“Plastic Hearts” is the second and title track of Miley Cyrus’s 2020 album ‘Plastic Hearts.’ The song is an ode to what Miley has been feeling of late–numb inside, a heart made of plastic.
‘Plastic Hearts‘ is Miley Cyrus’s seventh studio album after scrapping off her ‘She Is Miley Cyrus’ album. The first single off the album was released in August titled “Midnight Sky.” The album released on November 27, 2020.
The song pays respects to and revolves around a similar theme of the song “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas & The Papas from 1965.
Listen to “Plastic Hearts” by Miley Cyrus
“Plastic Hearts” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
The state of California is thematically bound throughout the song–both poetically and metaphorically. The sunny place could also be a reference to the state of California which is unofficially nicknamed the Sunny State. Miley Cyrus also mentions the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles Califonia, famous for its exclusive parties filled with celebrities and infused with drugs and sex. Miley Cyrus is no stranger to these parties, so much so that she thinks to herself that it’s time to go home. These exclusive parties are an escape from reality, which is the overall theme of the song.
The reality of these parties or lifestyle is that there are no guard rails to keep you in track. It is freefall for everyone, to be who they want, and to do what they want. It’s a world filled with ‘nobodys’ and sometimes being a ‘nobody’ is the ultimate freedom for a celebrity.
In these lyrics, Miley Cyrus seems to narrate the reality of her lifestyle. It is a cold world without the warmth of a partner by your side. But there always will be a ‘nobody’ in your bed every time you wish for it; “Love you now, but not tomorrow.”
The phrase ‘California dreaming’ is associated with a fairytale-like mentality where one presumes life to be easy on a rosy bed. However, it is merely a dreamy state, one far from reality. It is a mental escape.
In the hook of the song, Miley Cyrus admits that she has been in a state of California dreaming for the longest time. She could be referencing her marriage to Liam Hemsworth which ended in divorce early this year. The dream she thought was her reality burst into flames as the marriage ended.
Another manifestation of Miley’s reality is how her plastic heart bleeds over her lost relationships over the years. She would love to feel at least the pain of moving on from a relationship–to feel something. But a plastic heart does not beat and neither does it bleed.
Several years at the top of the music industry, at the height of fame and fortune is bound to make anyone numb. This is when people/artists start chasing progressively damaging external stimulants. And this is a path leading to dangerous destinations. Miley Cyrus screams that she wants to feel something again.
In the second verse of “Plastic Hearts,” Miley Cyrus sings how the ‘California dream’ is being sold to all those who crave it. However, just as much a dream is something personal and generated within one, the true salvation of one’s soul is within themselves. “Sell you something that you already own” could be a reference to this idea. Each individual is responsible for making their own reality–be it the Californian version or the real version of it.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.