Bangerz

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Bangerz
An image of several cut-out pictures positioned on a pink-to-purple gradient background. The names "Miley" and "Cyrus" are respectively located on the top and bottom of the picture. On the left-most image, the word "Bangerz" is spelled on a neon sign, placed in front of several palm trees. In the center, a short-haired blonde woman wears a black trench coat is positioned in front of several additional palm tress.
Studio album by Miley Cyrus
ReleasedOctober 4, 2013 (2013-10-04)
Recorded2012–13
GenrePop
Length50:36
LabelRCA
Producer
Miley Cyrus chronology
  • Bangerz
  • (2013)
Singles from Bangerz
  1. "We Can't Stop"
    Released: June 3, 2013 (2013-06-03)
  2. "Wrecking Ball"
    Released: August 25, 2013 (2013-08-25)
  3. "Adore You"
    Released: December 17, 2013 (2013-12-17)
 
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Bangerz
An image of several cut-out pictures positioned on a pink-to-purple gradient background. The names "Miley" and "Cyrus" are respectively located on the top and bottom of the picture. On the left-most image, the word "Bangerz" is spelled on a neon sign, placed in front of several palm trees. In the center, a short-haired blonde woman wears a black trench coat is positioned in front of several additional palm tress.
Studio album by Miley Cyrus
ReleasedOctober 4, 2013 (2013-10-04)
Recorded2012–13
GenrePop
Length50:36
LabelRCA
Producer
Miley Cyrus chronology
  • Bangerz
  • (2013)
Singles from Bangerz
  1. "We Can't Stop"
    Released: June 3, 2013 (2013-06-03)
  2. "Wrecking Ball"
    Released: August 25, 2013 (2013-08-25)
  3. "Adore You"
    Released: December 17, 2013 (2013-12-17)

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 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.

Bangerz received mixed to positive 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. It is the third-highest opening week for a female artist in 2013, behind Beyoncé by Beyoncé and Prism by Katy Perry. Bangerz was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after moving one million units. The album additionally reached the peak position in Australia, Ireland, Scotland, and the United Kingdom, and charted strongly on record charts in additional international territories.

Three 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. "Adore You" was serviced as the third single from the record on December 17, 2013; it has peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. A remix of the track produced by Cedric Gervais was released on March 3, 2014. 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. Furthermore, Cyrus began her international Bangerz Tour on February 14, 2014.

Background and production

"Right now, when people go to iTunes and listen to my old music, it's so irritating to me because I can't just erase that stuff and start over. My last record I feel so disconnected from – I was 16 or 17 when I made it. When you're in your 20's, you just don't really know that person anymore."

— Cyrus describing the artistic transition she experienced during the production of Bangerz.[1]

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.[2] In January 2013, Cyrus ended her recording contract with Hollywood Records, under which she released the studio albums Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), Breakout (2008), Can't Be Tamed (2010), and the extended play (EP) The Time of Our Lives (2009). Later that month, she signed a recording contract with RCA Records.[3] In March, she confirmed that her fourth studio album would be released by the end of 2013.[4]

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.[5] At this time, she notably cut her traditionally long, brown hair in favor of a blonde, pixie-style haircut; she commented that she had "never felt more [herself] in [her] whole life" and that "it really changed [her] life".[6][7] 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.[1] 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."[8] She said the album was influenced by Motown Sound.[9] Musical acts which inspired the album included Miguel and Frank Ocean.[10]

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".[11] Cyrus further commented that her project would "shut everyone up",[4] 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."[12][13] She also expressed her desire to "set a new standard for pop music".[12] 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.[14] Mike Will Made It explained that the title for the album was decided upon after realizing that "whole album was bangers".[15] 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."[16] Cyrus later mentioned plans for an acoustic album, which is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2014.[17]

Release and artwork

After becoming engaged to Australian actor Liam Hemsworth in June 2012, Cyrus planned to release the record before their then-unscheduled nuptials.[8] On August 6, 2013, after reaching 13 million followers on Twitter, Cyrus tweeted that the record would be titled Bangerz.[18] 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 fluorescent neon lighting in front of palm trees.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24] The topless cover is featured for an online-exclusive edition of the record and is also the primary visual for the vinyl pressings, released on November 26 through Cyrus' online store.[25][26] It was compared to her music video for "Wrecking Ball", which also showcased an unclothed Cyrus, while the others were deemed conservative by comparison.[27] A page of stickers is packaged with the deluxe version of the album.[28] On October 15, it was announced through Cyrus' Facebook profile that the original deluxe artwork would remain the official cover.[29]

