Flashback: Miley Cyrus still ‘Can’t Be Tamed’

2010 was a weird era in the Disney Channel world. It was when the golden age began to slowly leave their mouse overlord for bigger and better things. Demi Lovato announced that she would be leaving “Sonny with a Chance” before rehab in 2011. Oh, She gifted us the iconic album “Here We Go Again” as well. The Jonas Brothers did “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” with Demi before “being in between projects” and their first hiatus in 2011. Selena Gomez was last to leave the mouse as “Wizards of Waverly Place” was just getting started with its success.

Miley Cyrus, the 2010s Disney queen, finished production on the final season of “Hannah Montana.” Miley also donned bird wings and hopped in a birdcage to proclaim that she “couldn’t be tamed.” It’s time to unlock the birdcage and revisit the start of Miley’s maturing image and become the artist we know today.

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I wanna be a part of something I don’t know

Miley from “Can’t Be Tamed” video

“Can’t Be Tamed” is Miley’s third studio album. It also was her final album released on Disney’s label Hollywood Records. Released on June 18, 2010, “Can’t Be Tamed” was produced by Rock Mafia and John Shanks. You’ve heard Rock Mafia’s music before as, like Jason Derulo, they feel the need to have the artist on their song spell out or say their name at the beginning of the song. Rock Mafia was exclusive to Disney Channel and their Hollywood Records label.

The album was a departure from Miley’s previous works, which were more pop-rock. It has more of a dance-pop vibe to it. This would be Miley’s start experimenting with her sound that would continue on with follows up albums. The album has a common theme: being free of expectations and being yourself. Not being tamed by anyone or anything. “Can’t Be Tamed” was the start of Miley’s more mature image, similar to what Britney Spears did with her third album “Britney.” Essentially, an artistry makeover into adulthood.

Singles

There are only two singles from this album. The titular track and “Who Owns My Heart.” While we know that “Can’t Be Tamed” is the stand-out from the album, “Who Owns My Heart” wasn’t the best second single that they could have used to promote the album. Now, I’m not a big fan of having the singles next to each other on the tracklist, especially when they are at the beginning of the album.

“Who Owns My Hearts” is a good song, but it doesn’t carry on the tone that the first single gives you. Personally, I would like liked “Robot” to have been the second single in hindsight. I would have probably help with the promotion. Also, it’s just a better song. Her vocals on it aren’t overly autotuned. It also carries the theme of not being controlled better.

The album

The album itself isn’t bad, but it’s not her best work when it comes to coherent sound. While it’s a dance-pop album, just a few songs just don’t fit in with the album. They aren’t necessarily bad songs, but they just feel out of place. I’m all for Miley singing ballads, and every album needs to have some of them. This album has about 4 of them, including a cover of “Every Rose has Its Thorns” by 80s rock band Poison. The cover isn’t the greatest thing in the world but breaks up the three dance-pop songs. After “Two More Lonely People,” it just turns into a mess when it comes to pacing.

If there was a better flow of the tracks, then it wouldn’t be so bad. It just felt like they gave up trying to tell a story with the album after “Two More Lonely People” and just threw the songs together. This would be the same with the production as well. There’s just way too much production on Miley and her vocals at points. Miley’s vocals don’t need to have autotune on them. You don’t need to have autotune to have dance-pop. “Permanent December” is the perfect example of this. It’s not a good song, and the autotune and the production on it just sounds like a poor attempt to recreate Kesha’s hit 2010 song “Tik Tok.” This album was really all over the place and not in a good way.

The Verdict

“Can’t Be Tamed” didn’t age well for me at all. I remember liking it when it first came out. I have fond memories of listening to it on my iPod in my room, but it just doesn’t hit the same 11 years later. The dance-pop songs are all classics and amazing to re-listen to. It’s the ballads and poor decisions for the placement of songs and productions that make me not want to re-listen the entire album again. Besides the first single, “Can’t Be Tamed,” I highly recommend checking “Two More Lonely People,” “Robot,” and “My Heart Beats for Love.” “Stay” and “My Heart Beats for Love” are the best ballads off this album. If there were only two ballads, then this album would have been way better.

While my feelings have changed for the album, this is still an iconic album and it really helped Miley find out who she is. Without this, we wouldn’t have gotten her next studio album “Bangerz” or even her latest release “Plastic Hearts.” I highly recommend checking out the album if you haven’t already, or if it’s been a while since you heard it. It’s totally worth it.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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