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When Miley Cyrus dropped ‘Plastic Hearts’ in late 2020, the Pop Music sphere shook in resonance. She was no longer the Disney darling nor the twerking rebel of bygone years; she had unmistakably evolved into a hard-edged, self-possessed artist. Plastic Hearts saw Cyrus not only ditch the country-tinged pop of her previous records but dive headfirst into rock’n’roll, dusted with dark synths and infused with an ’80s vibe, a sound distinct enough to make you sit up and listen.

From the rebellious tones of ‘WTF Do I Know’, to the pulsating beats in Prisoner, (a sultry collaboration with Dua Lipa), and her electric tune ‘Midnight Sky’, emerging with a Stevie Nicks remix ‘Edge of Midnight’, all the way to the live covers like ‘Heart Of Glass’ and ‘Zombie’ that underscore Cyrus’s raw, gritty register – the album is a comprehensive testament to her artistic reinvention. Iconic collaborations with Billy Idol and Joan Jett further thrust the album into the rock stratosphere, while Cyrus’s lyrics remain as intimate and introspective as ever.

So let’s get into it. From ‘WTF Do I Know’ to ‘Zombie’, here’s breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Plastic Hearts’ by ‘Miley Cyrus’.

15. WTF Do I Know

The song is a melodic rant, hurling out frustrations with blatant honesty. Cyrus fiercely questions herself and her previous decisions – specifically the one to marry and subsequently divorce – bristling with sardonic wit.

She explores the dichotomy between public perception and personal reality, and refuses to be cast in the role of someone’s hero. Symbolising liberation, she acknowledges her part in the chaos, framing herself as the solution rather than the problem. Wistful for the spotlight but cognizant of its downsides, “WTF Do I Know” represents Miley’s evolution into a mature artist, free from external validations and unabashedly addressing her own complexity.

14. Plastic Hearts

Here, Cyrus recounts, rather unglamorously, her experiences in the plasticized world of stardom – a world where everything and everyone feels ephemeral and superficial. She alludes to the dehumanizing nature of celebrity life, where people are like commodities, bought and sold, and moments of heartfelt connection are rare. Cyrus candidly expresses her longing for something real amidst a “California dreamin'” world filled with hollow interactions and faux affections. Indeed, it’s a stinging commentary, delivered with Cyrus’ trademark grit and raw honesty, on the emptiness that often hides behind the glittering façade of fame. Ultimately, “Plastic Hearts” captures the essence of a star confronting the bleaker realities of her gilded existence.

13. Angels Like You

The lyrics paint a picture of a love that’s emotionally asymmetric, where one gives more than the other can reciprocate. Her tone is one of regret, as Cyrus acknowledges her own destructive tendencies, ultimately envisioning a painful but pragmatic separation. The chorus delivers the brutally honest line, “Baby, angels like you can’t fly down hell with me,” which underscores the song’s exploration of incompatibility despite intense love. This track is classic Miley, owning up to her imperfections and showcasing her ability to engage with complex emotional landscapes. Her introspection is laced with an undercurrent of guilt and a call to her partner; she’s an angel who deserves better.

12. Prisoner (feat. Dua Lipa)

A bona fide pop anthem off Cyrus’s album “Plastic Hearts” that screams of obsession and the relentless grip of love’s labor. The desperation and frustration feel tangible, a testament to both Cyrus and Lipa’s raw, emotive delivery. They navigate a treacherous love terrain, perpetually held captive by an insatiable desire for a lover they seemingly can’t quit. The lyrics paint the portrait of an inner turmoil and a yearning for escape, the ladies are “Locked up, can’t get you off my mind,” an admission of love’s relentless hold. The motif of ‘million times’ underscores the intensity of their struggle for emancipation from this emotional confinement. Brimming with electrifying energy, it’s a captivating exploration of the bewildering labyrinth called love.

11. Gimme What I Want

Cyrus is not mincing her words here, her lyrical prowess is on full display as she struts confidently through an atmosphere of carnal desire and raw self-assuredness. The lyrics portray an unapologetic Cyrus, unafraid to articulate her physical and emotional needs with refreshing candor. The chorus emphasizes her call for a lover, one without the baggage of past or future, living purely in the moment. There’s a sense of self-reliance too, underscored by her repeated threat to ‘give it to herself’ if her needs aren’t met. Cyrus continues to play the temptress, hinting at a paradoxical world where pleasure leads to pain and where ‘insanity’ breeds similarity. It’s an empowering, unapologetically independent track that puts Cyrus’ wants and needs firmly in the driver’s seat.

10. Night Crawling (feat. Billy Idol)

Cyrus is well known for pushing boundaries, and she does exactly that here. The lyrics paint a picture of an intense inner struggle with temptation and yearning, underscored by the need for personal validation and the ever-present tug of self-doubt. It’s a nocturnal joyride, with Cyrus leading us through the city lights, running from herself and into the arms of a voracious hunger for experiences. With “Night Crawling,” Miley Cyrus and Billy Idol create an anthem that sings of the raw human experience, pulsating with the adrenaline rush of the forbidden and the untamed.

