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The album is Lizzo's first release since her 2016 Coconut Oil EP. Lizzo stated at the album preview party at the Crazy Girls strip club in Hollywood on January 30 that she had been working on the album for three years. She also previewed a collaboration with Missy Elliott titled "Tempo" that appeared on the album. Along with the lead single "Juice", the album includes the "empowering dance track" "Like a Girl" and a song dedicated to an ex titled "Jerome".
Lizzo announced the album in late January 2019, and on February 13, shared the album's cover art, on which she appears nude. Paper called the cover a "stunning glow-up, and a transformation for Lizzo", going on to say that "Fat, and especially fat and Black bodies are rarely treated with such care by photographers, let alone on album covers that will sit on Target and Walmart shelves."
"Tempo", featuring American rap artist Missy Elliott was released as a single on July 26, 2019. The song also was given a music video that premiered on YouTube the same date.
"Cuz I Love You", originally released as a promotional single on February 14, 2019, was released as a single to Top 40 radio on January 28, 2020.
The album's title track was released as the first promotional single on February 14, 2019, alongside the song's music video. "Tempo" featuring Missy Elliott was released as the album's second promotional single on March 20, 2019. "Tempo" went on to chart at number 21 on the US Digital Song Sales chart, Lizzo's first entry on a Billboard Hot 100 component chart.
Cuz I Love You received widespread acclaim from music critics upon its initial release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 84, based on 24 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Reviewing the album for AllMusic, Heather Phares praised Cuz I Love You as "a triumphant showcase for every part of Lizzo's talent, physicality and sexuality." Jumi Akinfenwa of Clash stated that by "Offering up a mix of pop, hip-hop, R&B and a sprinkling of trap and neo soul for good measure, Lizzo covers all bases and serves the perfect introduction to her world for mainstream audiences."DIY magazine's Rachel Finn gave a positive evaluation of the album, writing that "Lizzo's vibrant personality and humour shining through a set of tracks that switches through elements of funk, pop and R&B with ease."
In an article for NME, reviewer Natty Kasambala described the album as being "as flawlessly genre-spanning as Lizzo herself: pop at its core, but with constant references to her jazz roots and historical love of twerking." Claire Biddles at The Line of Best Fit shared similar sentiments, calling the album "Charming, addictive and seemingly effortless, Cuz I Love You is Lizzo's declaration of superstardom."Slant Magazines Zachary Hoskins concluded that "Lizzo's talent has always been evident, but this album's material, her strongest to date, allows her put it on full display. By the languorous, seductive neo-soul of closing track "Lingerie," her enthusiasm is as contagious as it is well-earned."
Some reviewers were more reserved in their assessments of the album. In a review for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis felt that "Lizzo has something to say, and a smart way of saying it ... but the potency of what's here would seem more potent still if it had been allowed a little room to breathe ... Instead, Cuz I Love You keeps its foot pressed down hard on the accelerator for half an hour in an attempt to ram-raid the charts." Rawiya Kameir was also critical in the review for Pitchfork, claiming that "Despite her obvious skill and charisma, some of the album's 11 songs are burdened with overwrought production, awkward turns of phrase, and ham-handed rapping."
Cuz I Love You debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 with 41,000 album-equivalent units, of which 24,000 were pure album sales. It is Lizzo's first album to chart on the Billboard 200. It then repeaked at number six on the charting week ending on June 27, 2019. It has stayed in the top 10 for 15 weeks after its release. The album reached number 4 in its 19th week on the chart dated September 7, 2019.
^Vozick-Levinson, Jonathan Bernstein,Jon Blistein,Jon Dolan,Patrick Doyle,Brenna Ehrlich,Suzy Exposito,Jon Freeman,David Fricke,Kory Grow,Will Hermes,Christian Hoard,Charles Holmes,Joseph Hudak,Brendan Klinkenberg,Elias Leight,Angie Martoccio,Claire Shaffer,Rob Sheffield,Hank Shteamer,Brittany Spanos,Simon; Shteamer, Hank (2019-12-05). "The 50 Best Albums of 2019". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .
^Grow, Jon Dolan,Brittany Spanos,Simon Vozick-Levinson,Rob Sheffield,Charles Holmes,Christian Hoard,Joseph Hudak,Elias Leight,Suzy Exposito,Will Hermes,Angie Martoccio,David Browne,Hank Shteamer,Jon Freeman,Claire Shaffer,Brenna Ehrlich,Jonathan Bernstein,Jon Blistein,Nick Catucci,Brendan Klinkenberg,Danny Schwartz,Kory; Portwood, Jerry (2019-12-03). "The 100 Best Albums of the 2010s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .