I want to do my last pop record. I'm working on a record right now. I kind of want this to be my last record for a little while and be able to take a break and just get all the types of music that I really love ... you know, my favorite styles, because in a few years, as I grow up, so will my fans, and I won't have to focus on that as much, and I'll be able to have more of the sound of music that I'm into.

– Cyrus, describing the artistic transition she experienced during the production of Can't Be Tamed, MTV News.

Can't Be Tamed is the third studio album by Miley Cyrus. It was released on June 18, 2010, by Hollywood Records; it would become her final album with the label after signing with RCA Records in 2013. Cyrus wrote the project in 2009, while travelling internationally for her Wonder World Tour, and recorded it in 2010. Described by Cyrus as a "good [record] to blast in your car", Can't Be Tamed represents a musical departure from her earlier work, which she had grown to feel uninspired by. As executive producers, Tish Cyrus and Jason Morey enlisted partners including Devrim Karaoglu, Marek Pompetzki, Rock Mafia, and John Shanks to achieve Cyrus' desired new sound. Their efforts resulted in a primarily dance-pop record, which Cyrus' record label acknowledged differed from the original plans for the project. Its lyrical themes revolve largely around breaking free of constraints and expectations, which are largely mentioned in the context of romantic relationships.

Background Edit

In December 2009, 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 (2007) and Breakout (2008), 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.

Release and artwork Edit

In February 2010, Cyrus announced that her then-untitled third studio album would be released later that summer, which she felt was appropriate because it is "good to blast in your car." Later that April, it was announced that the record would be titled Can't Be Tamed, and would be released on June 22, 2010 in the United States. Consequently, it became the first project from Hollywood Records to be released under the "day-and-date" format, which allowed the project to be released nearly simultaneously worldwide instead of traditionally "staggering" its launch to accommodate "the availability of the artist" internationally. On May 7, Cyrus unveiled the album artwork through her website; it depicts Cyrus dressed in a leather jacket, pants, and midriff-baring shirt while standing against a black-and-white background. It was noted for establishing an increasingly provocative public image for Cyrus; her stylist Simone Harouche stated that it was inspired by singer Joan Jett and the band Blondie, and was "basically a strong statement saying in the most simple way, that she can’t be tamed–literally and metaphorically." A deluxe version of the record was simultaneously released, which included the audio disc packaged with the standard version in addition to a bonus DVD that includes previously unseen footage from Cyrus' performance at The O2 Arena during the Wonder World Tour.

Composition Edit

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." Its 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 the band Poison for their second studio album Open Up and Say... Ahh! (1988); 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.

Singles Edit

"Can't Be Tamed" was released as the lead single from Can't Be Tamed on May 14, 2010. It received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who appreciated its electropop influences. The track debuted at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 with first-week digital downloads of 191,000 copies, although it performed moderately internationally. An accompanying music video for the song was directed by Robert Hales, and was premiered through E! News on May 4, 2010. It follows Cyrus and her back-up dancers dressed in bird-like clothing as they escape a cage and trash a museum.

"Who Owns My Heart" was released as the second European single from Can't Be Tamed later that year. It generated mixed reviews from music critics, who felt that its production was generic. It reached the lower ends of European record charts. The accompanying music video for the track was also directed by Hales, and was released on October 22, 2010.

Promotion Edit

Hollywood Records focused on television appearances when further promoting Can't Be Tamed, which they expected would accommodate Cyrus' schedule more effectively than traditional interviews with the press and radio stations. She first performed "Can't Be Tamed" on May 18, 2010 during the tenth season of Dancing with the Stars in the United States. Cyrus later traveled to Europe to perform at the Rock in Rio concerts in Lisbon on May 29 and Madrid on June 6; she sang "Can't Be Tamed", "Robot" and "My Heart Beats for Love" there. Meanwhile, she played concerts in 1515 Club in Paris (June 1) and G-A-Y nightclub in London (June 5). On June 3 she sang "Can't Be Tamed" on Britain's Got Talent. After returning to the United States, Cyrus held a concert at the House of Blues in Los Angeles on June 16. Her performance was later re-broadcast by MTV through thirty of its international websites, reaching approximately 160 countries; it was made available for on-demand streaming the following day. She also sang "Can't Be Tamed" on TV shows such as Late Show with David Letterman (June 17), Good Morning America (June 18), both in New York City, and 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto (June 20), She did Rock in Rio In Madrid and Lisbon to promote that album, where she performed Can't Be Tamed, Robot and My Heart Beats for Love. On Good Morning America she also sang "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" with Bret Michaels. In November, Cyrus flew to Europe to sing "Who Owns My Heart" on Wetten, dass..? (November 6) and 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards (November 7). On November 21, she performed "Forgiveness and Love" on American Music Awards of 2010 in Los Angeles.

Cyrus launched her headlining Gypsy Heart Tour in April 2011, for which she traveled internationally.

Track listing Edit

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Liberty Walk" Miley Cyrus, Antonina Armato, Tim James, Nicholas J. Scapa, John Read Fasse, Michael McGinnis Rock Mafia, Devrim Karaoglu 4:06
2. "Who Owns My Heart" Miley Cyrus, Antonina Armato, Tim James, Karaoglu Rock Mafia 3:35
3. "Can't Be Tamed" Miley Cyrus, Antonina Armato, Tim James, Marek Pompetzki, Paul NZA Rock Mafia, Karaoglu, Pompetzki 2:48
4. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" Bret Michaels, Rikki Rockett, Bobby Dall, C.C. DeVille Rock Mafia 3:48
5. "Two More Lonely People" Cyrus, Kevin Kadish, Brandon Jane, Angie Aparo, Armato Rock Mafia 3:10
6. "Forgiveness And Love" Cyrus, Armato, James, Adam Schmalholz Rock Mafia 3:28
7. "Permanent December" Cyrus, John Shanks, Claude Kelly Shanks 3:38
8. "Stay" Cyrus, Shanks Shanks 4:22
9. "Scars" Cyrus, Shanks Shanks 3:42
10. "Take Me Along" Cyrus, Shanks Shanks 4:09
11. "Robot" Cyrus, Shanks Shanks 3:43
12. "My Heart Beats For Love" Cyrus, Shanks, Hillary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson Shanks 3:43
iTunes Store bonus track
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
13. "Can't Be Tamed" (Rockangeles Remix (featuring Lil Jon)) Miley Cyrus, Antonina Armato, Tim James, Marek Pompetzki, Paul NZA, Lil Jon Rockangeles 4:00