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COLUMN: Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus’ new single falls flat



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Miley Cyrus performs at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 27, 2017, in Los Angeles. Mark Ronson's new single “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” features Cyrus.  Tribune News Service Buy Photos

Miley Cyrus is constantly surprising the public. She changes personas like outfits. She puts on shocking live performances with ease. And she showcases killer vocals and musical range on each of her releases. 

But Mark Ronson's new single “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” which features the pop star, falls a bit flat.

Although the song is objectively good, I was disappointed that the sound was very similar to her “Younger Now” era. 

Reminiscing on 2015’s glitter-filled somber sounding “Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz,” I long for the days when Miley hardcore experimented with her music and image. I was hoping this single would allude to that over-the-top Miley coming back. 

That Miley was fresh and unexpected. She wore bedazzled, phallic stage costumes. She ate sprinkles like they were a snack. She was a living, breathing “#IDGAF.”

Brooding with a heavy guitar influence, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” doesn’t sound very different from what Ronson has done in the past. It evokes the likeness of songs like “John Wayne” off Lady Gaga's "Joanne." Cyrus’ voice sounds deep and uninhibited. There’s some country twang of course, something expected of Cyrus and her southern roots.

Mark Ronson is most notably a powerhouse producer and lover of a good rockabilly hairstyle. Originally from London, he grew up in New York City and mixes influences from rock and hip-hop into his music.

Ronson has worked with plenty of talent, including Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Adele and Lady Gaga. He was the executive producer of "Joanne" and worked closely with Gaga to make some of what he said was his favorite music he’s ever worked on.

This track feels a bit safe.It could be that Ronson’s folk rock influences took over. After all it is his song, but you only hear Cyrus’ voice on it.

The lyrics are pretty repetitive, and the chorus, “this world can hurt you, it cuts you deep and leaves a scar, things fall apart, but nothing breaks like a heart” repeats over and over again. 

Yes, these words ring true, especially in times like these. But is the purpose of this song just to remind you that some pain hurts more than others?

Cyrus has been through some hardship as of late. Her and fiancé Liam Hemsworth’s Malibu home burnt down from the devastating Woolsey fire this month. 

“My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that’s all that matters right now. My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong,” the singer posted on Twitter Nov. 12.

The music video is underwhelming, with Cyrus involved in a slow-speed car chase through various scenarios. Issues of gun violence, consumerism and police brutality are touched upon but are not dealt with in any way.

Cyrus has a somewhat stand-out ensemble on, complete with a high pony, red lipstick and silver chandelier earrings.

Ronson and Cyrus will be the musical guests on Saturday Night Live on Dec. 15. I’m interested to see how they work with the space they're given to perform the song. Also, I’m hoping the groovy heart shaped disco ball from the song's cover art makes an appearance.

Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus don’t have radio gold on their hands, but their talents mix together to make a palatable concoction.

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