Album Review: Cam - “Untamed”

We take a deeper look into the final major album release of 2015 and determine that it’s worthy of year-end lists and more. See what we say and leave a comment to enter to win the album and swag from Cam, Arista and us!

If you've been anywhere near a country radio station or fan you've likely heard “Burning House” by now (it’s currently Top 5 at country radio at the release of Untamed) and while that song is worthy of any and all attention it is getting, it’s but the tip of the iceberg for Cam and her debut album Untamed. There’s an overt jovial Dixie Chicks meets Shania feel to songs like “Untamed” and “Half Broke Heart” but it’s the song “Hungover On Heartache” which blends 90s country styles with a modern production feel which brings that comparison home. It’s a song that can and should be a big radio hit after “Burning House,” should Arista choose to release it.

When talking about singles, we have to discuss “Mayday,” a song which showcases Tyler Johnson and Jeff Bhaskar’s production and how clever that is when backing up lyrics about heartbreak. It’s a mid-tempo ballad, a sweet spot for Cam’s crystalline voice, a voice which is crazy pure and strong, again recalling the Chicks’ Natalie Maines with a little bit of Carrie Underwood phrasing in other places. But make no mistake, Cam is no copycat. She’s making a unique brand of country music that has helped her stand out, which is why the choice to release “Burning House” was a stroke of genius on her record label’s part. That song is undoubtedly a heavenly slice of lyrical and melodic genius.

The strong ballads (mid tempo or otherwise) serve as the backbone of the record with “Cold In California” and “Village” worth the price of admission. “Village,” the closing song, is ripped from Cam’s life as she uses a lyric that just is brilliantly laid out. The metaphor of your heart being a village of memories and love and caring souls who are with you always, even if they pass away, is a strong one and perhaps the strongest one on the entire Untamed album.

It’s not often that artists release projects in the middle of December but that’s exactly what Cam is doing with her Arista Nashville/RCA Records debut Untamed. The album is an eleven track cornucopia of confident rhythms, rhymes and reason and instantly announces a major force in country music is about to blossom before our eyes.

4.5 stars.


Question: What's your favorite song (outside of "Burning House") from this album?

Answer the question in the comments to enter to win this cool prize pictured here:




  • Vicki Kane

    Village. .....a song our country needs now!

  • Steven Bramley

    Village is an awesome song..:)

  • James McKee

    Want It All for favorite potential single. Favorite song on the album would probably be Village.

  • Valerie Glassner

    Country Ain't Never Been Pretty is my favorite song! I heard it live a while back and thought it was super catchy! Whole cd is great though.

  • Quinn

    Great album! Cam is one of my favorite acts in country music right now, and I think she's doing some really great things with this new record. I love the video for Burning House - definitely give it a watch if you haven't already:

  • Brian Lacey

    My favorite track is Cold in California. It's melody is beautiful; Cam sings it poignantly. I also enjoyed Country Ain't Never Been Pretty. It's playful and presents a nice twist on contemporary country. Full disclosures: I like just about every track on the album, and I watched Cam perform nearly the entire album live at her concert on Boston Common this past summer. She was wonderful. Great album. It''s a great follow-up to her earlier single, Down This Road.

  • Maranda

    My favorite is Mayday because the lyrics are so real. I also always liked My Mistake- it felt like it came from an adult woman in contrast to women in country starting so young.

  • Kara

    Although my favorite from first hearing the EP was Half Broke Heart, my new favorite based on the full length release is Want It All.

  • Steve

    Hungover on Heartache is great, but Village edges it out as a favorite.

  • Erik

    Burning House. That song is amazing!

  • Danijel K.

    My favorite song is Village. The melody is beautiful but it's the lyrics that make the song such a standout track and usually, I'm not the type who takes the lyrics apart. The idea of an (inner) village, built on love and memories, is amazing and makes you value the loved ones around you. It's a song that made me think about my life, my choices and the people around me and I didn't see it coming. So I'd love to win the package as I love Cam so much and I follow your site religiously every week. Thanks in advance.