The album acts as the soundtrack to the Nickelodeon television series of the same name, which features songs that appeared in the series' second season and the television movie, Big Time Movie. Following the success of their first release, the band was inspired to be more involved in the writing process for this album, writing together or separately a total of eight songs. Elevate is mainly a pop-inspired dance-rock album, also showcasing soul-pop and alternative rock. The first single from Elevate, "Music Sounds Better with U", was released on November 1, 2011.
TeenNick hosted a listening party in support of the band's new album, premiering every song on the album along with playing episodes that contain songs from the album and playing the music video for the first single, "Music Sounds Better With You". Nickelodeon hosted a thirty-minute special called Big Time Rush: Music Sounds Better With U in which scenes from the band's tour and studio recording sessions are compiled together for airing. The scenes feature information about the recording and production of the album.
A tour for the album was announced in early fall 2011, with the title "Better With U" taken from the album's first single. The tour began on February 17, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada and ended at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 9, 2012. JoJo and One Direction were the opening acts for the tour. While visiting the United Kingdom in 2012, the band revealed 4 alternate covers for the album exclusive to the country, each one featuring individual pictures of each of the members and an autograph. These Special Editions were released at the same time the regular UK edition did (February 6) and share the same track list. These special covers are presented in slipcase package.
"Music Sounds Better With U", featuring Mann, was released as first single on November 1, 2011. The music video was released November 12, 2011 during their brand new special, Big Time Rush: Music Sounds Better With U. The second and last single was "Windows Down", released on June 25, 2012 from the re-released version.
"If I Ruled the World", featuring Iyaz, was released on July 22, 2011. The music video was released July 23, 2011 and features the guys traveling and performing for their fans. It was predicted as a Future Hit by This Must Be Pop Awards. "Elevate" was re-released on April 21, 2012.
The album at first received mixed to extremely positive reviews with music critics mostly praising the production and much more mature sound that Big Time Rush had developed within Elevate. Fan response was so very strong as well that the album debuted at number one on the iTunes album chart as well as a number 12 debut on the billboard 200 with over 70,000 first week sales along with charting in over 20 different countries on its release to. within a two-year span following its original release in November 2011, Elevate was certified double platinum by the IFPI for a worldwide sales count of over 2,100,000 by November 2013. It Remains the Band's second highest selling album to date after their illustriously successful debut album BTR in 2010 which totals 5,000,000 plus worldwide. Elevates success also helped it attain monster success in countries worldwide, with Multi-Platinum/Gold selling certifications in Greece, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela amongst other places.