You may not have heard of Camaron Marvel Ochs (or simply Cam) besides her accredited contribution to songs like Miley Cyrus’s “Maybe You’re Right,” from the 2013 album Bangerz, but the thirty one year old country music artist has taken herself down the path of solo material in her debut album, Untamed, to make sure you will. After her recent Grammy nomination (“Burning House”), it’s safe to say country music fans were dying to get their hands on the full length debut.
Unfortunately, the hype dies with the one hit wonder track. Untamed isn’t as untamed as its marketing itself to be. The entire album falls flat with little originality and no strong core. The heart of the album is absent in songs like “Cold in California” and “Half Broke Heart.” The ballads sound the same, with repetitive and cliché ballads of heartache on the countryside. “Mayday” starts strong with heavy beats and a sweet tang to Cam’s voice, but the chorus ruins the entire track by overbearing, cheesy and artificial lyrics. The hollowness continues with “Village,” with the lyrics: “I’d never leave you alone / I’ve been watching over you like older brothers do.” It picks up in the chorus, allowing a nostalgic tone to settle, but tries too hard to remind the listeners of a Miranda Lambert song.
With little originality evident in the eleven tracks, a catchy chorus or two would be the best route to salvage the album, but alas the closest it gets is “Want It All,” with a sweet chorus and soft drum and hard acoustic guitar strums. With lyrics like: “I want it all / Don’t want no rocking-chair regrets / I got that fire and it’s burning in my chest / Gonna keep on living ’til I hear the last call,” presents a youthful energy to a tiresome and burden-like album.
It’s clear what the album set out to become: a combination between Fearless by Taylor Swift, and Kacey Musgraves own Grammy nominated album Pageant Material. Untamed sounds carefully crafted to fall between the new country and the “old” one. It’s missing the tracks that gave the inspired two albums its recognition and achievements: quality. The lyrics are boring, the vocals sound insincere, and it runs on low quality production. It triumphs in the ability to gain attention, but steers clear of keeping it.
Cam is a young soul in the long list of older country stars, but if she continues on releasing albums like Untamed, she’s going to miss the boat full of her young counterparts.
Untamed is released under Arista Nashville and RCA Records and is available in all stores now.