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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Review | Jonas Brothers’ ‘First Time’

It’s was a dark, dark time if you were a Jonas Brother’s fan or a Jo Hoe in 2013. On October 29, 2013, they broke up as a band. Our sugar hunk Nick Jonas decided that it was time for the brothers to go their separate ways as a band.

“To call it creative differences is almost too simple,” Nick said in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, “And I think a lot of people lost the appetite for what we were putting into the world. So, you know, we were putting up shows that weren’t selling. We were making music that I don’t think we were all super proud of, and it wasn’t connected.”

One of the songs they released is a bop named “First Time,” which is considered not a good song for them. This is, of course, by the Jo Hoes. A lot of them hate the song. They wouldn’t call it the worst song that would go to “Don’t Charge Me for the Crime.”

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Make it feel like the first time

“First Time” was released on June 25, 2013. It was the second single off of what was supposed to be their fifth album, “V.” Unfortunately, the album wasn’t released official due to the band breaking up four months later. Eventually, “V” was released apart of their latest cash grab: Jonas Vinyl Club. They ship you monthly vinyl records of their singles and albums every month. Rip off club if you ask me.

Nick produced the song and written by all three brothers. It has this chill vibes to it. It’s not overly produced and just still simple with lyrics and vocals. It was something different than their usual songs. Ironically, It sounds like their actual fifth album, “Happiness Begins.” It’s a chill pop song.

There’s also a subtle sexual undertone to the song. That’s right; the Jonas Brothers gave us a sex bop that we all slept on. Let’s be real: The oh’s in the chorus is them having sex. “Make it feel like the first time” is about doing for the first time. Nick Jonas planted his sex bops seeds for his solo career in this song. I’m here for it.

Kevin Jonas is the underrated hero of this song. Sure, he has a small solo in the song, but he’s also carrying the chorus and frankly, the song with underlying vocals and harmonies. When all three harmonize, it just sounds so good. Kevin did something right, and we should applaud him for that.

Music video

The music video doesn’t make sense with the song. It’s a montage of the brothers hanging out and partying in Las Vegas. Yep, you read it right. They are drinking and having fun in Vegas. It was risqué for them at the time. We just learned they didn’t have purity rings, and now they are partying and drinking in Vegas. What’s next? They become sex symbols, and everyone wants to bake cookies on their abs? Oh, wait, that happens for 2/3 of the band.

The video was shot while the boys were during their time rehearsing for Miss USA 2013. I honestly believe that the Jonases needed to make a video and couldn’t decide what to do, so they did this to meet their deadline. The video is excellent for behind the scenes content, but I would have preferred not to have a video at all. You can say the video is having fun and that feeling like it’s the first time when you hang out with someone. That’s stretching.

Final thoughts

If they released it today it would slap

“First Time” is frankly a song that didn’t get its moment to shine in the sun. I wouldn’t call it the best Jonas Brother’s song, but it’s one that shouldn’t get the hate it does. Sure, maybe Nick was testing out what might have been his solo style, but not a horrible song. Sidebar: Nick solo music is rather good. It slaps and is a worthy single. I’d even go farther and say it’s a better single than “Pom Poms.”

“First Time” was a more mature sound than what we had gotten previously. If you haven’t heard “First Time,” I definitely recommend checking it out. You don’t even need to sign up for their damn club. And if you were one of the Jo Hoes who despises “First Time,” I recommend re-listening to it. You might be shocked to find your hatred for this bop is gone.

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Review | Demi Lovato ‘Don’t Forget’

Nostalgia has been running wild as we were forced into our homes and into Quarantine. I don’t know about you, I’d be listening to all the music of my youth. Feeling the feels that those songs that bring up. One of those albums I had to listen to was Demi Lovato’s first-ever album, “Don’t Forget.” While I wasn’t a Demi fan during the original release of the time (Team Miley 4 Lyfe), the singles and the videos were kind of everything. Who doesn’t love a queen singing a pop-rock banger in the rain with a light show fountain?

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Somewhere we went wrong
We were once so strong

“Don’t Forget” is the debut album of Demi Lovato. Released in the fall of 2008, the album is in the pop-rock genre. It’s followed suit with most of Demi’s Disney counterparts during this time. Most of the records released in 2008 by Disney Stars were pop-rock. The Jonas Brothers produced the album with John Fields. Demi chose to have the Jonas Brothers work with her on the album.

“I tend to write songs that are, I guess, a little bit more intense and less catchy, and I needed help writing catchy songs,” Demi told MTV back in 2008, “So that’s where they came in. I put a lot of my musical input and lyrics into these songs, and they just helped me with hooks and stuff like that.”

The album is hugely front-loaded with “La La Land” and “Get Back,” starting the record, aka the first two singles. It also doesn’t help that the two songs sound so similar and just blends. It all sounds like one track. This is one of the downsides with the 2008 teen pop-rock. It wasn’t until you get to the titular track that the album started to sound different. Even then, it sounds like one big track. The album also feels like songs that should have been on the Jonas’ third album “A Little Bit Longer” but they didn’t want. It’s sounds like we’ve heard all these songs before.

Lyrically, it doesn’t suffer from the Jonas’ wordy lyrics, which is a perfect thing. The words get a little more emo after “Don’t Forget,” but they are your standard Disney lyrics. It just doesn’t sound like Demi. It seems like Demi is trying to be the Jonas Sister. That hurts the album because, as I mentioned above, it sounds we’ve heard them before. That hurts the replay of the album. Out of all 11 songs on the record, I’ve only listened to 4 of them on repeat: “Until You’re Mine,” “La La Land,” “Get Back,” and “The Middle.”

Verdict

“Don’t Forget” is a good album, but it suffers from the first half of the album blending together. It also suffers from sounding like a Jonas Brother reject record. It might have to do with the fact that they did everything on this album, but it definitely hurts the record. I do recommend this album because it’s not a bad listen. In fact, it’s a good listen. Just one that is familiar and won’t last a long one.

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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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