Over the past three years, Miley Cyrus has reinvented herself as a daring, no-hold-barred pop performer, flaunting her musicianship and personality in endlessly unpredictable ways. But before Bangerz, there was “Can’t Be Tamed”—Cyrus’ title track to her 2010 album, and one of her most spirited music videos ever.
The original Miley ode to breaking free of her kid-friendly image, “Can’t Be Tamed” was given a visual in which Cyrus plays an exotic creature that tears up a museum, because, well, she can’t be tamed. It’s a little kitschy, but utterly fascinating—and now, it’s time to highlight its strongest qualities.
In honor of Miley Cyrus’ 23rd birthday on Monday (Nov. 23), check out the 10 best moments in her 2010 video for “Can’t Be Tamed.”
0:10 mark: Lady with Birdcage Face. More than anything in the video, this shot is a good reminder that the “Can’t Be Tamed” video came out six months after Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” clip. Pop videos were getting a little post-modern and uber-artistic!
0:26: “Avis! Cyrus!” lol
0:36: A Look So Fierce, You Have To Gasp. Miley reveals her face, and the tuxedoed onlookers are taken aback. We haven’t even gotten to the “Rock! Mafia!” part yet, guys! Calm down!
1:05: Uh, Is That Synch A Little Bit Off? Watch Miley’s lips during the first line, “For those who don’t know me, I can get a bit crazy!” At this point, Miley is so crazy that her vocals are moving out of time!
1:25: World, Meet Sexy Miley Cyrus. Writhing over a pair of dancers during the bridge, this portion of the “Can’t Be Tamed” video adamantly stated that Miley was leaving her Disney image behind. The world gasped, unable to process the sexy dancing, and unaware that Miley would be proudly exposing a whole lot more of her body in a few years’ time.
1:50: Worst… Birdcage… Ever. Miley and her dancers slip out of the cage impossibly easily to wreak havoc on the outside world. What’s even the point of a cage that takes zero effort to escape?!
2:01: CHIPMUNK VOICE BREAKDOWN. Five years later, we still have absolutely no idea why Miley slips into Alvin Territory for exactly one line of “Can’t Be Tamed.” What a weird decision! She’s just being Miley, we suppose.
2:26: The OG Crazy Eyes. Uzo Aduba might play Crazy Eyes on Orange Is The New Black, but Miley gives us some fantastic wacko looks in this shadowy sequence.
3:01: Beautiful Birdman. There are a lot of eye-catching people-dressed-as-bird-people in the “Can’t Be Tamed” video, but huge shout-out to the dude in the yellow makeup who is completely lost in the moment here. The facial expression, the hand movements, the tilted gyration… it’s a lot to pack into roughly one second, but he does it all.
3:44: The “Can’t Be Tamed” Carnage. What a beautiful mess Avis Cyrus has created on this most holy of nights. You thought she could be tamed? Ha!