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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Album Review | *NSYNC’s ‘No Strings attached’

I’ve never been a huge *NSYNC fan. I’ve liked the “hits” but didn’t listen to their full albums until later in life. Most people were shocked to hear that I’ve never listened to their iconic album “No Strings Attached” in full. I’ve listened to the singles, and I like the singles but just never heard the record until now. It’s time to walk about what is considered to be the best *NSYNC album “No Strings Attached.”

But in the end, ya know it’s gonna be me

Released on March 21, 2000, “No Strings Attached” was the first album under their new label, Jive Records. The group had a very public legal battle with their former label RCA Records and their management team Trans Continental. There’s a whole big YouTube Original documentary on it called “Boy Boy Con,” and that would explain well better than I could. Long story short was that: The band got conned out of a lot of money by their manager, who claimed to be the sixth member of *NSYNC. The title of the album is based on a metaphor for the newfound freedom.

“We were all in a taxicab, and it was the first time we finally got our name back, and it was like, ‘This is it. We finally get to work on this album. What’s the concept?’” Lance Bass recalled on his Podcast ” The Daily Popcast With Lance Bass, “Chris Kirkpatrick was like, ‘Something about I got no strings on me… Pinocchio.’ I was like, ‘Perfect. Like, no strings attached.'”

“No Strings Attached” was their first step into the R&B genre, which they continued with for the rest of their career. With this album, *NSYNC influenced many artists and bands into genre-crossing. When they did it with “No Strings Attached,” it made them stand out more than their now label mates Backstreet Boys.

thoughts on the album

The album itself isn’t a very good one. It’s not a bad album, and I can see why it was highly rated at the time of its release. The record is excellent vocally as Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez are heard the most on the album. That’s not a bad thing, but it would just be nice to listen to the other voices like on their self-titled debut album.

Because they are testing out different genres with this album, the flow of the album not really there, it starts heavy with the first two singles, which was pretty much standard practice with Jive records releases. The songs are kind of all over the place. A lot of the songs are just filler and frankly not that good. The R&B influenced songs are rather good and the highlights. JC and Justin’s vocals sound well with R&B.

The lyrics are rather mature for a boy band at this time. They have a song called “Digital Get Down,” and it’s about cybersex. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s called sexting these days. Just instead of being through texting, it was done in a chatroom or an instant messenger. The lyrics were refreshing with how mature the lyrics were. The lyrics were refreshing. The only song that I honestly just hate with a burning passion is “Space Cowboy (Yippie Yi-yay).” There’s no redeeming quality from that song. It the worst song on the album. It’s not even Lance Bass singing it, so what’s the point of it?

Verdict

“No Strings Attached” didn’t age well. It’s still an influential and iconic album, but it’s just not a fun listening experience. The R&B influenced songs are the highlights of the album while the pop songs were filler songs that weren’t so good. I do recommend checking out the album as it’s a pop classic. We are still feeling the influences in it today through Ariana Grande’s “break up with your girlfriend i’m bored” sampling “It Makes Me Ill” and artists and bands using it as inspirations for switching genres.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Album review | Selena Gomez ‘Rare (Deluxe Edition)’

While 2020 has sucked a big one, at least the music of 2020 has been outstanding. It also gave us our first full-fledge Selena Gomez album since 2015. It’s been five years since the former Disney star blessed the world with a full-length release. Up until this point, we were just served singles. Some were good, and some were meh. None were bad. So let’s talk about her third album, “Rare.”

Click here to check out reviews for Target bonus tracks:

Bad Liar“|”Fetish“|”Back to You“|”It Ain’t Me

Of course, she was sad
But now she’s glad she dodged a bullet 

Originally released on January 10, 2020 “Rare” is the third solo album, from Selena Gomez. The original release contained 13 songs, which her previous singles being bonus tracks from Target. She re-released the album with four new tracks: “Feel Me,” “Boyfriend,” “She,” and Souvenir” on April 9th.

Before new tracks

“Rare” is probably Selena’s strongest album to date, besides “Stars Dance.” It takes the best parts of her last album, “Revival,” and focuses more on that. The album was produced by the way too many people.

