Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus
Nothing Breaks Like a Heart
Mark Ronson might not be a household name. But he's the guy behind some hit songs that you’re probably familiar with nonetheless.
Born in the United Kingdom, Ronson and his family moved to New York City when he was a child. From a young age, he was interested in music. But it wasn't until his years at New York University that he began catching the ears of listeners as a DJ.
His career took off when he signed a contract with Elektra Records, later producing his first album Here Comes the Fuzz, though it failed to chart. After that faltering start, though, Ronson eventually collaborated with some big names, such as Bruno Mars ("Uptown Funk!") and Lady Gaga (Joanne).
Now, Mark Ronson has teamed up with Miley Cyrus for “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” a bleak song centered on our broken world and its suffocating tendency to drain us of hope.
It's All Bad
Miley wastes little time before launching into a grim take on reality. "This world can hurt you," she begins, "It cuts you deep and leaves a scar/Things fall apart, but nothing breaks like a heart.”
We then hear her summary of an intimate conversation she overheard, one that implies that her lover is cheating on her: “I heard you on the phone last night/We live and die by pretty lies/You know it, we both know it." And now? It's over. "We'll leave each other cold as ice/And high and dry, the desert wind/Is blowin', is blowin'/ … We both know it."
She goes on to chronicle how that relationship went up in flames almost as fast as the romance was kindled. "This burning house, there's nothing left/It's smoking, we both know it," she sings. "We got all night to fall in love/But just like that we fall apart/We're broken, we're broken."
And hope is extinguished: "Mmm, well nothing, nothing, nothing gon' save us now."
A Slow-Motion Car Crash
The song's desolate chorus sets the stage for a similarly depressing music video. “Well, there's broken silence/By thunder crashing in the dark," Miley sings. "And this broken record/Spin endless circles in the bar/ … And nothing breaks like a heart."
The video represents the idea of a broken heart by picturing Miley in an O.J. Simpson-like flight from justice. As was the case with Simpson, Miley's in a car fleeing police officers, with fans of all kinds (nuns, kneeling football players, children, people holding up rainbow-colored signs of support) lining the road to show their support of her. She's clad in an outfit that displays cleavage and most of her exposed rear (though we see that she's wearing a thong).
And that's not the only skin we glimpse as the video swerves erratically through a jarring series of seemingly unrelated vignettes as Miley's car crashes through them. The first pictures a group of priests who are practically hypnotized by dancers in a strip club. (We see those female dancers writhing sensually and suggestively in thongs, bras and pasties.)
A second vignette shows parents teaching children how to shoot pistols at a firing range (with Miley herself barely being missed by a slow-motion bullet). The next scene shows two older women in a hot tub about to kiss. The final scene finds Miley's vehicle plowing through a big-box retail store where a crowd of looters has broken in to steal, it seems, anything they can get their hands on. The video concludes with Miley standing in front of the car with her arms outspread in what could be seen as an imitation of Christ on the cross.
If we try to link these ideas together, it seems that perhaps the video is trying to say something about some of the big issues in our culture today: religion, hypocrisy, sex, homosexuality, violence, racism, social unrest. But what that message actually is—at least, in this sad song's video—isn't clear at all.