Coming out of nowhere is Miley Cyrus' unexpectedly good third studio album Can't Be Tamed. The twelve track collection may well be this year's Good Girl Gone Bad. That is, if the public can put aside their reservations of Cyrus being only Hannah Montana. She blossoms as a bona fide Pop Star with a product which is alarmingly seasoned for that of a 17 year-old girl. Even if you don't have much of an impression of the album's first single, the title track, you will be pleasantly surprised by what's in store here.
The album opens with Perez Hilton-acclaimed Liberty Walk - one of many tracks in which she holds a co-writing credit. It is a fitting opener about freeing yourself from negativity and anyone who ever discouraged you, putting listeners in the right frame of mind to enjoy the collection. Who Owns My Heart is a slice of Dance Pop which pre-Gaga, might have been deemed too "Euro" for the North American palette. Surprising is an Electronic Pop cover of much-in-the-media Bret Michael's biggest hit circa Poison, Every Rose Has Its Thorn. This rendition remains true to its original, yet would be fitting on Pop Radio today still. The cover is one of only a few slower tracks on the album - a good a balance giving the listener a good overview of Cyrus' ability. Two More Lonely People with its galloping base line and guitar strumming is reminiscent of Kylie Minogue's Please Stay; uplifting serving of Discoliciousness and I will say unapologetically that this is a fantastic track.
Permanent December is the strongest track on the album in terms of Pop Sensibility, with loads of embellished Melodyned vocals which Dance Pop these days would seem naked without and a chorus so infectious that Minogue would be jealous. Scars and Take Me Along have Cyrus sounding a bit more at home again in the realm of Pop Rock and this suits her vocal texture just fine. Both tracks feature winning choruses and superb production by John Shanks (P!nk, Kelly Clarkson), who has become the Master of Female Pop Rock. Cyrus wraps up this fantastic journey of Pop on a note of optimism with the defiant My Heart Beats for Love, a track clearly dedicated to boyfriend Liam Hemsworth and defined almost completely by some powerful drumming.
Britney. Gaga. Rihanna. Ke$ha. Miley. SOLD. Can't Be Tamed will be released June 21, 2010 via Universal Music. Grade: A-