According to the Wikipedia pages, this album had about 26 producers credits. It kind of shows as there’s no one set genre and its kind of all over the place with its sound. It’s not a bad thing, nor it’s not a good thing. It’s a step in the right direction on refining her sound. The tracks are more mature, like her and her sound. Positive news: This is the first album where I can honestly say, I don’t think Justin Beiber had anything refers in the lyrics besides “Look at Her Now.”

While “Bad Liar” and “Fetish” are available for the Target bonus tracks, I think it was a step in the wrong direction not to include them on this album as regular tracks. They do fit this album with the overall feel of the album. “Back to You” slightly provides it, but the fact that “Wolves” and “It Ain’t Me” as a bonus just doesn’t make any sense. They are more Stars Dance era and just don’t help to end the album right. It might be a Pop/Dance album, but it’s not an EDM influenced Pop/Dance album.

Speaking of the bonus tracks, just adding them to the end is just lazy. Like at least mix them in actual tracklist. You could have quickly figure out how to include them. It would help the flow better than just randomly ending on “Wolves.”

After new tracks

With the edition of the new tracks, Selena changed up the tracklisting. This lead to some questionable choices in the flow of the album. The deluxe version starts with “Boyfriend” and then goes into “Lose You to Love Me.” At first, I was like, “this is random but okay.” When you listen to the two songs together, it’s a mood. They do make the album better and the fact they rearranged besides the bonus tracks.

Did “Rare” need these tracks? Nope, honestly, adding these tracks was more of just fan service that wasn’t needed. These tracks were songs that the fans wanted and were probably meant to boost sales. But they didn’t do anything to help back the album besides flow. I’m glad that these songs got put out into the world, but they easily could have been put as an EP.

Verdict

“Rare” is the best album from Selena so far. The album is more mature and takes the best of her previous albums and just makes it better. There’s not any replay value to it. It’s not going to say that the songs are catchy. But this isn’t a dance album, nor is it something that’s you are going to want to listen to on repeat. I’ve only listened to the album a handful of times, and I’m okay with that. I do recommend this album as it’s a great pop album.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Ready to feel old? Album ‘Oops!… I Did it Again’ turns 20 years old

On this day, May 16th, in the year 2000, Britney Spears gave the world the most iconic and probably influential albums in the decade in pop music – “Oops!… I Did It Again.” I talked about the first single of the same name back when it turned 20th in March. Like with that article, this isn’t going to be a review because I’d rate this album five stars, no questions asked. But slightly more a nostalgia trip because this album is a representation of my childhood.

“Oops!… I Did it Again” is a pop masterpiece like most of the second albums released by the big three, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and *NSYNC, at this time. You can fight me on the big three because we all know that Britney trumps Christina. The album after Backstreet Boys “Millennium” and *NSYNC’s “No String Attached” but that’s beside the point. The Swedish pop god Max Martin worked on the album as well as other well known Britney collaborators like Darkchild. He gave us “Overprotected (Darkchild Remix) and Britney’s slightly underrated cover of “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Released at the peak of what would be my life long love for the queen, the legendary Ms. Britney Spears, this album was also the start of her peak years. This album was just a fun album. While there are some songs to pass over *cough*Dear Diary*cough*, a lot of the songs catchy pop songs, it’s just the perfect pop album, for that time. Top songs were obviously the singles (“Oops!,” “Stronger,” “Lucky, and “Don’t Let Me Be the Last to Know.”) as well as “Don’t Go Knockin’ On My Door, “What U See (Is What U Get),” and “Can’t Make You Love Me.” There’s also a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction) that isn’t bad but it’s kind there.

When most people think of Britney Spears’ early career, this is the album and the singles that they think of. Britney’s first album “Baby One More Time” brought her to the party and “Oops!… I Did It Again” was what made her a household name. I remember listening to this album on repeat to the point where my parents wanted to kill me figuratively. As I said, this album is representation of my childhood. I’m glad that this album is still considered a classic and fondly remembered. If you haven’t listened to this album, then I highly recommended taking a look. You won’t be disappointed until the end, “When Your Eyes Say It” and “Dear Diary” isn’t good. Just skip them like the rest of us.

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