9. Midnight Sky

The lyrics exude the epiphany of self-discovery, embodied in the audacious declaration, “I was born to run, I don’t belong to anyone.” It’s a pure, unadulterated celebration of self-sufficiency, where Cyrus shift gears, leaving behind the fetters of a relationship that once bound her. There’s an electric defiance that thrums through the words, a refusal to have her fire smothered, bluntly stating, “Fire in my lungs, can’t bite the devil on my tongue, oh-no, I don’t need to be loved by you”. And despite the gawkers and naysayers who comment on her love life, Cyrus remains unapologetic, asserting her independence in the face of scrutiny. The lyrics of “Midnight Sky” echo the changing rhythms of her personal journey, striking a chord that resonates with listeners who appreciate the bliss of unburdened existence.

8. High

Here, she’s laying bare the emotional contours of a tumultuous relationship. It’s the sound of someone caught in the purgatory of heartbreak — yearning for closure yet succumbing again and again to the intoxicating memories of a love that’s long gone. Cyrus grapples with an internal tug of war, her mind vacillating between melancholic nostalgia and stoic acceptance. She admits she thinks of her past lover, not from a place of missing them, but as a strange, unbidden reflex, resulting in a high dictated more by reminiscence than yearning. “High” is Cyrus’s confessional, drenched in throbbing vulnerability and a stark ode to painfully beautiful emotional complexity.

7. Hate Me

The lyrics evoke a sense of vulnerability that is seldom seen; Cyrus contemplates the impact of her potential death on those around her — a radical expression of her feelings of rejection and isolation. With each line, she threads together a tapestry of remorse over change and lost relationships. “Hate Me” is a siren song, ringing out Cyrus’ emotional turmoil into the void, harnessing the power of her own narrative to challenge perceptions and incite empathy. Here, she stands defiant and unapologetic, turning the finger pointed at her back onto the world, proving once again that she’s a force to reckon with in the pop music sphere.

6. Bad Karma (feat. Joan Jett)

The lyrical narrative circles around Cyrus embracing her actions’ consequences and admitting her role as both the heartbreaker and the taker in relationships. The song’s lyrics paired with Cyrus and Jett’s gravelly vocals fuel the track with a raucous, raw, and ragged energy. You see, Cyrus and Jett are no angels here; they are stirring the pot, revelling in the messiness of their actions, because that’s exactly who they are. The takeaway is pretty clear: Cyrus ain’t sorry, and folks, she ain’t changing. So crack open that can of defiance, because “Bad Karma” is serving up guilt-free rebellion by the fistful.

5. Never Be Me

“Never Be Me” is an intimate confession of Miley Cyrus’ unstable nature in relationships. Cyrus uses the imagery of playing with fire to illustrate her tendency to court danger and test boundaries in her personal life. The ‘walking the line’ motif gives a nod to her Nashville roots and the outlaw archetype in country music. Balancing self-awareness with vulnerability, she lays out her shortcomings for a lover, warning them of the emotional instability that comes with her. “Never Be Me” acts as a ballad of acceptance – accepting oneself, even with all the flaws, and then communicating those to the partner. It’s brutally honest and raw, underlining Cyrus’s evolution as an artist who embraces her complex personality.

4. Golden G String

Metaphorically touching on the pressure of fame and the lavish lifestyle it brings, the lyrics express a conscious awareness of the life she’s led, thus far soaked in the glitz and glamour. A pivotal moment in the song is when Cyrus dons the “golden G string,” symbolic of her controversial transformation against societal norms in her quest for independence and control. The lyrics serve as a hard slap to the power structures that undervalue her strictly based on her gender and her decision to tread untaken paths of individuality. Despite the choices offering her a voluntary walk into a raging fire, Cyrus brings forth an anthem of defiance and resilience.

3. Edge of Midnight (Midnight Sky Remix) (feat. Stevie Nicks)

Miley’s lyrics reveal a celebration of individuality and a refusal to be tied down or owned by anyone else. The “midnight sky” serves as a metaphor for the infinite possibilities and boundless freedom Miley is embracing. Nicks’ iconic “Just like the white-winged dove” lyric from “Edge of Seventeen” is smoothly integrated, intensifying the song’s liberating aura. It’s a declaration of independence, echoing Miley’s journey to define her own story, free from the constraints of past relationships or societal expectations. With the mantra “I don’t need to be loved by you”, Miley sends a clear message of empowerment, asserting her right to self-fulfillment.

2. Heart Of Glass (Live from the iHeart Festival)

Cyrus takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions as she champions the narrative of love turning sour. The lyrics depict the disillusionment that follows an emotionally charged relationship, painting a vivid picture of love’s ephemeral nature and the disillusionment stemming from a deep-seated mistrust. The track has a rebellious streak, with Cyrus audaciously expressing the shattering of dreams through her powerful vocals. Here, you have Miley claiming her narrative, no more ‘Hannah Montana,’ but a woman who feels her emotions raw and isn’t afraid to express her vulnerability. This is grown-up Miley, navigating her way in the convoluted maze of love and life, served up with a dash of rock n’ roll quirkiness that resonates with the highs and lows of our personal quests for love.

1. Zombie (Live from the NIVA Save Our Stages Festival)

Cyrus serves up a blistering take on the Cranberries’ classic, and it’s a far cry from her Hannah Montana days. The lyrics traverse dark themes of war, violence, and the crushing inevitability of human conflict. Originally penned during the IRA bombings, the song still resonates, echoing the universal cry that inside every one of us resides the potential for both creation and destruction. Remarkably, Cyrus manages to give it her own Pièce De Résistance, screaming and whispering in all the right places, making us grieve for a world that has not moved far from 1916, the year of reference in the song.

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