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|Studio album by Miley Cyrus|
|Released||October 4, 2013|
|Miley Cyrus chronology|
|Singles from Bangerz|
|Studio album by Miley Cyrus|
|Released||October 4, 2013|
|Miley Cyrus chronology|
|Singles from Bangerz|
Bangerz is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Miley Cyrus, released on October 4, 2013 by RCA Records. Opting to re-establish her music career instead of focusing on her film career as originally planned, Cyrus began planning the project in 2012. Work continued into 2013, at which time she left her previous label Hollywood Records and subsequently joined RCA Records.
Described by Cyrus as "dirty south hip-hop", Bangerz represents a musical departure from her earlier work, which she has grown to feel "disconnected" from. She considered it to be her debut record, having been her first released since the conclusion of her former television series Hannah Montana. As executive producers, Cyrus and Mike Will Made It collaborated with hip hop producers including Cirkut, Pharrell Williams, and will.i.am to achieve Cyrus' desired new sound. Their efforts resulted in a primarily pop record, which sees additional influences from hip hop and country music. The lyrical themes revolve largely around romance, which were reportedly inspired by Cyrus' former fiancé Liam Hemsworth. Furthermore, the record features guest vocals from several new partners, including pop singer Britney Spears and rappers Big Sean, French Montana, Future, Ludacris, and Nelly.
Upon its release, Bangerz received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who appreciated its overall production and originality, but were ambivalent towards Cyrus' public persona. The record debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 270,000 copies. In doing so, it became Cyrus' fifth non-consecutive number-one album, including earlier soundtracks in which she performed as her former titular character Hannah Montana. The album additionally reached the peak position in Australia, Ireland, Scotland, and the United Kingdom, and charted moderately throughout several additional international territories.
Two singles have been released from Bangerz thus far. The lead single "We Can't Stop" was released on June 3, 2013, and peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100. The second single "Wrecking Ball" was released on August 25, 2013, and became Cyrus' first single to peak in the top position in the United States. Its accompanying music video currently holds the Vevo record for most views in the first 24 hours of its release, and the record for being the fastest video to reach 100 million views on the service. Promotional efforts for Bangerz continued to associate Cyrus with an increasingly provocative image, an effort first begun with her third record, Can't Be Tamed (2010). She garnered widespread media attention through a controversial performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, and was later the host and musical guest during an episode of Saturday Night Live. Cyrus has also announced plans for her upcoming Bangerz Tour in 2014.
In 2012, 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 dropped out of the project to coordinate a musical comeback. In January 2013, Cyrus ended her recording contract with Hollywood Records, under which she released the albums Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), Breakout (2008), Can't Be Tamed (2010), and EP The Time of Our Lives (2009). Later that month, she signed a recording contract with RCA Records. In March, she confirmed that her fourth studio album would be released by the end of 2013.
Cyrus 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, she 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. Musical acts which inspired the album included Miguel and Frank Ocean.
She described the music 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, Cyrus 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 the record to Bad (1987) by Michael Jackson, in that "people still are 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". Cyrus stated that she began working on her fifth studio album soon after completing Bangerz, having been "at a different time than [she] was when [she] finished the record."
After becoming engaged to Australian actor Liam Hemsworth in June 2012, Cyrus planned to release the record before their then-unscheduled nuptials. On August 6, 2013, after reaching 13 million followers on Twitter, Cyrus tweeted that the record would be titled Bangerz. On August 24, Cyrus unveiled the album artworks for the standard and deluxe versions of the album; both depict a blonde Cyrus wearing a short black coat with the title "Bangerz" stylized in florescent neon lighting in front of palm trees. It was described as being reminiscent of the 1980s television series Miami Vice and an unexpected choice given her recent influence by hip hop culture. A writer for The Huffington Post later suggested that the neon-style typography was inspiration for the cover of Britney Spears' eighth studio album Britney Jean (2013), which itself is a black-and-white close-up image of Spears with the term "Britney Jean" colored in blue lettering inside a pink heart positioned towards the bottom of the artwork. Later on August 25, Bangerz was made available for pre-order through the iTunes Store. She later confirmed that it would be released on October 8, 2013 in the United States. After her music video for the track "Wrecking Ball" broke the Vevo record for the most views in the first twenty-four hours of its release, Cyrus revealed the track listing for Bangerz through Twitter on September 10.
