs on the album which allows the listener to appreciate the full breadth of her singing capabilities.
She belts out the chorus “And I don’t miss you but I think of you and don’t know why/ I still feel high.”
Here her vulnerability is seen and is part of the reason why this album and the honesty behind it is so moving.
The final original track, “Golden G String,” is the antithesis to the punk sounds the album opens with. While still paying homage to the London music scene, this time it is more glam and new wave as Cyrus reflects on the state of the world.
“And you dare to call me crazy, have you looked around this place?” she sings.
This lyric encapsulates a lot of what we’ve seen in 2020 and the chaos that has dominated headlines.
She answers this question by saying “I should walk away/ Oh, I should walk away/ But I think I’ll stay.”
Walking away (however you want to interpret it) from the destruction and misery of the year is enticing, but this song reminds listeners that there’s more to come from life.
More misery? Probably.
But also more joy, revolution and love to give and receive.
This track is a fitting one to end the album, as it culminates in many of the themes Cyrus touched upon throughout. “Plastic Hearts” is an album full of life and all the emotions that are encompassed with it.
Notable Tracks: “Hate Me,” “High,” “Plastic Hearts,” “Angels Like You”