The record is additionally marked with the Parental Advisory label,[30] affixed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to identify explicit content.[31] On September 29, 30-second snippets of each track on Bangerz were made available through AllMusic.[32] The following day, the full record was made available for streaming through the iTunes Store and iTunes Radio.[33]

Composition

Liam Hemsworth
The lyrical content within Bangerz refers to Cyrus' relationship with her former fiancé Liam Hemsworth (pictured).

Bangerz is primarily a pop album, which also integrates elements of hip hop, synthpop, and country music.[34] During an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on October 10, host Ellen DeGeneres asked Cyrus if the record was inspired by her relationship with 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."[35]

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.[36] "We Can't Stop" is a midtempo pop,[37] R&B,[38] and dance[39] song that lyrically discusses the events of a house party.[40] Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times calling the song "the calmest, most clear-eyed rebel yell since Janet Jackson's 'Control'."[41] Catucci described "SMS (Bangerz)" as a "merry rap-off" with pop singer Britney Spears, who appears as a guest vocalist in the second verse.[34][36] "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.[34] "My Darlin'" features Future; Cyrus' vocal abilities were complimented, though were deemed to be overpowered by a "sea of blinking synths and unthawed crooning".[34] "Wrecking Ball" is a synthpop ballad[42] whose lyrics of a failed relationship were rumored to be inspired by her reportedly-turbulent engagement to Hemsworth.[43]

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".[34] "Get It Right" 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.[34] 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.[44] 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".[36] He went on to describe "Do My Thang" as a "ripping dance track",[36] while Lipshutz recognized influences from "gooey synthesizers and snapping percussion".[34] "Maybe You're Right" incorporates drum instrumentation with "hints of gospel influence", and was also questioned to be addressing Hemsworth.[34] The thirteenth and final track "Someone Else" combines hip hop and synthpop styles, and lyrically discusses Cyrus' evolving public image.[34]

Singles

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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.

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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.[45] It received generally mixed reviews from music critics, who were ambivalent towards its production and lyrics.[46] 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.[47] Internationally, it enjoyed varying success across Europe and Oceania, and peaked at number one in New Zealand.[48] 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).[49] 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.[50]

"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.[51] The track peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Cyrus' first single to do so in the United States.[52] It additionally peaked within the top-twenty of several international singles charts, and reached number two in Australia and New Zealand.[53] An accompanying music video was released on September 9, 2013, and garnered significant media attention for showcasing a nude Cyrus.[54] 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.[55] On December 4, the track returned to the peak position of the Billboard Hot 100 with assistance from online streaming of a viral Chatroulette parody video, and consequentially became the largest gap between number-one sittings in Billboard history.[56] Later that month, the music videos for "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can't Stop" were announced as the first and second most-viewed videos on Vevo in 2013, respectively.[57]

"Adore You" was chosen as the third single from Bangerz;[58] it was serviced to contemporary hit radio stations on December 17, 2013.[59] It received generally favorable reviews, with critics appreciating its mid-tempo production, although they criticized the use of Auto-Tune in its vocals.[60] The accompanying music video was leaked on the evening of December 25, and was officially premiered on the morning of December 26.[61] The clip depicts Cyrus suggestively posing in a bed and a bathtub, and is interspersed with night vision footage that appears to simulate a sex tape.[62] Prior to being officially released as a single, the track debuted at number 42 on the Billboard Hot 100;[63] it has since peaked at number 21.[64] A remix for "Adore You" was produced by Cedric Gervais, and premiered online on February 13, 2014;[65] it was officially released on Beatport through his label Spinnin' Records on March 3.[66]

Promotion

A short-haired blonde woman sings into a microphone while wearing a red leotard.
Cyrus performing at the Jingle Ball in Tampa, Florida, December 2013.

