Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz" has officially landed. Blasting its way onto the music scene following a week of online streaming, the album extends Cyrus' cultural dominance for yet another news cycle -- not that it needed much assistance. Released opposite new albums from Korn, Panic! at the Disco and Sleigh Bells, Cyrus is all but guaranteed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart next week, but critics are divided on the quality. Some heap praise on "Bangerz" while others chastise Cyrus for its amalgam of sounds. Here's what some top critics are saying in reviews that have been published as of Tuesday morning.
Jon Carmanica, The New York Times: "In its lineup and sound, 'Bangerz' serves as a catalog of the now, borrowing from several of the latest movements without being beholden to a single idea or crew. ... The results are scattershot, but sometimes great, reflecting an artist still making sense of new inputs."
Nick Catucci, Entertainment Weekly: "'Bangerz,' executive-produced by shrewd Atlanta beatmaker Mike Will Made It, is the onetime Disney star's fourth studio album, but her first as the master of her own destiny and — with the two lead singles already landing at No. 2 and No. 1 — a pacesetter in music. It's also utterly fresh, a pop blitz from a hip-hop blueprint, and proof that Miley won't settle for just shocking us."
Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast: "'Bangerz' might be the most schizo album of the year. It isn’t a bad thing, but may prove disorienting to some listeners. ... No other singer in recent memory has assumed as many vocal inflections as Cyrus does on 'Bangerz.'"
Jessica Hopper, SPIN: "The entertainment value of Cyrus' work is more than simply typical pop pleasure: It is the slow-motion horror of watching toxic sleaze replace toxic purity (cf. Dave Hickey). Her work has always engaged our puritanical American mores at their most Plasticine extremes — from saccharine virgin to knowingly fellating a sledgehammer with doe-eyed upward gaze, at once both banal and pernicious."
Jon Dolan, Rolling Stone: "'Bangerz' is the sound of Hannah Montana gone 'Miami Vice.' ... It's strange but it's also traditional: Her Disney-steeped voice never takes a back seat to the wide-ranging production (from the likes of Pharrell, Will.i.am and Dr. Luke), and Billy Ray's daughter rocks a country vocal during several tracks."
Mikael Wood, The Los Angeles Times: "There's plenty more provocation on 'Bangerz,' which moves away from the glossy electro-pop sound of Cyrus' earlier records toward a grittier, hip-hop-inspired vibe. ... Yet for all the attitude here — there's also 'Do My Thang,' a live-it-up club jam co-produced by will.i.am — 'Bangerz' reveals that Cyrus isn't just a twerk-bot programmed to titillate (though there's always a need for one of those in pop music)."
Kitty Empire, The Guardian: "'Bangerz' feels stitched together in the dark, and the attention-seeking begins to grate. ... It might be a different story if many of the hip-hop- and R&B-inspired cuts were better."
Robert Copsey, Digital Spy: "The opener in question, 'Adore You', is a swooping yet low-key ballad about an intense relationship that feels neither showy nor disingenuous. ... What ensues from there is a mess of sounds that shift dramatically and unexpectedly between pop, hip-hop, funk, country, R&B and dance. Fortunately, it's a mess of the 'strategically hot' kind she recently spoke of in the LP's accompanying documentary."
Amy Sciarretto, PopCrush: Essentially, with ‘Bangerz,’ Miss Miley was allowed to be wound up and let go and to run musically amok as she wished. Ultimately, she has cast the net wide and fast. Listeners are left guessing who and what the real musical Miley Cyrus is, which was likely her intention.
Jason Lipshutz, Billboard: :"'Bangerz,' Cyrus' fourth studio album and RCA Records debut, is, for better and worse, the sound of a singer following a pair of enormous singles with a full-length completely from the perspective that birthed those two hits. ... Sometimes, the 20-year-old's vision needs to be adjusted. ... But more often than not, Cyrus' daring attitude guides her to invention."
December 9. 2011
December 12, 2011
August 23, 2012
February 9, 2013
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at Clive Davis & The Recording Academy's 2013 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Antonio 'L.A.' Reid at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 9, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
February 11, 2013
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Miley Cyrus poses backstage at the Marc Jacobs Collection Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at New York Armory on February 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)
February 24, 2013
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Singer Miley Cyrus attends the 21st Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party at West Hollywood Park on February 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF)
May 6, 2013
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Miley Cyrus attends the Costume Institute Gala for the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The Huffington Post)
May 19, 2013
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 19: Miley Cyrus arrives at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
June 12, 2013
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 12: Actress/recording artist Miley Cyrus attends the Myspace Event at the El Rey Theatre on June 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
June 29, 2013
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JUNE 29: Miley Cyrus poses at the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party Presented by VISIT FLORIDA at Fontainebleau's BleauLive in Miami on June 29, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
August 4, 2013
August 11, 2013
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 11: Singer Miley Cyrus attends the Teen Choice Awards 2013 at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 11, 2013 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
August 22, 2013
August 25, 2013
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Miley Cyrus attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for MTV)