Miley Cyrus Holds onto Her Pop Roots on 'Plastic Hearts'

BY Katie TymochenkoPublished Nov 27, 2020

Thanks to her incredible vocal range, fans have been challenging Miley Cyrus for years to release a full-length rock album. She recently covered bands like the Cranberries, Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam, and even dropped hints about a future Metallica covers album. When she released "Edge of Midnight (Midnight Sky Remix)" with Stevie Nicks, rumours began swirling about her seventh studio album, Plastic Hearts, being the rock record fans had been waiting for.

Here, Cyrus is more open and honest about her personal life than ever before. Tracks like "Hate Me" and "Never Be Me" are both lyrically witty and aggressive, as she dives into her previous relationships while unapologetically stressing the need to move on. Her confidence here is a highlight, but sometimes is overshadowed by large-scale dance numbers like "Prisoner" (featuring Dua Lipa) and "Gimme What I Want." Longtime fans might appreciate these contributions, but, for most people, there's nothing here that's not already overplayed on the radio.

The album peaks when Cyrus finally delivers retro rock-inspired collaborations with both Billy Idol and Joan Jett. These two champions of 1980s rock bring some grit to the album, taking Cyrus into the heavier direction she's been teasing for years.

No one loves rock'n'roll more than Joan Jett, and she lends her presence to the new wave-inspired "Bad Karma." The song has flashy background vocals, weird harmonies, and is nothing like Cyrus has ever done before. It's unorthodox for both Cyrus and Jett, but still brings you back to the golden age of the '80s.

On "Night Crawling," Cyrus and Billy Idol share vocal duties and complement each other perfectly. They inject moodiness into the song's explosive chorus and give the mighty synthesizer its chance to shine. The track is intoxicating and ought to please both club-goers and rock fans alike.

The album's contributor list shows that the rock community is ready and willing to open their arms to Miley Cyrus, but her time for rock'n'roll isn't quite here yet. Although she's proven herself to be a musical chameleon throughout all aspects of her career, Cyrus still caters to her pop following that's been with her since day one. Plastic Hearts might be Miley Cyrus' gateway into the world of rock, but this time around she's still holding on to her pop music roots.

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