On September 18, Cyrus unveiled four additional covers for the physical version of the deluxe record, which were sporadically distributed across international retailers and voted on by fans to determine the official cover to be printed for future pressings. Two of the covers display Cyrus dressed in alternate outfits, one with a black jacket and another with a white bra and checkered black pants. A third depicts a close-up of Cyrus surrounded by roses, while a fourth highlights a topless Cyrus covering her chest. The topless cover is featured for an online-exclusive edition of the record and is also the primary visual for the forthcoming LP pressings. It was compared to her music video for "Wrecking Ball", which also showcased an unclothed Cyrus, while the others were deemed conservative by comparison. A page of stickers is packaged with the deluxe version of the album. On October 15, it was announced through Cyrus' Facebook profile that the original deluxe artwork would remain the official cover.
The record is additionally marked with the Parental Advisory label, affixed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to identify explicit content. On September 29, 30-second snippets of each track on Bangerz were made available through Allmusic. The following day, the full record was made available for streaming through the iTunes Store and iTunes Radio.
Bangerz is primarily a pop album, which also integrates elements of hip hop, synthpop, and country music. When asked in The Ellen DeGeneres Show if any of the songs in the album were inspired by her relationship with Hemsworth, Cyrus 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."
A thirteen-track set, the record opens with the pop ballad "Adore You", 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, R&B, and dance 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. "4×4" 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 whose lyrics of a failed relationship were rumored to be inspired by her reportedly-turbulent engagement to Hemsworth.
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". "#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 thirteenth and final track "Someone Else" combines hip hop and synthpop styles, and lyrically discusses Cyrus' evolving public image.
A sample of "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus, serviced as the lead single from Bangerz. Musically, the track marks a departure from her earlier recordings, and incorporates pop, R&B, and dance elements.
A sample of "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus, serviced as the second single from Bangerz. It strays from the styles displayed in its predecessor, instead focusing on synthpop styles.
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"We Can't Stop" was released as the lead single from Bangerz on June 3, 2013. It received generally mixed reviews from music critics, who were ambivalent towards its production and lyrics. The track peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, tying it with "Party in the U.S.A." as Cyrus' highest-peaking single in the country at the time. Internationally, it enjoyed varying success across Europe and Oceania, and peaked at number one in New Zealand. The accompanying music video was released on June 19, 2013, and was noted for depicting an increasingly provocative Cyrus, an effort begun with her third record Can't Be Tamed (2010). With 10.7 million views in its first day, the clip briefly held the Vevo record for the most views in twenty-four hours before being surpassed by "Best Song Ever" by One Direction. It was also the fastest video to reach 100 million views, having done so in 37 days.
"Wrecking Ball" was released as the second single from the album on August 25, 2013. Critics welcomed the change of pace it presented from "We Can't Stop", but were more critical of its overall production. The track peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Cyrus' first single to do so in the United States. It additionally peaked within the top-twenty of several international singles charts, and reached number two in Australia and New Zealand. An accompanying music video was released on September 9, 2013, and garnered significant media attention for showcasing a nude Cyrus. With 19.3 million views, it broke the Vevo record for the most views in twenty-four hours, and additionally became the fastest video to reach 100 million views, having done so in six days.
