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Released: 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s dive into the raw and rebellious world of Miley Cyrus’s “Plastic Hearts.” At its core, the track is an introspective journey through the glam and grit of California dreaming, tangled with the complex search for genuine emotion amidst a backdrop of superficiality.

The song kicks off with a nod to the paradoxical nature of LA’s glitterati scene, described as “The sunny place for shady people.” It’s a place of neon lights and endless nights, where identities are as malleable as the plastic of Hollywood’s standards. Cyrus croons about being able to become anyone you desire in this locale, emphasizing the ease with which one can slip into a new persona.

Now, when she says “livin’ at the Château,” she’s likely referencing the infamous Chateau Marmont, a hotspot known for its celebrity lore and the wild tales that echo through its halls. It’s a symbol of her ascension to that A-list lifestyle—seductive but dangerous, given she knows she “shouldn’t drive, but I should really go home,” signaling the internal battle between the lure of the party scene and the need for self-preservation.

In a defiant declaration, Cyrus describes her encounter with a fleeting, surface-level connection: “Love you now, but not tomorrow, wrong to steal, but not to borrow.” It’s a candid confession of how transient affection can be in this star-studded world, and she’s cautious to keep people at arm’s length, fearing vulnerability.

The case of “California dreamin'” and “Plastic hearts are bleedin'” serves as the song’s thesis. Cyrus is painting a picture of an idealized life that’s hemorrhaging reality; these ‘plastic hearts’ beating with artificial love and chemically-induced highs that only leave her craving genuine emotional experiences.

The phrase “Keep me up all night” isn’t just about insomnia; it’s the endless cycle of parties, the chase for something real in conversations that feel like you’re getting sucked into a “black hole,” and a suffocating routine of watching sunrises without having truly lived. It’s the desire to “feel somethin’,” a plea for authenticity in a realm where everything is curated.

The repeating “All night long” is a trance-like mantra reflecting the relentless nature of this lifestyle—both addictive and exhausting. And as the song winds down, the repetition doesn’t resolve the tension. Instead, it leaves us hanging in the same limbo Cyrus finds herself in—a loop of searching for something substantial in a world that often values the gleam of the surface over the depth beneath.

In “Plastic Hearts,” Miley Cyrus expertly twines her own experiences with the universal quest for meaning in the modern age. Underneath the catchy pop-rock tune, the song is an anthem for those who chase the glow of the limelight but are left yearning for the warmth of something less brilliant, perhaps, but more real.