Can't Be Tamed is Miley Cyrus' third studio album that was released on June 18, 2010 by Hollywood Records.
It would be Cyrus' last album with Hollywood Records as she would sign with RCA Records in 2013.
- Liberty Walk 4:06
- Who Owns My Heart 3:34
- Can't Be Tamed 2:38
- Every Rose Has Its Thorn 3:50
- Two More Lonely People 3:11
- Forgiveness And Love 3:27
- Permanent December 3:35
- Stay 4:22
- Scars 3:43
- Take Me Along 4:08
- Robot 3:44
- My Heart Beats For Love 3:42
In December 2009, Miley Cyrus announced that she had begun planning her third studio album and intended to begin a musical hiatus after its completion.
She expressed concerns that her newer material "doesn't truly inspire me" and worried that should would be "blending in with everyone else" although she later commented that the final product was inspired by techno music qualities commonly used by recording artist Lady Gaga.
Abby Konowitch from Cyrus' label Hollywood Records admitted that the record drew more inspiration from dance-pop music than she originally intended, but maintained that it "feels very comfortable for her, and it feels very comfortable in terms of the state of contemporary music.
The majority of "Can't Be Tamed" was recorded abroad during Cyrus' her headlining Wonder World Tour in 2009 and 2010. She collaborated with John Shanks during its production; he frequently traveled to London for Cyrus' recording sessions, and returned to Los Angeles to finalize their material.
Cyrus also collaborated with the production team Rock Mafia, consisting of Antonina Armato and Tim James; they notably produced her earlier singles "See You Again" and "7 Things" from her first and second studio albums: "Meet Miley Cyrus" and "Breakout", respectively.
Cyrus stated that Can't Be Tamed contained a variety of dance beats and synths, but believed that its sound was secondary to the personal lyrics therein.
"Can't Be Tamed" is primarily a dance-pop record; it contains "several bass-heavy, slickly produced dance numbers" that Ann Donahue from Billboard joked "thunder in such a catchy, accessible way that it may make Kesha down another bottle of Jack out of envy."
The opening track "Liberty Walk" describes an individual who leaves a harmful relationship, which Cyrus felt leaned towards more meaningful lyrical content instead of the "super shallow" current mainstream music.
"Who Owns My Heart" details the excitement in possibly finding a lover at a nightclub while Cyrus herself commented that the title track "Can't Be Tamed" bears a theme of "breaking out and feeling free."
It is followed by a cover version of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", originally performed by rock band Poison for their second studio album, "Open Up and Say... Ahh!"; she stated that the modern-day music industry "shelters kids [from] songs as honest and real as this one", and added that a consultation with the band's lead singer Bret Michaels helped her to incorporate her "own flare and edge".
"Two More Lonely People" was described by Evan Sawdey of PopMatters as "one moment of carefree dance-pop joy" that was reminiscent of material from her earlier "Hannah Montana" soundtracks.
He also stated that the lyrics delivered in "Forgiveness and Love" were among the "more over-the-top cutesy moments" throughout the record, specifically commenting that the lines "The only thing that / Our hearts are made of / Are the acts of forgiveness and love" were "so unbelievably saccharine that Hallmark would ultimately have to turn them down".
Robert Ham from Christianity Today felt that "Permanent December" discussed the story of "the devoted girlfriend pushing aside the 'sexy boys' vying for her affections", while "Stay" addressed the difficulties in maintaining a long-distance relationship.
Writing for AllMusic, Heather Phares noted that "Scars" exemplified Cyrus' equating of "grown-up with joyless", adding that the track fails to find the "emotional depth" Cyrus was likely intending. She also described "Take Me Along" as one of the more "overwrought ballads" where Cyrus' delivery seemed more comfortable than others on the record.
Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly felt that "Robot" highlighted the theme of defiance and rebellion seen throughout the album, specifically noting the lyrics "Stand here, sell this, and hit your mark / I would scream but I'm just this hollow shell".
The album closes with the twelfth track "My Heart Beats for Love", which according to Ham, describes "the more universal ideal of love for all"; Greenblatt also recognized the integration of organ instrumentation.
"Can't Be Tamed" debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 102,000 copies.
As of January 2014, the album has moved 35,000 units in the United States.
At Metacritic, "Can't Be Tamed received an average score of 48, which indicates "mixed or average reviews", based on nine reviews.
Heather Phares from AllMusic shared a similar sentiment in regards to its production, suggesting that the excessive use of Auto-Tune limited Cyrus' ability to express genuine emotion, adding that several tracks were similar to "Tik Tok" by Kesha "minus that song's mindless fun".
A writer for Billboard also noted Cyrus' a lack of emotion in Cyrus' vocals, but considered the "delightfully robo-country" cover version of "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" as the standout track from the record.
Writing for The Boston Globe, James Reed questioned the need to "tame" Cyrus, given that "this stuff is already pretty innocuous". However, he acknowledged that Can't Be Tamed contained "the catchiest Top 40 hits money can buy."
Referencing the lyrics in "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly felt that Cyrus was "just not (yet) that thorny a girl" despite visible efforts of rebellion.
Alexis Petridis of The Guardian thought that Cyrus lost sight of her target audience with the project, noting that: "if you're old enough to stay up after 9:00 PM without asking permission, it's not intended for you" while also commenting that children that may be interested in the record had likely "transferred their affections" to the then-teenage Justin Bieber.
Writing for Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield opined that the production used throughout "Can't Be Tamed" felt too generic for its goal of rebellion.
Theon Weber of The Village Voice felt that Cyrus' attempts of maturity were too similar to those of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears in their earlier years, and commented that the album itself was "sadly wan".
Evan Sawdey from PopMatters shared the same concern, additionally noting the irony that Cyrus' first project after Hannah Montana was released through the Disney-owned Hollywood Records.
Elysa Gardner from USA Today opined that Cyrus had successfully "made the full leap from tween queen to pop tart" with the music video for "Can't Be Tamed", but failed to maintain this image with "generic, anonymous tunes" on the parent album.