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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Miley Cyrus’s “Plastic Hearts” album

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Artwork for “Plastic Hearts” by Miley Cyrus.

On Nov. 27, Miley Cyrus released her highly anticipated album, ”Plastic Hearts.” Ever since the release of her smashingly popular cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” many have been breathlessly waiting to see if Miley could pull off a full rock album. Well, did she? According to an Instagram poll of people who listened to ”Plastic Hearts,” 90 percent of listeners think that Miley is “killing it” in the rock genre, whereas only 10 percent think she should “stick with pop” music. While Cyrus is no Stevie Nicks, she does bring something invaluable to the table: a modern take. Her new music mixes heavy vocals with fast beats and percussion. Cyrus’s distinctive low and longing voice adds a familiar edge to her music. Many of the songs on the album, including “Prisoner,” “Midnight Sky,” and the title track, sound like what it feels like to runwith a rapid pace and heading to no destination. The twisted guitar and her rumbling voice fill you with a dark excitement, wondering what the night holds. It is no question that Cyrus was inspired by seventies and eighties rock, likely Stevie Nicks and Billy Idol. Hearing those iconic singers’ voices mix with Cyrus’s vocals… It is past and present mixing together wonderfully. 

Several of the ”Plastic Hearts” songs are doing very well on the charts. “Prisoner,” featuring Dua Lipa, is in Spotify’s Global and U.S. Top 50 popular songs. There are a total of fifteen tracks on the album, including five pre-released singles. There are quite a few features on this album: Stevie Nicks, Billy Idol, Dua Lipa, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

A lot of ”Plastic Hearts” seems to be about Cyrus’s moving on from a past relationship. “Midnight Sky” defines her independence, declaring that she needs no one but herself. “Prisoner” is contradictory, wherein Cyrus sings, “Prisoner, prisoner Locked up, can’t get you off my mind, off my mind Lord knows I tried a million times, million times…” However, as Walt Whitman says: “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself! I am large, I contain multitudes!” In ”Plastic Hearts,” Cyrus expresses her multitudes of emotions: her passion for her independence, her obsession and longing for an ex, and many others. In “Never Be Me,” Cyrus confesses that she cannot provide everything one might want in a relationship: “But if you’re looking for stable, that’ll never be me / If you’re looking for faithful, that’ll never be me / If you’re looking for someone to be all that you need / That’ll never be me…” It seems clear based on many of these songs that Cyrus has gone through a recent break-up. For others who have recently gone through break-ups, Cyrus’s new album may strike a chord, and perhaps help you move on. Some days you may be a little more “Prisoner” than “Midnight Sky,” but at least you have the company of the currently 14th most popular singer in the world.

“Plastic Hearts” is great car-music, running music, and shouting-and-flailing-your-limbs-about music. This album is meant to be felt, rather than simply heard. Join Cyrus as she confesses her heart out in true rock fashion. Do I have anything negative to say about this album? Only that it is no true eighties rockbut is that fair to say at all? We cannot go back in time, so why bother?