A potent display of creative and personal empowerment...

Miley Cyrus packs some serious punch with her seventh studio album 'Plastic Hearts'. Cyrus rolls seamlessly into her new era of pop infused, country tinged rock, aided and abetted by the vocals of Dua Lipa, Billy Idol and Joan Jett. The latest record is an onslaught of 80s glam style power ballads interlaced with roaming sad bangers and the meandering miasma of devil may care attitude. There is a definite maturity to the record for Cyrus, setting it apart from previous work as she noticeably finds her sweet spot between genres and a distinct sense of self.

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Cyrus wastes no time coming in hard with the rebellious runaway from the aftermath of a breakup in ‘WTF Do I Know’. The pace continues on ‘Plastic Hearts’ with ripping guitar solos to challenge even the best air musicianship. As you catch your breath to the heartfelt ballad, ‘Angels Like You’, brace yourself for impact as Dua Lipa bursts on to the scene in pop anthem, ‘Prisoner’. Cyrus then segues to a subtly sinister tone with the sludgy song ‘Gimme What I Want’, setting you up for ‘Night Crawling’ with Billy Idol lurking in the shadows of the chorus and creeping in with that notorious 80s influence.

Launching towards electro pop number ‘Midnight Sky’, Miley breaks out of a post-relationship rut and comes into her own before landing in a saddening slow dance with ‘High’. Cyrus’ struggle with addiction rears its head on ‘Hate Me’, a heart-breaking account of the singer pondering the possibility of her own demise. Miley bites back with the rolling country thunder of ‘Bad Karma’ as she channels some defiant rock 'n' roll with none other than one of the genre’s leading ladies, Joan Jett. ‘Never Be Me’ is a tantalising track incorporating a play on the lyrics of Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. Cyrus delicately nods to life in the limelight and the constant criticism for her mere existence as a woman in music on ‘Golden G String’ before going out with a bang in the final three tracks (of the digital edition, at least).

The multi-faceted artist finishes with the Stevie Nicks ‘Edge Of Seventeen’ and Miley ‘Midnight Sky’ mashup, ‘Edge of Midnight’, before leaving fans with the bitingly ferocious live performances of Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’ and Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’.

Cyrus conveys a jaunting and heartening honesty throughout her lyrics as she reflects on love, guilt, addiction and the business of breaking hearts. In a year shrouded by isolation and starved of social interaction, where individuals have been forced to discover the unexpected joy of solitude, “Plastic hearts” might just be the soundtrack to through this journey as you embark on your very own Rocky-esque beast mode montage of shameless self-empowerment.

8/10

Words: Yasmin Cowan

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