The Bottom Line
17 year old Miley Cyrus wants us to know on her new single she is a rare creature that can't be tamed by anyone. She also lets us know she's selfish and she is built like a "10." The concept of presenting Miley Cyrus blossoming into adulthood in a way that can't be held back has appeal. However, presenting her as a teenager who has to have her way and is "a puzzle but all of my pieces are jagged" is a bit less so. Add in uninspiring melody and backing track and this is all rather so-so.
- Catchy and will go down easy on the radio
- Insistent beat
- Standard issue dance-pop backing
- Thin vocals
- Lyrics that head into selfish territory
- Written by Miley Cyrus, Antonina Armato, and Tim James
- Produced by Antonina Armato and Tim James
- Released May 2010 by Hollywood Records
Guide Review - Miley Cyrus - "Can't Be Tamed"
Miley Cyrus is no Alanis Morissette. It seems the concept here is to present a confident teenage artist heading into adulthood with independence and confidence in her own direction. Instead, the lyrics present someone relying on looks, warning most people to steer clear of the jagged edges, and stating she has to have her way "24 hours a day." Although a bit off-putting, it might be compelling if we could really hear committed emotion behind the singing.
Miley Cyrus nearly always sounds best vocally when we can hear the nuances in her voice including that slightly country edge which is often evident. However, putting her into a pounding dance-pop environment where her vocals need to cut through the noise only leaves her sounding thin and generic. It is easy to listen to "Can't Be Tamed" and instantly get the point then tune it out, because there is little interesting in the now standard pounding beats and pop-rock song textures.
Rock Mafia members Tim James and Antonina Armato co-wrote and are responsible for the production here. They are key figures in helping bring Disney pop to the mainstream. Unfortunately, here it does sound like they are on auto-pilot. "Can't Be Tamed" is likely to make a dent on pop radio this summer, but it is unlikely to be the major smash hit "Party In the USA" was last fall for Miley Cyrus. Let's hope for a buried gem when the album Can't Be Tamed hits stores in June.