When Miley Cyrus first started talking about her seventh studio album Plastic Hearts in a 2019 interview with Vanity Fair, she explained the project as “a mosaic of all the things that I’ve been before” which defines this album perfectly. Fans are already describing Plastic Hearts as her best album yet. From the popular live performances “Zombie” (The Cranberries cover) and “Heart of Glass” (Blondie cover), to hit singles “Midnight Sky” and “Prisoner,” to the features from legendaries Billy Idol, Joan Jett, and Stevie Nicks, this album has far exceeded any expectations and redefines rock with a Miley twist.
Opening track “WTF Do I Know” starts the album off with a bang laying all the cards on the table, going into details about the complications Cyrus faced during her on-again-off-again relationship with Liam Hemsworth, her co-star from the movie The Last Song, whom she divorced in 2019.
Title track “Plastic Hearts” instantly reminded me the earlier Miley days such as “East Northumberland High” and “See You Again” with an electronic-rock edge, showing she is more than capable of switching genres completely and owning it. I’ve personally found myself snapping along and bopping my head to this one.
“Angels Like You” presents the push and pull of emotions surrounding the idea of loving someone who you feel deserves better than you. Cyrus isn’t afraid to admit she’s usually the first to back away from a relationship, she doesn’t want to drag her lover down with her. This song, like “Golden G String” and “Gimme What I Want,” speaks on the brief relationship between her and Kaitlynn Carter.
“Prisoner” was the second single released a week prior to the album and features British pop-vocalist Dua Lipa. The song touches on feeling trapped in a relationship, like you can’t escape them: even when it ends they’re still on your mind.
“Night Crawling” features vocalist Billy Idol who complements the song wonderfully on this synth-rock instrumental. In an interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Cyrus talked about how she had always admired Billy’s talent and talked about the disco ball reference in the chorus:
The chorus, where it says: “Under the disco ball,” the disco ball I have is in my house in Nashville, Tennessee and me and watt (my producer) were separate for New Year’s. I was in Tennessee and he was in LA and we were FaceTiming under the disco ball saying: “We’re making the best record of all time. 2020 is our year. We’re gonna make this album.” We were so stoked and we were under the disco ball.
“Hate Me” has one of those choruses that makes you want to roll down the windows and scream the lyrics at the top of your lungs, questioning the idea of life, death, and how in her case she’s “more likely” to attract positive press when she’s dead rather than alive.
“Bad Karma” features Joan Jett, whom Miley had previously described as one of the people who instilled this carefree, “think about the consequences later” mentality she’s carried over the years. In her Apple Music Interview, she said the song was inspired by Joan’s “Cherry Bomb” and “Bad Reputation.”
“Edge of Midnight” combines “Midnight Sky” with a Stevie Nicks feature and sample of Nicks song “Edge of Seventeen” that presents a groovy, hip vibe remix that you’d hear in a club.
Plastic Hearts as a whole is a rock album full of heart, soul, and self-reflection, establishing a newfound sense of freedom and love of self while battling the multitude of emotions that come from love and loss. This is surely an album that will be on repeat for a while and is definitely, in my opinion, an ‘album of the year’ contender.