Cyrus first performed "We Can't Stop" at Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 26, 2013 and at Good Morning America the following day.[67][68] In August 2013, she became 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 at Barclays Center in New York City. 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.[69] 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.[70] 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",[71] while the BBC said Cyrus stole the show with a "raunchy performance".[72] The performance generated 306,100 tweets per minute on Twitter, breaking the record for the most tweeted-about event in the history of the social network;[73] the previous record, held by the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show featuring Beyoncé, generated 268,000 tweets per minute.[74] According to Forbes, Cyrus' 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.[75]

In September 2013, Cyrus sang "We Can't Stop" on Schlag den Raab in Germany (September 7), Le Grand Journal in France (September 9) and Alan Carr: Chatty Man in England (September 13).[76][77][78] On September 21, she performed twice at iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, in the afternoon at festival village and in the evening at MGM Grand Garden Arena. During both shows she sang "We Can't Stop" and, for the first time, "Wrecking Ball".[79] Despite generating media attention for a provocative wardrobe, the performance was considered to be "fairly tame considering the VMAs."[80] 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".[81] The following Monday, Cyrus performed both singles on Today as part of their Toyota Concert Series.[82] She held an album signing on October 8 at Planet Hollywood in Times Square,[83] and also appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show later that month, also singing both singles there.[84][85]

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.[86] In November, Cyrus traveled to Europe again to sing both "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball" at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards in Amsterdam on November 10; she garnered media attention for smoking a joint of marijuana on-stage while accepting the Best Video Award for the latter single.[87] On November 17, she performed "Wrecking Ball" on The X Factor in London.[88] After being criticized for delivering a lackluster vocal performance,[89] Cyrus was placed under "vocal rest" by her doctors in preparation of the Bangerz Tour.[90] During her trip, she also performed "Wrecking Ball" on Wetten, dass..? in Germany (November 9),[91] BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge in London (November 12),[92] and the 2013 Bambi Awards in Germany (November 14).[93] On November 24, Cyrus performed "Wrecking Ball" at the 2013 American Music Awards; a digitally-animated cat projected on the screen behind her lip-synced the lyrics alongside Cyrus.[94] In December, she performed at Jingle Ball concerts in Los Angeles (KIIS-FM Jingle Ball), Saint Paul, Atlanta, New York City, Washington, D.C., Tampa and Sunrise.[95] She was expected to perform in Boston during the series, although her flight from New York City was cancelled due to Winter Storm Electra and was therefore unable to attend.[96]

Cyrus also performed "Get It Right" and "Wrecking Ball" on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest in Times Square on December 31;[97] she had previously been expected to perform at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach with Pharrell Williams.[98] On January 25, 2014, Cyrus sang "Get It Right" during Clive Davis' party the evening before the 56th Annual Grammy Awards; after an unenthusiastic response from the audience, she performed a cover version of "Jolene" by Dolly Parton which received a more favorable reception.[99] An episode of MTV Unplugged starring Cyrus premiered through MTV on January 29.[100] She performed acoustic versions of "Adore You", "SMS (Bangerz)", "4x4", "Wrecking Ball", "Get It Right", "Drive", "Do My Thang", and "Rooting for My Baby". Cyrus also performed a cover version of "Jolene", while Madonna appeared as a surprise guest that evening to sing a medley of Cyrus "We Can't Stop" and her own "Don't Tell Me".[101] An uncensored version of the special was released online on February 6, and included an additional cover version of "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" by the Arctic Monkeys.[102]

Bangerz Tour

During her appearance on Today on October 7, Cyrus first mentioned her intentions to tour in 2014.[103] On October 26, she made a surprise appearance on another episode of Saturday Night Live to officially announce the Bangerz Tour.[104] It is promoted by the American entertainment company Live Nation Entertainment, which is reported to be paying Cyrus $500,000 per presentation.[105] The first leg of the tour will visit North America and is currently scheduled to include thirty-eight shows,[106] for which Swedish duo Icona Pop and American recording artist Sky Ferreira have been announced as its opening acts.[107] Tickets for the North American leg became available for purchase on November 16;[108] it began at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on February 14, 2014, and will conclude on April 24 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.[106] The second leg of the tour will visit Europe and is currently scheduled to include eighteen shows, for which tickets became available for purchase on December 13. It will begin on May 2 at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, and will conclude on June 7 at the Hallenstadion in Zürich.[109]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic61/100[110]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[111]
The A.V. ClubB[112]
Entertainment WeeklyA–[36]
The Guardian3/5 stars[113]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[114]
The Observer2/5 stars[115]
PopMatters4/10[116]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[117]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[118]
Spin4/10[119]

