The song was written by Meleni Smith, Priscilla Renea, and the producer of the track, Toby Gad. In an interview with Fashion, Gomez called the "snarky" song the most personal track on the album. The song is aimed towards an ex-boyfriend and Gomez tells him that her new boyfriend is better than he was. The media circulated rumors that the song was based upon Gomez's old relationship with Nick Jonas of The Jonas Brothers, and her then-boyfriend, Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber. In an interview with Billboard, when giving a track-by-track preview of the album, Gomez said, "It's a really fun, cheeky song. It's kind of an insult/compliment song about someone that used to be in your life and now someone who is in your life who's amazing. It's a sweet song and I feel like a lot of girls can relate to it especially."
Bang Bang Bang is an electro-disco and electro-pop song, exhibiting a retro production style featuring a synthpop keyboard with synths reminiscent of La Roux's "Bulletproof." The song also exudes influences of 1980s synthpop, as well as New Wave. The song marks a mature sound for the band, as Gomez uses "sultry" vocal inflections and more adult lyrics. Jenna Hally Rubenstein of MTV Buzzworthy said that "The Toby Gad-produced jam has got a cool '80s vibe, while still capturing that same young and fresh sound Selena is known for." Gomez opens the song with a "menial giggle"'; she then delivers the song's lyrics in a tone that is in a confident, coy manner. The song's lyrics detail the protagonist boasting about moving on from a past relationship to a new, better one. Bill Lamb of About.com said the song's words "dismiss a former boyfriend in favor of one who has more swagger."
Bill Lamb of About.com considered the song one of the band's "most accomplished singles yet" and commented: "Consistent quality is a key to the success of Selena Gomez as a singer, and 'Bang Bang Bang' looks like it could be her fifth consecutive top 40 pop hit." Jared Wieselman of the New York Post called the track "the song of the summer" and complimented its "sensational synth vibe, lovely lyrical kiss-off and beyond the addictive hook." Furthermore, Wiselman said: "Mark my words, this will become a summer anthem & one of the most mashed up tracks of the year." Tim Sendra of Allmusic noted the song as a highlight of the album and said that Gomez "bubbles" her way through the "dancefloor-friendly" track. John Bergstrom of PopMatters called the song a "fun piece of sass." Although Cristin Maher of PopCrush wrote that "for a girl with a four-piece band backing her up, the music seems a bit underwhelming," she said that the song was a "fun, sassy track that will surely please all of the teen pop fans out there." Blair Kelly of musicOMH was less enthusiastic about the song; she deemed it "forgettable" and stated that it and "Love You Like a Love Song" were both "wannabe electro-pop songs which lack both lyrical merit and a really catchy hook to make up for it." Following its release as a promotional single, "Bang Bang Bang" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100 at positions ninety-six and ninety-seven respectively, and it dropped from both charts the following week.
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