Miley Cyrus has taken no prisoners this summer 2019. She split from her partner of 10 years only to unapologetically rebound right after, and now seems to be living her best life. But Cyrus’ love life has always been interesting — and fans can almost always expect her to speak about it authentically in her music. That’s why Miley Cyrus’ song lyrics about love are so heart-wrenching, and her new music is no exception.
Sure, there are songs where Cyrus is hardened and cynical about love. She literally sings "I got two letters for you / One of them’s ‘F’ and the other one’s ‘U." There are others like "Do My Thang," where all she cares about are grown-up shenanigans: "We don’t give a f*ck / Only thing we think about is turnin’ up, turnin’ up." But there are also songs where she focuses on self-love and self-reliance, like "On My Own," where she sings, "Don’t be afraid of alone / You’ll get it done on your own."
But Cyrus has never shied away from getting real AF about breakups and heartbreak. Here are five solid bops from Ms. Miley that showcase her raw vulnerability — something every fan appreciates about her and her talent.
1. "The Most"
This gentle, hand-clapping track is from Cyrus’ SHE IS COMING EP, aka, the project that rocked our worlds with "Mother’s Daughter" this summer. The song is a confession from Cyrus: From time to time, she acts up and receives unconditional love that she doesn’t feel like she deserves. Cyrus sings:
There’s a raw vulnerability in this song that listeners can probably relate to, since this is a feeling that, safe to say, everyone’s experienced at one point or another.
2. "Slide Away"
Debuted during Cyrus’ 2019 VMAs performance, "Slide Away" is the first single from Cyrus’ upcoming album, SHE IS HERE. The song was produced by long-time Cyrus collaborator, Mike WiLL Made-It. But unlike "23" (remember "J’s on my feet?") and "Party Up the Street," this song is more melancholy. The opening lines are sobering:
Is "Slide Away" about Liam Hemsworth? There’s no concrete telling, but anyone who can put two and two together will know that this song was released just after the ex-couple announced their split. There are also a bunch of little details in the song, like mentions of being 17 years old. In the "Slide Away" video, there’s a Ten of Hearts playing card at the bottom of a pool, probably signifying the 10 years the two were together. There are also depictions of heavy partying, which is one of the reported reasons Cyrus and Hemsworth went their separate ways. Safe to say it’s one of Cyrus’ most heart-wrenching song yet.
3. "She’s Not Him"
Cyrus has had some missteps when it comes to social justice issues, but the way that she shows up for the LGBTQ+ community is not one of them. She’s proudly embraced the pansexual label and founded the Happy Hippie Foundation to champion homeless and LGBTQ+ youth.
Likewise, during the Younger Now release party, Cyrus explained she released "She’s Not Him" to "normalize bisexuality, saying, “I don’t think there’s any songs, any films, any music — anything — that makes bisexuality feel normal for us.” The pronouns in the title alone hold an inherent queerness. (Fans think it’s about reported ex-girlfriend Stella Maxwell). The slow piano, tambourine shakes, and lyrics remind us that regardless of who we love, the sting of a breakup and rebound are so real:
As Halsey aptly pointed out after Cyrus’ kiss with Kaitlynn Carter, bi and pan people are always bi and pan — regardless of their partner’s gender. Considering the timing of Miley’s new reported relationship, it’s only fair to mention that "She’s Not Him" is one of her best, most on-point songs about love, and probably one of the ones that best mirrors her real-life experiences.
"Malibu," another song about Hemsworth, is vastly different from "Slide Away." Cyrus sings of happier times, when she and Hemsworth re-connected and started fresh after spending years apart. The clean guitar and angelic vocals are timeless, as we see in the video, it’s about love that makes you feel as light as a balloon. It’s about love that makes you feel like the rush of a waterfall, a fresh-cut flower, tousled beach waves, and running through open field.
Even though it has a nostalgic, wistful feeling now, "Malibu" has been an instant classic since it dropped.
5. "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" ft. Mark Ronson
"Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" is Cyrus’ collaboration with Mark Ronson, who also produced "The Most". The song appears on Ronson’s album, Late Night Feelings, which is exactly like what you’d expect based on the title. Just listen to it, trust.
"Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" has a disco-meets-Western vibe that’s reflected perfectly in the lyrics:
Cyrus’ lyrics present a vivid picture of drunkenly whispered sweet nothings that you have to reconcile later, in the light of day. And goodness, haven’t we all been in that situation before?
But luckily, Cyrus’ music exists with its high highs and low lows. Whether you’re feeling fierce, or simply in your feelings, you can always count on Miley.
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