Criticism | Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa as the Runaways in frustrating disco-punk single “Prisoner”

Miley Cyrus raised our expectations to indescribable levels by diving headlong into the 1980s with “Midnight Sky”, the first single from her upcoming album “Plastic Hearts”, which will be released on November 27 on all digital platforms.

Saving, like many other artists this year, the glowing and vibrant essence of the last decades of the last century, Cyrus opened the pages of a new chapter in his career, paying homage to the iconic names who have influenced his career – Joan Jett, Debbie Reynolds and many more. And, to keep us tuned in to the impending debut of her next compilation of originals, she caught up with Dua Lipa (owner of one of the most acclaimed works of 2020, ‘Future Nostalgia’) for the nu-disco- punk “Prisoner”, a relatively solid construction that frustrates us with a lifeless and predictable chorus.

Cyrus found his maturity even when he introduced us to the underrated “Bangerz”, but it wouldn’t be until a catastrophic pandemic breaks out that he would find his true and powerful voice in a time not far from us. It’s already pretty obvious that ‘Plastic Hearts’ will have various nostalgic allusions to 12 unreleased tracks – and “Prisoner” is not far from that: the song already begins with 18th century progressions that take us back to the legendary Olivia Newton – John and her practice the “Physics” anthem.

Decked out in powerful synthesizers that span nearly three minutes, Cyrus lives up to his personal lyric, not thinking twice before criticizing his own life and showing his finger to those who took him prisoner. It’s no surprise that she and Dua, in one of the best music videos of the year, play the duo The Runaways with bloody passion (literally), flirting with each other while running away from their past and moving towards the future.

However, the perfection of the verses with the synth-punk instrumental, combined with the drums and distant bass, is called into question when building a crescendo that, well, isn’t going anywhere. The forays that Cyrus lends himself to giving to the public are notable, but limiting oneself to an already featured exordium was a risky choice – and ultimately wrong, after all. Either way, “Prisoner” is far from a bad song, but a frustrating song because it doesn’t want to go any further than it could.

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