The LP would have slotted in around a trilogy of EPs, the first of which, She Is Coming, dropped in May 2019.
But Miley being Miley — a chameleonic mega-star who’s never made the same album twice, pinballing between pop, hip-hop, country and psychedelia — she chose to redefine her sound yet again, abandoning both her lost songs and forthcoming EPs in favor of her latest obsession: rock royalty of a bygone era.
Plastic Hearts, Cyrus’s incendiary new record, punctuates the 28-year-old singer’s greatest sonic reinvention yet — a retro-charged tribute to no-nonsense frontwomen: Debbie Harry and Heart’s Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks and Joan Jett (both of whom appear on the album). Gone is the mollifying country-pop of her last full-length, 2017’s instantly forgettable Younger Now, instead replaced by studded leather, blonde mullets and a familiar “if you don’t like it, fuck you” attitude.
Across 12 tracks, the balance feels just right for the ex-Disney star; enough gritty guitar jams to cement her new aesthetic while still delivering the mainstream polish — courtesy of pop super-producers Louis Bell and Mark Ronson among others — to sate fans who have stuck around since Hannah Montana.
The chugging opener “WTF Do I Know” is a hard-rock firecracker plucked straight off the Sunset Strip circa 1982 – a breakup tune perhaps raging over Cyrus’s very public divorce from actor Liam Hemsworth. It’s followed by a title track touting similar swagger (both co-written by prolific hitmaker Ryan Tedder) and rhythms heavily reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil.”