Bangerz received mixed to positive 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.[110] 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."[111] 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.[34] 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.[36]

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."[114] 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".[117] 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."[120] Caroline Sullivan from The Guardian shared a similar sentiment, but also opined that the overall record held "more hits than misses".[113] 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".[121]

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."[115] 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 "Get It Right" for respectively delivering a solid vocal performance and being "genuinely likable".[122] Elysa Gardner for USA Today described the record's composition as "mediocre" and consisting of "competent, mostly generic tunes".[123] 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."[119]

Accolades

On his list of the ten best albums of 2013, Nick Catucci from Entertainment Weekly placed Bangerz third, complimenting Cyrus' ability for "cutting-edge rap [...], a soulful voice capable of showstoppers [...], and an underappreciated emotional directness".[124] The Guardian ranked Bangerz thirty-fourth on their list of the forty best albums, commenting that it "[winds] people up for commercial, rather than transgressive, ends" despite initially opining that "the attention-seeking begins to grate".[125] Rolling Stone placed Bangerz at number twenty-seven on their list of the fifty best albums, writing that Cyrus "[brought] depth and vulnerability to one hell of a party [...] amid all the foam-finger hub-hub".[126] Ann Powers from NPR ranked the record tenth on her list of ten records, suggesting that it "should earn her entry into every celebration of pop this year",[127] while the Associated Press ranked it ninth for being "banging".[128] Joey Guerra from Houston Chronicle listed Bangerz as the fourth-best record of the year, calling it a "fun, feisty pop album that produced two of the year's biggest, best singles" and summarizing that "with one flick of her tongue, Cyrus easily outdoes recent fare from Gaga, Katy and Britney."[129]

Commercial performance

On October 9, Billboard reported that Bangerz would sell an estimated 250–275,000 copies in first-week United States sales.[130] 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 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),[131] and became the best-selling debut week for a female artist in 2013.[132] 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.[133] In December, both women were surpassed by Beyoncé after her fifth studio album Beyoncé (2013) was unexpectedly released on the iTunes Store and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with three-day sales of 617,000 copies.[134] During its second week of release, Bangerz dropped to number two with sales of 72,000 copies,[135] and dropped to number four in its third week after moving 43,000 units.[133] As of February 2014, Bangerz has sold one million copies in the United States, and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[136] It also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart,[137] where it was eventually certified platinum,[138] and entered the Top 100 Mexico chart at number three.[139]

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 in the same week, making Cyrus the first artist of 2013 to achieve a "chart double" in the country.[140] The album was later recognized with a silver certification.[141] It also reached the peak position in Ireland, Norway, and Scotland.[139] Furthermore, it respectively debuted at numbers two and three in Spain and Italy.[139] The album peaked at number four on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 and the Swedish Sverigetopplistan.[139] It also debuted at number four on the Portuguese Albums Chart,[139] and was further recognized with a double-platinum certification by the Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa for sales of 40,000 copies.[142] 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.[139] In Belgian, the record respectively peaked at numbers eight and nineteen in Flanders and Wallonia.[139] The album reached number 23 on The Official Finnish Charts, and debuted at number 45 on the Polish ZPAV.[139] In South America, Bangerz charted at number one on the Argentinian CAPIF chart and the Brazilian ABPD chart.[139] The record experienced similar success in Oceania, where it debuted in the peak position of the Australian ARIA Charts[143] and reached number two in New Zealand.[139] In the latter country, it was certified gold.[144]

Impact

"This doesn’t mean that this personality can’t change again. One need only look at the many faces of Christina Aguilera through her formative years or Madonna, for that matter, to know that artists can evolve and stay relevant in an ever-changing market."

— Lori Landew of Fox Rothschild notes the potential of Cyrus adopting another public image by comparison to women from a similar background.[145]
Christina Aguilera
Cyrus' controversial image has been compared to that of Christina Aguilera (pictured) in the early 2000s.

