Review Summary: Miley is her own woman now, and for better or worse, she is no longer a puppet of the Walt Disney corporation.
Miley has certainly been one for controversy as of late. From the debatable appropriateness of her pole dancing skit while performing “Party in the USA” to her newest video “Can’t Be Tamed,” parents everywhere are grumbling about the young star’s antics. This is nothing we haven’t seen before, as the nearly identical path of Britney Spears has prepared us for what should have been an expected rebellion at Miley's age. Honestly, those who didn’t see this coming were either incredibly naïve or just plain stupid. But the bottom line is that Miley is her own woman now, and for better or worse, she is no longer a puppet of the Walt Disney corporation.
For an album that seeks to forge a unique path, Can’t Be Tamed
isn’t as much of a departure from her previous works and one might expect. Truth be told, a good portion of the album is remarkably similar to her days in Disney. The opening track “Liberty Walk” showcases classic Miley spunk a la “Hoedown Throwdown” while songs like “Who Owns My Heart” and “Take Me Along” play off of the success of “See You Again.” She also shows a continued knack for creating power ballads, with the extremely polished “My Heart Beats for Love” and “Forgiveness and Love.” These songs actually forge two of Can’t Be Tamed
’s musical highlights, although they still lack maturity in the lyrics department. In fact, all one has to do is look at the two song titles to realize what they are about. Needless to say, originality isn’t a strong point of Can’t Be Tamed
. The majority of the time Miley settles for cookie-cutter pop formulas and clichéd dance rhythms that, when mixed together, sound just like the hundreds of other pop radio songs you have forgotten in the past year. Even when Miley hones in on her own sound, it ends up sounding like recycled versions of hits that she has already released.
Despite this very negative aspect of the album, one must also give credit where it is due. Let’s be honest, the main goal of pop music isn’t to explore new musical frontiers. It is usually to create catchy songs that might also function as a single, with the occasional heart-warming ballad thrown in for good measure. Can’t Be Tamed
has no shortage of either, with an abundance of songs that are fun to blast with the windows down (assuming you are not afraid of the harsh judgment of society), dance to (sobriety may or may not play a factor here), or fall asleep to (if her voice happens to soothe you). There are also some moments that qualify as different enough
to intrigue the casual listener. The album’s title track and first single is actually one of the more original songs, with an electronic/dance beat and overtly sexual lyrics that can not be found on her prior, and more subtle, works. It injects just enough shock factor into the album to keep it interesting.
For all intents and purposes, Can’t Be Tamed
is a decent pop record from a teen with a lot of upside in her future recording career. It will undoubtedly sell extremely well and receive lots of airtime, if for no other reason because it is Miley Cyrus. There is no “Party in the USA” to anchor the album, and the cover of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” likely won’t do much to impress, well, anyone. This is not the breakout album of Miley Cyrus’ career. But between the catchy beats of her singles, the chilled-out vibes of her ballads, and her new independent image, Can’t Be Tamed
manages to hold its own and send Miley one step closer to creating her own unique musical identity.