Miley Cyrus, "Can't Be Tamed"
Miley Cyrus kept controversy at a safe distance from her music in the past, but on "Can't Be Tamed," the 17-year-old officially declares herself a wild child and absolvers herself of tween role-model responsibilities ("If there was a question about my intentions, I'll tell ya/I'm not here to sell ya"). The under-three-minute track revs up with piercing synths that scream "edgy," while Cyrus shouts, "I can't be tamed! I can't be changed!" over a grating death-march of a chorus. The angst could be construed as forced-not to mention questionable, since Cyrus' big 2009 hits, "Party in the U.S.A." and "The Climb," were full of fizzy poptimism and hum-along melodies. But Cyrus knows how to proffer her sass. When she sneers, "I'm not a fake, it's in my DNA," in pre-emptive retaliation against her critics, she does it with the professionalism of a Disney-groomed star.-Monica Herrera