Cam, a newcomer, is hitting the country genre with a powerful voice and creative storylines in debut album Untamed.

The Grammy-nominated country singer Camaron Ochs, better known as Cam, released her debut album Untamed on Dec. 11. The album contains 11 songs, each of which Cam took part in writing. While the album has an abundance of breakup and love songs, the storytelling and imagery used within the songs makes the album standout.

Untamed kicks off with the title track, which is an appropriate opener welcoming fun and freedom while young. The song is a boot stomping version of “Young, Wild and Free,” (or any other teenage anthem) and would be a fitting song to kick off a concert. With a voice comparable to Shania Twain or Jennifer Nettles, Cam creates a journey with her album and with a traditional voice.

An acoustic guitar breaks out in “Mayday.” Mayday” is usually used in a moment of panic and tragedy, Cam sings it with a relaxed tone. The song tells a tale about ending relationships and the pain that comes with it — despite knowing it’s not working out. It’s a terrifying concept that is fitting for the title — and the relaxed tone almost feels eerie and desperate.

The opening chords of the hit single “Burning House” are similar to Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” from the Hunger Games soundtrack. The imagery-filled song developed from a vivid dream of Cam’s. The eerie tone continues on this single as the guilt-ridden song depicts two ex-lovers going up in flames together.

“Cold in California” reflects on the difficult moment in a relationship when telling a lover to chase his or her dreams but deep down not wanting to lose him or her. It’s a heart-warming tale about chilly weather in California and focuses on the pain of missing someone. Cam’s chilling voice continues to be relaxed but has a tinge of heartbreak cracking in the chords of the chorus.

The album becomes a little more upbeat with “My Mistake,” which is a song about knowing the relationship is going to end. Despite the song telling a story about a relationship ending, it provides a break from the heart heavy tunes earlier on the album. In the song, Cam is fully aware of the mistakes she’s making, but embraces those mistake all night long.

The untamed theme continued with “Runaway Train.” The song begins with some accusatory phrases and focuses on a broken heart after a seemingly nasty break. Cam sings of love turning into anger and hatred. With the quick paced banjo plucking and boot stomping feel, Cam showcases the power in her voice.

“Half Broke Heart” song is like a continuation of “My Mistake.” Cam sings about the end of a relationship that she already knew was going to end. Although there is a sting, the relationship wasn’t really going anywhere. Although the singer isn’t broken into a million pieces, “a half broke heart is still broke.” The song has a chill vibe and tells a not-so-average breakup story.

“Want It All” is a song for go-getters and goes along with the album title. The song is about hurting but not wanting to give up chasing dreams. All factors of life can be considered when listening — whether it’s chasing career dreams or chasing a true love. The willingness and optimism along with the message make “Want It All” a stand out song on the album.

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“Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty” is like a broken record in the country genre. Every listener knows there is a difference between being country and being a city folk. Cam continues to asks listeners to stop her if they have already gotten the point — since similar tunes have been sung before —most people probably understand the message after the first few chords, which makes this song nothing special.

Instead of ending the album on an upbeat note, Cam ends on a powerful one instead with “Village.” It’s rather fitting for the end of the album because when the music stops, listeners will be left thinking in silence. The song is sung from the perspective of a dead loved one who is in a village within a person’s heart. It’s meaningful because it gives reassurance to the person still living and says the words that were never spoken. It’s a reminder that no one is ever truly alone.

The album is untamed. It’s full of powerful melodies, captivating storylines and intense imagery. While some songs were a little cliché and predictable, the few standouts show that the newcomer is ready to begin a wild, untamed journey into the music business.

Rating: 4/5 

@liz_backo

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