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Bangerz is Miley Cyrus' fourth studio album that was released on October 4, 2013 by RCA Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Adore You 4:38
  2. We Can't Stop 3:51
  3. SMS (Bangerz) (featuring Britney Spears) 2:49
  4. 4x4 (featuring Nelly) 3:11
  5. My Darlin' (featuring Future) 4:03
  6. Wrecking Ball 3:41
  7. Love Money Party (featuring Big Sean) 3:39
  8. GETITRIGHT 4:24
  9. Drive 4:15
  10. FU (featuring French Montana) 3:51
  11. Do My Thang 3:45
  12. Maybe You're Right 3:33
  13. Someone Else 4:48
  14. Rooting For My Baby 3:20
  15. On My Own 3:52
  16. Hands In The Air (featuring Ludacris) 3:22

Album BackgroundEdit

In 2012, Miley Cyrus announced plans to focus on her film career, effectively putting her musical endeavors on hiatus. That year, she appeared in the films "LOL" and "So Undercover."

She was also confirmed as a primary voice actress in the feature film, "Hotel Transylvania", but she dropped out of the project to coordinate a musical comeback

In January 2013, Cyrus signed a recording contract with RCA Records. In March of that same year, she confirmed that her fourth studio album would be released by the end of the year.

She stated that she "started over" as an artist after terminating the services of her previous professional connections, who she felt "would have [been] scared" by her evolving public image.

In a later interview, Cyrus elaborated that she recognizes "Bangerz" to be her official debut record, deprecating her earlier projects released during the production of Hannah Montana.

While recording the then-untitled album, Cyrus intended to produce a "very adult and sexy and believable" final product, and was "having fun making music [for] the first time in her career."

She said the album was influenced by Motown sound. The musical acts which inspired the album included OneRepublic and Timbaland

Cyrus described the music on the album as "dirty south hip-hop" and combining the genres of hip-hop and country, which she felt was a "good hybrid".

To achieve this sound, she worked with various hip hop producers including Mike Will Made It, Mac Miller, Pharrell Williams, and Tyler, the Creator in cities including Atlanta, Georgia. They helped her to incorporate hip hop music elements into the project, which Cyrus acknowledged resulted in a "really different sound".

Cyrus further commented that her project would "shut everyone up" and later compared it to Michael Jackson's album, "Bad", in that "people are still listening to [it] because it's so fucking dope" and "[wants] people to listen to [her] album like that." She also expressed her desire to "set a new standard for pop music."

Producer Sean Garrett called the record "fun [and] exciting", and stated that a collaboration that Cyrus recorded with Britney Spears would appear on the final track listing.

Mike Will Made It explained that the title for the album was decided upon after realizing that "whole album was bangers."

CompositionEdit

"Bangerz" is primarily a pop and R&B album, which also integrates elements of hip hop, synthpop and country music.

During an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on October 10, Ellen DeGeneres asked Cyrus if the record was inspired by her relationship with Liam Hemsworth, to which she replied, "the whole album is a story of that and I think it says that starting with "Adore You" and ending with "Someone Else" ..... I think I knew more intuitively where my life was going than I actually thought I did at the time."

The album opens with "Adore You" (a pop and R&B ballad) which lyrically addresses a lover through lyrics including "We were meant to be/In holy matrimony". Nick Catucci from Entertainment Weekly opined that the track allowed Cyrus to showcase her vocal abilities.

"We Can't Stop" is a midtempo pop and R&B with influences from EDM and hip hop[40] song that lyrically discusses the events of a house party.

Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times calling the song "the calmest, most clear-eyed rebel yell since Janet Jackson's 'Control'."

Catucci described "SMS (Bangerz)" as a "merry rap-off" with pop singer Britney Spears, who appears as a guest vocalist in the second verse.

The track "4x4" features hip hop recording artist Nelly, and lyrically discusses the story of a "female rebel" looking to find bail for her romantic partner. Subtle country music elements are present throughout the song.

