Both Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa have undergone colossal musical transformations in 2020. The endlessly chameleonic Cyrus shed her skin once again to unveil a grittier, guitar-driven edge that saw her win over cemented rock fans. Dua, whose musical journey is naturally shorter than Cyrus', completely flipped her style on its head with her second album Future Nostalgia, fusing strong elements of disco into pop with more success and flair than her contemporaries. Now, the two pop giants are colliding head on in Cyrus' new track "Prisoner" and it's incredible.
Musically, "Prisoner" is far more subdued than anything either Miley Cyrus or Dua Lipa have done this year. Miley's been busy giving us searing rock covers and '80s inspired indulgent glam, while Dua has delivered songs produced to the finest detail, taking her fans back to a time before both her and they were even born. But the melody of "Prisoner" is far more stripped back. There's a grooving and catwalking bassline that centres the song, while splashes of keys and synths sparsely beam around it. For the most part, though, "Prisoner" is all about the vocals.
Both Cyrus and Lipa have two incredibly distinct voices, and the way they waltz in and out of one another on "Prisoner" is mesmerising. Miley has her signature rasp that's adaptable across almost all genres (as we've written), which might be overwhelming on an understated song like this one if it weren't for Dua's deeply rich and sateen voice cutting through the roughness.
It's a song electrified with anger, frustration and a desire to break out of the mould – a Cyrus message through and through. "Prisoner" is not about Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa asking for permission or forgiveness – they're not interested or in need of either. They want their freedom. Judging by this song, you'd do well to give it to them sooner rather than later.
Watch Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa's new music video, "Prisoner", below:
While you're here you should also check out Miley Cyrus' recent MTV Unplugged: Backyard Sessions set too.