Miley Cyrus knows a thing or two about writing pop songs with a personal twist. She’s known for penning her own tracks, so she almost always infuses a bit of her personal life into each one. On each of her albums, there’s songs about love, loss, and everything in between. The lyrics about Miley Cyrus’ exes on Plastic Hearts just might be her most personal yet.
Cyrus kicked off a new era with the release of Plastic Hearts on Friday, Nov. 27, and the 15-track album instantly stole fans’ hearts. Cyrus revealed the tracklist ahead of time, and now that fans finally got to hear songs like "Night Crawling" and "Bad Karma," they can’t get enough.
As the lead single off the album, "Midnight Sky" became an instant standout, but now there are a few other tracks grabbing major attention. For example, "Angels Like You" is an intensely personal track, as is "Hate Me." They’re so personal, in fact, that fans are already speculating who they were written about. With a number of songs on Plastic Hearts being breakup bops, fans are convinced they were written about Cyrus’ past relationships with the likes of Liam Hemsworth and Cody Simpson.
"Angels Like You" started buzz across social media when fans began replaying the intimate chorus: "I know that you’re wrong for me/ Gonna wish we never met on the day I leave." The track title might sound heavenly at first, but it’s clear after one listen Cyrus is calling herself an angel from hell who wreaks havoc on some relationship, although it’s not immediately clear which A-list relationship she’s referencing.
In a Nov. 23 interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Cyrus elaborated on the message behind "Angels Like You," stating plainly, "This song is saying, there is some remorse to it … I know that you’re wrong for me. Maybe it’s part of being someone that thrives in chaos or some sort of conflict with creativity." The friction between Cyrus and the subject of "Angels Like You" is clearly career and personality-based, with Cyrus thinking that her lover views her as "cold-blooded." It’s impossible to know which of her exes the heartbreaking track is about, but it seems like it could be about all of them at once; she views herself as the antagonist, the angel from "hell," coming to cause her own breakups. Fans think the track could be about Liam Hemsworth, but they seem divided over the issue.
The album opener "WTF Do I Know" is just as revealing, and much more clear about which relationship she’s referencing. "Put you on a pedestal, you’re cravin’ the spotlight/ Desperate for attention, nose is bloody, it’s daylight," she sings brazenly in the second verse. The lines are being deciphered on Twitter as an allusion to the role that drug abuse played in her past relationship, mentioned heavily in her 2019 track, "Slide Away." The song, released almost immediately after the announcement of her divorce from Liam Hemsworth, was actually written months before the breakup. Those lyrics mentioned the devastating effects of "whiskey and pills," and had the public speculating for weeks on end after its release as to the exigence for her and Hemsworth’s divorce. This connection has led Cyrus fans to speculate on Twitter that "WTF Do I Know" is about this same breakup, as well as some of the same issues that caused it.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking track on Plastic Hearts is also the most ambiguous; fans aren’t sure which breakup "High" is about, but it’s clear that Cyrus is still reeling from the fallout of a relationship (or several). Producer Mark Ronson told his Twitter followers that "High" had "one of the most beautiful vocals/melodies" he ever recorded, and he wasn’t wrong. The track is a soaring dedication to the missteps that caused a breakup, and the intoxicating lasting effect it’s left on her life: "And in my head, I did my very best saying goodbye, goodbye/ And I don’t miss you but I think of you and don’t know why/ I still feel high." If that’s not enough to make you tear up, there are no shortage of other tragic love stories on the album to replay until you start to sob.
One can only hope that whether it’s about Cody Simpson, Liam Hemsworth, or someone else entirely, that she’s at least starting to feel released from the emotional chains of a relationship gone wrong now that "High" is out in the world.
Cyrus fans certainly have a lot to investigate in the emotional but enigmatic lyrics in Plastic Hearts, and although it’s not always clear which ex she’s singing about, it is very apparent that Cyrus poured so much of herself into the new release.
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