"My Darlin'" features Future; Cyrus' vocal abilities were complimented, though were deemed to be overpowered by a "sea of blinking synths and unthawed crooning".

"Wrecking Ball" is a synthpop ballad speaking of a failed relationship. The seventh track "Love Money Party" features Big Sean, and incorporates a "grimy, haunted-house beat".

Jason Lipshutz from Billboard noted that Cyrus appeared more comfortable with rapping in the recording, compared to an earlier performance on the Mike Will Made It single "23".

The track "#GetItRight" is a "stylish breeze" that sees the inclusion of "whistling [...] and a chopped guitar lick". It was described as being reminiscent of "Twisted" by Usher and "Kickin' In" by Adam Lambert, all three of which were produced by Pharrell Williams.

Cyrus stated that "Drive" was inspired by "needing to leave someone but not really wanting to completely cut yourself off from the relationship." Her comments were assumed to reference her engagement to Hemsworth by the media.

The tenth track "FU" features French Montana, and according to Catucci, blends "starry Adele-style sass and a French Montana verse into expertly inlaid dubstep wub-wubs".

He went on to describe "Do My Thang" as a "ripping dance track" while Lipshutz recognized influences from "gooey synthesizers and snapping percussion".

"Maybe You're Right" incorporates drum instrumentation with "hints of gospel influence", and was also questioned to be addressing Hemsworth.

The final track "Someone Else" combines hip hop and synthpop styles, and lyrically discusses Cyrus' evolving public image.

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Bangerz" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 270,000 copies, making it Cyrus' fifth non-consecutive number-one album in the country.

The album sold 168,000 copies more than her previous album, "Can't Be Tamed" and became the best-selling debut week for a female artist in 2013.

As of February 2014, "Bangerz" has sold 1 million copies in the United States and has been certified platinum by the RIAA.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"Bangerz" received mixed to positive reviews from music critics.

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, it received an average score of 61, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 21 reviews.

Heather Phares from Allmusic provided a favorable review, opining that it "accomplishes [the] mission" of "[selling] Cyrus as an independent woman", further commenting that the incorporation of several genres within the project "introduces Miley as an A-list pop star."

Jason Lipshutz of Billboard complimented the album for being "fiercely individual", but stated that the "dramatic breakup songs" became repetitive. Lipshutz stated that the album is "neither the best nor worst pop album" released in 2013, and stated power ballad songs like "Wrecking Ball" would increase her career longevity.

Nick Catucci of Entertainment Weekly described the album as being "utterly fresh" and a "pop blitz from a hip hop blue print", and stated that Cyrus had visibly transitioned from her former persona established by the Disney Channel.

Mikael Wood from the Los Angeles Times noted that the album favored a "grittier, hip-hop-inspired vibe" instead of the "glossy electro-pop" from her previous material, and further opined that "We Can't Stop" "still astounds; it might be the calmest, most clear-eyed rebel yell since Janet Jackson's 'Control.' An album beyond its years."

Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan complimented the album's "wide-ranging production", labeling it a "Rihanna-meets-Gaga-meets-Pink-meets-Britney party grenade of a record".

Writing for Fact, Tom Lea provided a more mixed review of Bangerz, calling it a "hot mess of country, Southern hip-hop and more", but concluded that the record contained "more—ahem—bangers than clangers."

Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian shared a similar sentiment, but also concluded that the overall record held "more hits than misses".

John Murphy of musicOMH described the tracks as being "rather run of the mill material", but nonetheless complimented Cyrus' promotional efforts for making the record "one of the most anticipated pop albums of the year".

Kitty Empire from The Observer was more negative of "Bangerz", stating that the project "feels stitched together in the dark, and the attention-seeking begins to grate."

Elysa Gardner for USA Today described the album's composition as "mediocre" and consisting of "competent, mostly generic tunes".

Jessica Hopper from Spin was also more negative of the record, remarking that it is a "precise album that flits between bombastic and turgid" and "is very fun".

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