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Can't Be Tamed
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2 Stars - Fair
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Release Date
June 1, 2010
Label
Hollywood Records

Style: Radio-ready teen pop; compare to Lady Gaga, Cheetah Girls, Yelle

Top tracks: "Scars," "Two More Lonely People," "Can't Be Tamed"

It was perhaps inevitable that 17-year-old Miley Cyrus would make such a drastic shift in her image and sound at this point in her still young career. She had captured a huge chunk of the family-friendly market with the squeaky clean image of her musical alter ego, Disney TV's Hannah Montana. She had also captivated much of the faith market with her outspoken Christian beliefs. But to win over a public overstuffed with news and entertainment options, apparently she believes that the only way to float to the top is to show some skin and cause some public stir.

So, she and her handlers have crafted a new sexed-up look by throwing in some provocative stage moves (her pole dancing performance at the Teen Choice Awards, the faux-lesbian kiss on Britain's Got Talent that she apparently repeats in her stage show) and a video for the album's lead single "Can't Be Tamed" featuring half-naked dancers and risquÉ bumping and grinding.

Quantifiably, the calculated move is clearly working. "Tamed" (the song) was a top 10 single, and its video has more than 23 million views on YouTube. Will the public embrace this new album as well? Possibly, but it's not all that good. The glitzy sound, pumped up with synthesizers, four-to-the-floor beats and Cyrus's well-meaning but empty platitudes, is repeated throughout to numbing effect. It's decent enough but hardly brings anything new to the table.

The repetition is mirrored in the subject matter, as well. The pop princess has said that her new songs are primarily about love. Every track here views romantic love from a variety of different angles—the devoted ...

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