Miley Cyrus' Bangerz debuted on Sept. 30 on iTunes before its official Oct. 8 release to a lukewarm response from critics.
More reviews are starting to trickle in, and they are more positive than the initial wave of response to the pop star's fourth studio album.
US Weekly's Ian Drew gives the album 4/4 stars and says it is a "titillating pop explosion." He singles out "SMZ (Bangerz)" saying, "this freaktastic tidal wave of dirty hip-hop (courtesy of producers such as Pharrell and will.i.am) features the ferocious Britney Spears duet." He adds that Bangerz "packs kiss-off anthems that point to her union with ex Liam Hemsworth," especially in the song "Drive." The lyrics are "forever's out the door!" and Drew also believes "so are her squeaky-clean Disney days."
Nick Catucci from Entertainment Weekly gives the album an A- (not too shabby) and thinks that the "merry rap-off with Britney" and the "woozy ballad 'My Darlin,'" are the best tracks.
He says that the 20-year-old wants us to "know her heart" and praises her "throaty diva swoon." But he issues a fair warning to the listener.
"Yes, Miley raps," he says. "And if you can't stand Ke$ha, you probably won't take to Cyrus' skills, either. Her confidante Spears rhymes too."
The guest appearances on the album, which include Spears, Nelly, Big Sean and others, he believes are not used as "ornamentation" because she is "infatuated" with hip-hop.
"Bangerz may be about breaking up and wilding out, but it also agitates for the future," he adds. "When she sings, 'Been wondering where you been all my life,' in 'Adore You,' she might as well be addressing her own reinvented self."
Mikael Wood from the Los Angeles Times gives Bangerz 3/4 stars and he believes that Cyrus is moving away from her "glossy electro-pop sound" from earlier records toward a "grittier, hip-hop-inspired vibe."
And when it comes to twerking, the song "Do My Thang" shows that "Cyrus isn't just a twerk-bot programmed to titillate (though there's always a need for one of those in pop music)."