In August 2013, Cyrus was the subject of widespread media attention and public scrutiny following a controversial performance and duet with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The performance began with Cyrus performing "We Can't Stop" in bear-themed attire. Following this, Thicke entered the stage and Cyrus stripped down to a skin-colored two-piece outfit. Cyrus subsequently touched Thicke's crotch area with a giant foam finger and twerked against his crotch. An article published in The Hollywood Reporter described the performance as "crass" and "reminiscent of a bad acid trip". Media attention of the performance largely overshadowed the attention that was given to other major events of the night, such as the reunion of 'N Sync and performances by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
The performance was described by XXL critic B. J. Steiner as a "trainwreck in the classic sense of the word as the audience reaction seemed to be a mix of confusion, dismay and horror in a cocktail of embarrassment", while the BBC said Cyrus stole the show with a "raunchy performance". According to Forbes, the performance resulted in a gain of over 213,000 Twitter followers, 226,000 likes on Facebook, and 90,000 downloads of her new promotional single, "Wrecking Ball", within days of the controversial performance. This amounted to a total 112% increase in Cyrus' social media activity.
In September 2013, Cyrus performed "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball" at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. Despite generating media attention for a provocative wardrobe, the performance was considered to be "fairly tame considering the VMAs." On October 5, Cyrus served as the host and musical guest during an episode of Saturday Night Live. She appeared in several sketches, including a parody of "We Can't Stop" titled "We Did Stop (The Government)", referencing the federal government shutdown, and performed an acoustic version of "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball". The following Monday, Cyrus performed on Today as part of their Toyota Concert Series. She held an album signing on October 8 at Planet Hollywood in Times Square, and also appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show later that month. Bangerz was additionally promoted through the documentary Miley: The Movement, which premiered through MTV on October 2; it covered the production of the project and the lead-up to its release.
During her appearance on Today on October 7, Cyrus first mentioned her intentions to tour in 2014. On October 26, she made a surprise appearance on another episode of Saturday Night Live to officially announce the Bangerz Tour. The tour is currently scheduled to include thirty-eight shows, the first of which will be held at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on February 14, 2013.
|The A.V. Club||B|
|Los Angeles Times|||
Upon its release, Bangerz received generally favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 21 reviews. Writing for Allmusic, Heather Phares 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 Bangerz 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." Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan complimented the album's the "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 opined 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, opining that the project "feels stitched together in the dark, and the attention-seeking begins to grate." Jim Farber of the New York Daily News provided a negative review, describing Bangerz as a "disjointed mess" with a main purpose of increasing Cyrus' provocative image. He felt that Cyrus sounded uncomfortable on the hip hop songs and that the "raw sexual moments" sounded "forced", but complimented "FU" and "#Getitright" for respectively delivering a solid vocal performance and being "genuinely likable". Elysa Gardner for USA Today described the record's composition as "mediocre" and consisting of "competent, mostly generic tunes". Jessica Hopper from Spin was also more negative of the record, opining that it is a "precise album that flits between bombastic and turgid" and "is not very fun."
On October 9, Billboard reported that Bangerz would sell an estimated 250–275,000 copies in first-week United States sales. On October 16, the record officially debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, having moved 270,000 units. In doing so, Cyrus attained her fifth non-consecutive number-one album in the country. The figure includes her first and second studio albums Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus (2007) and Breakout (2008), in addition to the soundtracks Hannah Montana (2006) and Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009), in which Cyrus was credited as her former titular character Hannah Montana. Furthermore, the record sold 168,000 more copies than her previous effort Can't Be Tamed (2010), and became the best-selling debut week for a female artist in 2013. Three weeks later, this feat was surpassed by Katy Perry after her fourth studio album Prism (2013) debuted at number one with first-week sales of 286,000 copies. During its second week of release, Bangerz dropped to number two with sales of 72,000 copies, and dropped to number four in its third week after moving 43,000 units. It also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart.