Bangerz and its promotional events have been largely credited with establishing a sexually-provocative image for Cyrus.[146] 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.[146] 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."[121]

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.[147] 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".[148] 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."[145] Writing for Glamour, Mickey Woods compared the promotional "era" for Bangerz to those of Britney Spears' and Christina Aguilera's third and fourth studio albums Britney (2001) and Stripped (2002), respectively, in that "both albums by these legends were wildly experimental", adding that Cyrus' project "will probably be retrospectively deemed iconic, maybe even classic."[149] Mark Jacobs of V likened the album to Control (1986) by Janet Jackson, in that Cyrus was "an artist coming into her own" in a fashion similar to Jackson.[150]

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".[15] From a commercial standpoint, however, Suzanne Cowie of Babble suggested that Cyrus' opening-week sales figures and subsequent decline supported the idea that the studio album format is reaching its end, having used her example to exemplify that "consumers are only interested in the single". She further opined that they do not "[have] the time to sit and listen through to an album in its entirety", and credited the rise of digital downloads with promoting a less engaging listening process, where consumers "[have not] connected in any way with the band/singer and their hopes for the record."[151]

In December 2013, MTV named Cyrus as their Best Artist of 2013, for which criteria including Bangerz's sales were taken into consideration.[152] James Montgomery from MTV News elaborated on the network's decision that Cyrus "[declared] her independence and [dominated] the pop-culture landscape", adding that "she schooled—and shocked—us all in 2013, and did so on her own terms."[153] In early December 2013, Cyrus was listed in the top ten finalists for Time Person of the Year, the only enterteiner in the list, though she lost to Pope Francis;[154] she was also listed on Barbara Walters' "Most Fascinating People of the Year".[155] Billboard staff called Cyrus the "Most Talked About Pop Star" of 2013, and also recognized the controversial evolution of her career as the "Top Music Moment" of the year, elaborating that she was a "maelstrom that expanded and grazed nearly every aspect of pop culture in 2013."[156] Cyrus was also the most-searched person of the year on Google, with Leah Chernikoff of Elle writing that "most folks, even famous ones, only strike Internet gold like that once in a lifetime (or maybe once a year), but Cyrus hit it again—and again—in 2013."[157]

Track listing

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Bangerz.[158]

Bangerz – Standard version[159]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Adore You"  
Yoel4:38
2."We Can't Stop"  3:51
3."SMS (Bangerz)" (featuring Britney Spears)
  • Mike Will Made-It
  • Marz[a]
2:49
4."4x4" (featuring Nelly)Williams3:11
5."My Darlin'" (featuring Future)
  • Mike Will Made-It
  • P-Nasty[a]
  • Tyler Sam Johnson[c]
4:03
6."Wrecking Ball"  3:41
7."Love Money Party" (featuring Big Sean)
  • Mike Will Made-It
  • Marz[a]
3:39
8."Get It Right[d]"  WilliamsWilliams4:24
9."Drive"  
  • Williams II
  • Slaughter
  • Samuel Jean
  • Cyrus
  • Mike Will Made-It
  • P-Nasty[a]
4:15
10."FU" (featuring French Montana)
Afuni3:51
11."Do My Thang"  
3:45
12."Maybe You're Right"  
  • Williams II
  • Slaughter
  • Camaron Ochs
  • John Shanks
  • Johnson
  • Cyrus
  • Mike Will Made-It
  • P-Nasty[a]
3:33
13."Someone Else"  
  • Williams II
  • Slaughter
  • Timothy Thomas
  • Theron Thomas
  • Cyrus
  • McDonald
  • Mike Will Made-It
  • P-Nasty[a]
4:48
Total length:
50:36
Bangerz – Deluxe version (bonus tracks)[160]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
14."Rooting for My Baby"  
  • Williams
  • Cyrus
Williams3:20
15."On My Own"  WilliamsWilliams3:52
16."Hands in the Air" (featuring Ludacris)
  • Mike Will Made-It
  • P-Nasty[a]
3:22
Total length:
61:02
Notes
Sampling credits

Credits and personnel

Credits adapted from AllMusic.[161]

