Miley Cyrus - Plastic Hearts: Review
After the release of the tumultuous EP She Is Coming led a unique journey for Miley Cyrus and the next type of sounds she wanted to experiment/work with. This electro-pop rock hybrid has so many outlandish tracks with enough confidence to get by. But when she decided to flip the script and deliver something completely different, the low expectations I had walking in, left me with a huge surprise of lush pop - rock tracks to indulge in. Miley may not always deliver wit and conscientious lyrics, but there is an equal balance that makes Plastic Hearts, the newest release from the singer-songwriter, a standout in her discography.
Miley Cyrus has a lot of strengths that audibly appear with vigor on the album, and her weaknesses don't always hinder the fluctuations from start to finish. Plastic Hearts heavy rock influence is abundant throughout and Miley finds ways to make it mesh with her ranging vocals. Unfortunately most of the pop-disco rock like tracks never elevate to a level that they become memorable. “Angels Like Me,” is an emotionally driven ballad that comes off hollow and boring, like “Hate Me,” and “Prisoners.” The last of which features audacious and solid guest vocals from Dua Lipa, but like “Angels Like Me,” there isn’t much there to enjoy.
The, at times, typical and simple lyricism fits with the instrumental through her rhythm, like the “WTF Do I Know,” an anthem of empowerment that fits this universal picture of the current generation’s lack of direction because there is so much to learn. She is trying to evoke a lot of these senses of remorseless solidarity. But forget that to admire the guitar rifts in “WTF Do I Know,” which is extremely hypnotic. Those E strings, I tell ya.
However, when Louis Bell and Andrew Watts, the main producers on Plastic Hearts, work around the rock centric instrumentation, it becomes the bait and hook. Miley Cyrus doesn’t come with the driving force in her writing that she has shown flashes of in past albums, but they don’t tread into mediocrity and fits the dynamic of the rock instrumentals.
But as it is with most of Plastic Hearts, the production is what reels you back in. Standout single “Midnight Sky,” embolds that notion. It is when Louis Bell and Andrew Watts tread past simple pop ballads, they create this atmospheric and elegant disco pop track that brings, along with her fierceness, the glam appeal from an 80s Prince delivered to you in an arena. This type of glam-esque arena rock has a smoother delivery in the aforementioned “Night Crawling.” which takes all the finite details of the kind of rock that made Billy Idol famous. The dance-punk rock track about facing your demons, but eventually ending up dancing under the disco ball has that right vibe for the people who just always need new Billy Idol… guilty.
The lasting impact of that track is more than the other that features a rock legend in Joan Jett, sort of leaving a comfort zone for a proto-country-like hard rock tune that isn’t all there. She barely has much of a presence except for overlapping duetting at times that works, but it leaves you wanting more. Though it was a joy to hear Joan Jett, again, it isn't the worst track or the best, but it definitely has merit, especially in the writing.
Though Plastic Hearts doesn't completely stand tall with the amazing Bangerz, it is a new starring turn for Miley Cyrus. She may have had her hiccups here and there, but the album is full of fun jolting surprises and hard rock tunes that have lasting effects for any music fan.