One of the few high points of what has been a pretty universally low year has been the sheer amount of incredible female collaborations. From Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé to Gaga and Ariana to Selena and Blackpink, the list goes on and on. The best thing about all of these collaborations is not only their success but their quality— all being both commercial and creative hits for their respective artists. However, in a year full of brilliant female collaborations, Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa may have just placed the tastiest of cherries atop an already ground-breaking sundae.
“Prisoner,” the second taste from Cyrus’ self-proclaimed “rock” album, Plastic Hearts, brings with it more grit than the glitzy synth-rock of lead single “Midnight Sky.” While she may seem the odd-one-out on a tracklist featuring rock legends Billy Idol, Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks, Dua Lipa rises to the challenge at her ease, bringing with her some disco shine to strike an immaculate balance on what is an extremely unlikely but ultimately mind-blowing pairing.
“Prisoner” flickers along the line between the grit of 80s glam rock and the shine of 70s disco, immaculately combining the dancefloor readiness of Lipa’s Future Nostalgia with the rough edges of Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts era. “Prisoner” abandons all minimalism, relishing in its full potential and going hell for leather, with epic drums and wonky synths. Despite her chameleon-like talents and having spent the last decade dipping a toe into every genre under the sun, Cyrus may well have found her true niche, sounding the best she ever has and letting her voice soar high and free.
The duo doubles down on the raunchiness in the track’s music video, reigning terror across the U.S. in the back of a sleazy tour bus. Co-directed by Alana O’Herlihy and Cyrus herself, the video has everything from blood and spiders to an almost-but-not-quite make-out session between the two stars.
Collaborations can be a mixed bag. Sometimes a match made on heaven doesn’t quite work out, while pairings that don’t seem as if they would work become classic duos. “Prisoner” is the perfect example of the latter, with Lipa’s shimmering disco blending brilliantly with Cyrus’ rough epicness, in what is one of the most satisfying pop tracks of the year.
Featured Image: RCA Records