Britney Spears
Circus


2.5
average

Review

by Terron Moore USER (15 Reviews)
November 30th, 2008 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dumb dance-pop? Yup. Overly self-indulgent? Yup. And since you would already guess that about Circus, the majority of the album is just that predictable. But (hold your breath), there is a small side that actually tends to impress.

Britney Spears is back. For the fiftieth time, yes, but on this go-round it appears she's giving it the old naked-in-the-video, dancing-in-the-orgy college try. And in prep for Circus, she's coming out all guns blazing: an MTV documentary that finally addresses that crotch-showing, head-shaving chapter of her life we can simply label "Kevin Federline", a recent live performance of "Womanizer" that was lip-synchingly tolerable, and a Rolling Stone cover on which she looks (what?) normal. She seems determined to prove that the circus of celebrity doesn't have her beat.

But does it? Britney's sophomore effort sans K-Fed, because it seems as if the world is giving her the extreme benefit of a career do-over, is a collection of copious amounts of "like, omgz, i'm so hot" lyrics, sex, synth, and chopping and screwing all over the place that doesn't always work. Production wise, it's actually pretty high quality goods, but being six albums in now, that shouldn't be enough. It's significantly self-indulgent like always, in that Spears plays that hot girl of the nightclub who will tell you she's not that easy (but definitely is). The main difference between Blackout and Circus, however, is that she's lost the urban influence that came with the former effort and the latter suffers for it. There's good pop and bad pop... and not much else. "Womanizer" as a first single is repetitive and catchy for simpler fans, but gets boring after 2 seconds, like much of the album. Most of the tracks on Circus actually start off with promise until either production takes a wrong turn or Britney makes a stupid decision and it's over- mostly the latter. "Circus" the single up next, is intriguing until the sloppy chorus hits, and then it's harder to tolerate. "Mmm Papi"'s spanish twang is actually pretty infectious until Britney tries to talk sexy halfway through... uh, no thanks. "Lace and Leather" is a lot less threatening than it sounds and is just another excuse for Spears to drop the B-word as it's not convincing in the least. "Shattered Glass", "Kill The Lights", and "If U Seek Amy" are, save for "Glass'" notable tempo switchups, all formulaic dance fillers that come and go without any leaving any distinction between them. Ballads? Britney, I'd cut back on those. "Out From Under" is the slightly better of the two, but "My Baby"'s falsetto tends to make your ears want to bleed.

But just when you think there's nothing salvageable here, Spears tends to create something to show you just how good she once was (and I'm saying 'good' meaning that she can assemble the necessary parts of a perfect pop machine, because, really... talented on her own? Let's not get crazy.) "Blur" is a slow-churning track on which Britney snakes well over a solid composition of stuttering cymbals, drum, and synth. "Where the hell am I? / Who are you? / What'd we do last night?" she wonders on a song that sounds exactly like what it's singing about- a sweet, spinning hangover. "Mannequin", on the other hand, is definitive dance-pop Spears but with a progressive edge. Yeah, the lyrics are typical tongue-in-cheek flirting ("I do what I like / And then you do what I like / And you like it"), but the weird cranking and whirring? The occasional acoustic? The odd man-moaning? It's all just crazy enough to work.

These two together, though, don't really push you to even call the album good, especially since track-for-track, Blackout is the significantly better attempt, with its composition of majorally upbeat, hip-hop laced dance tracks that even offered a tiny bit of depth at its end. Britney was too drugged up at that time, though, and with her full support this time around, it's ironic that here's where she tends to take two steps back. While it's physically a more diverse album than the one before it, and yeah, there's some glitzy sh*t in there for her dedicated fans, in the end? Not a very exciting Circus.



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user ratings (209)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
Rudy K. STAFF (3)
If Brit is trying to relive her glory days, she would do well to seize the present rather than try t...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SnackaryBinx
November 30th 2008


2309 Comments


if there is no stream of this I hope you've saved this cause it will be deleted.

Either wait for a stream or until it's released.

Satana
November 30th 2008


204 Comments


Why didnt you give this album a 1

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2008


15743 Comments


you know i try to help these kids but gosh darn it they dont listen

SnackaryBinx
November 30th 2008


2309 Comments


well, I saved his review if he wasn't dumb enough to just to be nice. because I remember him complaining about this being deleted last night.

NewYorkZoo
November 30th 2008


95 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

oh, COME ON, planewreck says you staffers love first time new release reviews, i decided to give it a try... AGAIN... yes it's effin britney spears, i know, on a site that i realize now is majorally rock. but its all fer the luv o' music. or hatred of dumb, untalented blondes. sue me.

marksellsuswallets
November 30th 2008


4848 Comments


But...if it hasn't been officially released you can't review it...that's the problem man...

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2008


6099 Comments


http://www.britney.com/blog/full-circus-album-preview

Stream has been up since the 24th.

SnackaryBinx
November 30th 2008


2309 Comments


lol, alright there buddy. All that matters is that there is an official stream of it up.

take a deep breath.This Message Edited On 11.30.08

NewYorkZoo
November 30th 2008


95 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

haha wasnt mad at all...

tinathefatlard
November 30th 2008


1603 Comments


9 sounds like it should be done by a sexy latina

Phantom
November 30th 2008


8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Meh womanizer is a guilty pleasure but I probably won't hear the rest of this. Incidentally, Britney performed the single on a UK TV show last night and mimed terribly, she's definitely back.

Anthracks
November 30th 2008


3774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good...not as good as Blackout. I'm indifferent with your review.

Digging: Ariel Pink - Pom Pom

Knott-
Emeritus
November 30th 2008


10198 Comments


LOL @ track6's title.

Actually quite clever.

bastard
November 30th 2008


3435 Comments


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e1/Circus-_Album.png

add this album art please.

Asiatic667
November 30th 2008


4648 Comments


What the HELL?? Is this a new album already?

AtavanHalen
November 30th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tomorrow is Britney's birthday :D

NewYorkZoo
November 30th 2008


95 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

someone fixed it...This Message Edited On 12.01.08



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