Cam, "Untamed" (Arista Nashville/RCA)
Before the release of this debut album, Cam had drawn attention for her single "Burning House," which earned a Grammy nomination for best solo country performance and was the only 500,000-selling country single released by a woman in 2015. "Untamed" pays off on the promise of that song. It's pop-country at its finest, a canny mix of pungent rootsiness and pumped-up radio accessibility. The appeal of the music matches that of Cam herself (real name: Camaron Ochs), who co-wrote all 11 songs. She comes across as vibrant, intelligent and unaffected, whether displaying a Miranda Lambert-like scrappiness on "My Mistake" and "Country Ain't Never Been Pretty," or expressing the tender regret of "Burning House," one of the album's quietest moments. "I'm blond but I ain't stupid," Cam declares amid the down-home wisdom of "Half Broke Heart." By the time she delivers the line — it's on track eight — she has made that abundantly clear.
Nick Cristiano, Philadelphia Inquirer