  • Rami Afuni – instrumentation, producer, programming
  • Phil Allen – engineer
  • Charlie Bisharat – concert master, violin
  • Delbert Bowers – assistant
  • Chris Cab – guitar
  • David Richard Campbell – conductor, string arrangements
  • Dustin Capulong – assistant
  • Steve Churchyard – string engineer
  • Cirkut – instrumentation, producer, programming
  • Andrew Coleman – arranger, digital editing, engineer
  • Kevin Connolly – violin
  • Miley Cyrus – executive producer
  • Tish Cyrus – management
  • Danny Ponce – assistant
  • Paul Dateh – violin
  • Jacob Dennis – assistant
  • Matthew Desrameaux – assistant
  • Doron Dina – assistant
  • Dr. Luke – instrumentation, producer, programming
  • Andrew Duckles – viola
  • Kyle Edwards – producer
  • Eric Eylands – assistant
  • Rachael Findlen – assistant
  • Chris Galland – assistant
  • Jon Garrett – assistant
  • Mike Gaydusek – assistant
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Clint Gibbs – engineer
  • Jake Gorski – Pro Tools
  • Hart Gunther – assistant
  • Rani Hancock – A&R
  • John Hanes – engineer
  • Trehy Harris – assistant
  • Sven Heidinga – engineer
  • Chad Hugo – guitar, whistle
  • Todd Hurtt – assistant
  • Stephen Hybicki – engineer
  • Maximilian Jaeger – assistant
  • Jaycen Joshua – mixing
  • Tyler Sam Johnson – additional production
  • Suzie Katayama – cello, contractor
  • Ryan Kaul – assistant
  • Padraic "Padlock" Kerin – engineer
  • Rob Kinelski – vocal engineer
  • Dave Kutch – mastering
  • Mike Larson – engineer
  • Adam Leber – management
  • Songa Lee – violin
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing
  • Marz – producer
  • Darrin McCann – viola
  • Mike McHenry – producer
  • Mike Caffrey – engineer
  • Mike Will Made It – executive producer
  • Stephan Moccio – piano
  • Chris "Tek" O'Ryan – engineer
  • Grace Oh – violin
  • Joel Pargman – violin
  • Alyssa Park – violin
  • Noah Passovoy – engineer
  • Joe Peluso – mixing
  • Sara Perkins – violin
  • Karl Petersen – engineer
  • P-Nasty – producer
  • Eva Reistad – assistant
  • Steve Richards – cello
  • Irene Richter – production coordination
  • Ruben Rivera – engineer
  • Tim Roberts – engineer
  • Todd Robinson – assistant
  • Rock City – vocal producer
  • Melissa Ruderman – management
  • Larry Rudolph – management
  • Bradford Smith – assistant
  • Rudy Stein – celli
  • Sean Tallman – engineer
  • Matthew Testa – vocal engineer
  • Rene Toledo Jr. – assistant
  • Travis Warner – coordination
  • will.i.am – engineer, producer
  • Pharrell Williams – producer
  • John Wittenberg – violin
  • Steven Wolf – drums
  • Oren Yoel – producer

Charts

Weekly charts

Chart (2013)Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[162]1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[163]4
Argentine Monthly Albums (CAPIF)[164]4
Brazilian Albums (ABPD)[165]1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[166]5
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[167]11
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[168]1
China Albums (Sino Chart)[169]10
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[170]3
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[171]6
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[172]1
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[173]23
French Albums (SNEP)[174]9
German Albums (Media Control)[175]9
Greek Albums (IFPI)[176]5
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[177]8
Irish Albums (IRMA)[178]1
Italian Albums (FIMI)[179]3
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[180]24
Korean Albums (GAON)[181]21
Mexican Albums (Top 100 Mexico)[182]3
New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[183]2
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[184]20
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[185]4
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[186]2
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[187]4
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[188]7
Scottish Albums (OCC)[189]1
UK Albums (OCC)[190]1
US Billboard 200[191]1

Year-end charts

Chart (2013)Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[192]64
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[193]100
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[194]161
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[195]32
Italian Albums (FIMI)[196]86
Mexican Albums Chart[197]47
US Billboard 200[198]51

Certifications

RegionCertificationSales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[144]Gold35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[138]Gold40,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[199]Gold30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[141]Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA)[200]Platinum1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history

CountryDateVersionFormatLabelRef.
AustraliaOctober 4, 2013
  • Standard
  • deluxe
RCA[201]
United KingdomOctober 7, 2013[202]
Hong Kong[203]
United StatesOctober 8, 2013[160]
FinlandOctober 11, 2013[204]
JapanOctober 23, 2013
[205]
United StatesNovember 26, 2013Deluxe[26]

See also

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