Bangerz charted moderately throughout Europe. In the United Kingdom, the record and her track "Wrecking Ball" both debuted at number one on their respective charts, making Cyrus the first artist of 2013 to achieve a "chart double" in the country. It also reached the peak position in both Ireland and Scotland, and respectively debuted at numbers two and three in Spain and Italy. The album peaked at number four on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 and the Swedish Sverigetopplistan. It also debuted at number four on the Portuguese Albums Chart, and was further recognized with a double-platinum certification by the Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa for sales of 40,000 copies. The album also reached number six on the Dutch MegaCharts, number seven on the Swiss Music Charts, number eight on the Hungarian MAHASZ, and number three on the Danish Hitlisten and number nine on both the French Albums Chart and the German Media Control Charts. In Belgian, the record respectively peaked at numbers eight and nineteen in Flanders and Wallonia. The album reached number 23 on The Official Finnish Charts, and debuted at number 45 on the Polish ZPAV. In Oceania, Bangerz debuted in the peak position of the Australian ARIA Charts, and reached number two in New Zealand.
Bangerz and its promotional events have been largely credited with establishing a sexually-provocative image for Cyrus. A writer for The Huffington Post noted that her "transformation from her parent-friendly, 'pretty cool' Hannah Montana days to her current scantily clad, rapping, twerking self" was strengthened by the series of "headline-making antics, performances, and music videos" in the lead-up to the record. John Murphy from MusicOMH stated that Cyrus' performance at the MTV Video Music Awards became "the seismic event that ensured we’d never recall 2013 without thinking of her", further opining that the anticipation it built for Bangerz made it "impossible not to admire her PR operation."
Andrew Unterberger of Billboard felt that Bangerz developed the maturing image for Cyrus that her third album Can't Be Tamed (2010) failed to accomplish. He suggested that she had "no true backup plan" for creating a new public persona in 2010, and stated that she "now feels firmly in control of her music and her image" in 2013. Marlow Stern from The Daily Beast shared a similar sentiment, stating that Cyrus "is completely in control of what she’s doing" after her recent controversies, which he described as "pure artistic calculation born out of mild desperation", and has successfully done "just about anything to gain our attention". Zack O'Malley Greenburg of Forbes commented that despite widespread criticism of "chasing YouTube views and record sales at the expense of her image", the "new Cyrus" appears "marketable as ever."
Patrick Ryan of USA Today commented that Cyrus' collaborations with Mike Will Made It contributed to his new-found prominence, stating that Mike Will Made It's position as an executive producer has helped him "[jump] to the forefront as an interesting character [...] in an era where a lot of producers have fallen behind the scenes again".
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Bangerz.
|Bangerz – Standard version|
|2.||"We Can't Stop"||3:51|
|3.||"SMS (Bangerz)" (featuring Britney Spears)||2:49|
|4.||"4×4" (featuring Nelly)||Williams||3:11|
|5.||"My Darlin'" (featuring Future)||4:03|
|7.||"Love Money Party" (featuring Big Sean)||3:39|
|10.||"FU" (featuring French Montana)||Afuni||3:51|
|11.||"Do My Thang"||3:45|
|12.||"Maybe You're Right"||3:33|
|Bangerz – Deluxe version (bonus tracks)|
|14.||"Rooting for My Baby"||Williams||3:20|
|15.||"On My Own"||Williams||Williams||3:52|
|16.||"Hands in the Air" (featuring Ludacris)||3:22|
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||1|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||4|
|Argentinian Albums (CAPIF)||1|
|Brazilian Albums (ABPD)||1|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||5|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||11|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||1|
|Danish Albums (Hitlisten)||3|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||6|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||1|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||23|
|French Albums (SNEP)||9|
|German Albums (Media Control)||9|
|Greek Albums (IFPI)||5|
|Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)||8|
|Irish Albums (IRMA)||1|
|Italian Albums (FIMI)||3|
|Japanese Albums (Oricon)||24|
|Korean Albums (GAON)||21|
|Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)||3|
|New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)||2|
|Polish Albums (ZPAV)||20|
|Portuguese Albums (AFP)||4|
|Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)||2|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||4|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||7|
|Scottish Albums (OCC)||1|
|UK Albums (OCC)||1|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|Portugal (AFP)||2× Platinum||40,000x|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|Australia||October 4, 2013||RCA|||
|United Kingdom||October 7, 2013|||
|United States||October 8, 2013|||
|Japan||October 23, 2013|||
|United States||November 26, 2013||Deluxe|||