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Music Review: Miley Cyrus – Can’t Be Tamed

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If Miley Cyrus wants her music to be more important to people than what’s depicted of her in tabloids and paparazzi photos, she needs to distinguish herself from the countless other pop stars who already do what she does, only better. On her new album, Can’t Be Tamed, the seventeen-year-old starlet not only lacks any hint of individuality but substance as well, sounding as if she’s grasping at straws with each track to find one groove, one hook, one something that works. And not much does.

These are just, in the most generic sense possible, tracks to fill the space of an album. And from the monotonous opener, “Liberty Walk,” it slogs through one formulaic, overbearing dance beat after another. Added to that is Cyrus’ singing, which when left alone would likely reveal some potential with its deep tone, yet here too often dissolves into processed, robotic distortion. That there is actually a track called “Robot” doesn’t make such production tricks any more reasonable. Other moments, like the she’s-too-young-to-get-it cover of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and the stale plea of “Stay” — featuring such trite lyrics as, “I love you more/Than I did before” — follow the same uninspired pattern.

While she’s no doubt earned an impressive and sizable following through her lead role in Disney’s Hannah Montana franchise, as a recording artist in her own right Miley Cyrus has yet to find her own voice, let alone one that can speak to (or for) others. And though the album isn’t completely without merit — the last track, “My Heart Beats For Love,” is a refreshing, catchy tune — she’s not doing anything on Can’t Be Tamed that any other teenager with modest talent and comparable resources couldn’t just as well pull off.

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About Donald Gibson

Donald Gibson is the publisher of www.writeonmusic.com and a freelance music journalist whose byline has appeared in such publications as No Depression, Spinner, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cinema Sentries, Blinded by Sound, and Blogcritics, where he was the Senior Music Editor (2011-2012) and Assistant Music Editor (2008-2011). He has interviewed and profiled such artists as Tony Bennett, Lucinda Williams, Jakob Dylan, Allen Toussaint, Boz Scaggs, Charli XCX, Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues), Susanna Hoffs, Bruce Hornsby, Delbert McClinton, Jonny Lang, Alan Parsons, Bill Frisell, Joan Armatrading, Christina Perri, Don Felder (The Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Katie Melua, and Buddy Guy, among many others.
  • http://sayitinasong.wordpress.com/ Songbird

    What I have always found about Miley Cyrus- is that her voice is so completely underwhelming. Pretty package but not much substance.

  • iAnne V.

    When an entertainer has to bear all to be noticed,she has a BIG PROBLEM!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I can’t believe I’m gonna say this but…. It’s not her fault. She is only following what other mainstream successes have done to rack in the fame & fortune. Actually, it’s the American consumer’s fault for paving that golden road. It’s all about image NOT substance. If that wasn’t the case then how do acts like Lady Gaga get popular?!

  • jen

    I partially agree with this, but she’s still young, she’s trying to find the right thing. i guess she’s just kind of playing around right now, seeing what she is like. I think however, she acts too old for her age or who likes her. She’s trying to appeal more to teenagers and stuff, but she’s still a child’s icon. yes, she is growing up, but she mostly appeals to young kids because of hannah montana. I say at least until the show hannah montana ends (idk if it did or not), she should keep her songs good, nothing explicit, no bad words, stuff like that. it could possibly be a bad influence.
    About the song, I don’t mind it. Yeah, it does sound a lot like the other pop star’s songs, but it’s still an ok song to listen to.

  • fans

    Well I always been a fan of this kid when she started on Hanna Montana. She made me laugh. But now is like she doesn’t even know who she is and she is lacking originality. I was shock when I found out that EVery Rose has it’s thorn was on the album. I am Heavy Metal fan myself and this is a load of you know what. And what’s with her sounding like Britney spears and the outfits she keeps wearing wear some pants for Christ sake.I want the old Miley. I like to hear her sound like she did before; I can’t wait to see you again and the climb. Thumbs down!!

  • muskan

    its an awesome song.miley has used her voice freely.she is looking so sexy and hot in this song.the song is great and rockkkkkkkkkkkkkkinggggggggggggg

  • lilly

    stop with your bad stuff.im dissapointed!

  • http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-miley-cyrus-cant-be/ Sarah

    I have to agree with this review. Miley’s latest cd has been a big dissapointment. I do not understand how she expects to stay popular, if she abandons everything her fans once loved about her.
    She is a very interesting personality, as well as singer. But when her sound is so auto-tuned and over-produced, she blends right into the background. The main isssue with this cd is the blandness. It is unable to produce even one hit; one song that makes people want to stop and listen. The lyrics are uninspiring and seem to gloss over real emotions. And again, all the songs are painfully similar.
    And all of this is coming from a former HUGE miley cyrus fan. Seriously, I used to ADORE her. But her music and choices reflect a very differnt girl than the one i fell in love with.
    She needs to sing more low-key, countryish, acoustic songs. Songs that show off her unique vocal range. Not songs that mask it.

  • Someone

    Hey there, review-er :)
    I just wanna tell you, that you could be right, I can’t be objective with Miley cuz as I grew up and lived life stages, her songs grew up with me. Now I seem to be in the teenage stage, as her album is pretty “exploding”. I passed horrible and sad experiences with her singing. I’m sorry cuz I just (CAN’T) agree. Plus, a review is something you write to tell people if they’d like the album or not, and although being deep is good, but writing the “unique” opinion isn’t part of the review, cuz it should agree with the public opinion.

  • infernape-5

    the album is great!!
    i give 9.5/10 to it
    it is one of the best album made by miley

  • shridiev persaud

    wow mighth beautifuly

  • sunita

    miley i am a very big fan of yours everday i try to send u a commet but i never get through miley i am happy this commet will reach u miley i cant belive that u will read my commmet