Disney Pop-Tart™ Miley Cyrus has reached the point in her career when it’s time to release the rebellious coming-of-age record. Britney did it in 2001 with her self-titled album featuring the raunchy “I’m A Slave 4 U.” Christina did it with her magnum opus, Stripped, which was led by the equally racy “Dirrty.”
How do you think Miley plans on displaying her angsty, breaky, heart for the world to see?
1. Political rock number (think American Idiot but with a girl wearing the guyliner this time.)
2. Lo-fi alternative track (think Is This It? but with more of an underage strip club vibe.)
3. European-inspired dance jams (think Crazy Frog, but somehow more annoying.)
If you guessed number 3, then you win a very special prize. Her latest studio effort, appropriately titled Can’t Be Tamed, is so full of insipid love songs that Barry Manilow is trying to figure out a way to finagle some royalties out of the Cyrus family.
The only track that remotely rabble rouses is the angsty “Robot,” in which Cyrus likens herself to a machine crafted by the music industry (surprise!) that is finally breaking free. The immediacy of the production along with Cyrus’ emotive vocals during the chorus gives weight to the dance track’s heavy message, making this song the album’s best.
Another highlight of the record is “Two More Lonely People,” a bouncy electro-pop track with country music undertones. The signature twang in Cyrus’ voice along with the pulsating beats and hint of steel guitars are a winning combination for the singer.
Cyrus also revisits the seductiveness of former hit “See You Again” on the synthesizer sputtering “Who Owns My Heart.” The track is classic Cyrus, returning the songstress to dance floor sound that mainstreamed her success.
The rest of the album is a mess. With a subpar cover of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” that would sound weak and gimmicky even for “American Idol” and the attempted, Disney-flavored rapping on “Liberty Walk,” Cyrus manages to reach a low impressive even by her standards. While the album has some new ballads, they fail to meet anthem-like sound of “The Climb” and “When I Look at You,” a major flub on Cyrus’ behalf.
Can’t Be Tamed was supposed to be Miley Cyrus’ chance to deviate from her usual manufactured pop sound but instead it was even more processed and less spontaneous than her last studio effort. With a weak effort like this, the actress-turned-singer shouldn’t quit her day job.