Miley Cyrus’ rocked up take on “Heart of Glass” has a spirit all its own
In popular culture, Miley Cyrus is often associated with her starring role in Disney’s Hannah Montana or her Wrecking Ball era and performance at the 2013 MTV VMA’s. While these were definitely notable moments in her career, this shaping of her public image has overshadowed the talent, charisma, and soul that she possesses in her music. In addition to a variety of sounds under her own work, Miley Cyrus’ covers continually showcase these talents, and her recent cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” performed live at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, is the latest example.
Cyrus boasts an incredible catalog of covers, including her 2012 cover of her godmother Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” a display of her country-twang-meets-raspy belted vocals, and a moving 2013 cover of Nina Simone’s “Lilac Wine”. She covered Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left To Cry,” where Cyrus’ vocals are so clearly pronounced over a slower arrangement, and previously teamed up with the fellow chart-topping pop singer to duet on Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
A deeper search for her covers on YouTube will open an inventory of highly viewed Cyrus refashioned tracks. Likewise, quickly after its release, “Heart of Glass” saw popularity across multiple platforms, going viral on Twitter with over six million views. On TikTok, the song has been used as a sound in thousands of videos, and was the inspiration behind a meme, with the joke being a person asked what they are thinking about, and then showing the footage from “Heart of Glass” as overtaking their thoughts. With the quick virality of “Heart of Glass,” fans asked for an official release on streaming, and she gave in.
Should I drop Heart Of Glass on streaming?! � pic.twitter.com/8yenZTZY6I— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) September 27, 2020
The reception of musicians’ covers often defaults to a comparison with the original track. Cyrus’ covers deserve praise as their own songs because each time she truly embodies them; her vocal delivery, often in her unique lower register, completely shift the tones of the songs she performs. Her version of “Heart of Glass” is a departure from Blondie’s origina; she doesn’t try to emulate the soft nature of Debbie Harry’s voice, because that would be a difficult task. Instead, she takes on a completely different persona in both her belted and raw vocals as well as the performative elements of her mullet, outfit and defiant stage presence, even though there isn’t a real audience.
“Heart of Glass” arrived after Cyrus’ single “Midnight Sky,” a tease of her anticipated seventh LP She Is Miley Cyrus. Her successful take on a rock persona has fans eager that there will be more elements of the genre in the next project.
Watch Miley Cyrus cover “Heart of Glass” below.