Circus

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
With its title, Circus nods knowingly at the madhouse that is Britney Spears' life, acknowledging that things got a little rough after the release of 2007's Blackout. It's no secret that Blackout's launch didn't go as planned: the furor surrounding her stumbling VMA lip-sync of "Gimme More" was eclipsed by her institutionalization -- a drama played out live on TV, as so much of her life is -- and the loss of custody of her two young boys to ex-husband Kevin Federline, all of which pushed Blackout far, far to the background. Britney herself didn't exactly seem engaged on Blackout -- it was a club album, a producer's showcase, so it didn't matter if Spears didn't ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
With its title, Circus nods knowingly at the madhouse that is Britney Spears' life, acknowledging that things got a little rough after the release of 2007's Blackout. It's no secret that Blackout's launch didn't go as planned: the furor surrounding her stumbling VMA lip-sync of "Gimme More" was eclipsed by her institutionalization -- a drama played out live on TV, as so much of her life is -- and the loss of custody of her two young boys to ex-husband Kevin Federline, all of which pushed Blackout far, far to the background. Britney herself didn't exactly seem engaged on Blackout -- it was a club album, a producer's showcase, so it didn't matter if Spears didn't give herself over completely as the behind-the-boards team carried her through. That distance combined with her troubles did give Britney the appearance of losing control completely, and the best way for a pop star to right herself is through image -- hence Circus, a friendly remake of the hedonistic Blackout that posits that all is better with Brit-Brit now, thank you. If Blackout was a producers' album, Circus is a handlers' album, intent on sweeping away any recent unpleasantness -- the only acknowledgement is that title -- and acting like nothing ever happened, imagining that this is still a world where Britney remains envied and desired, where she can be dolled up as a gauzy Farrah Fawcett pinup on her album cover, where she can sing a drippy ballad about "My Baby" and have nobody raise an eyebrow. She can get away with the former with a bit more ease than the latter if only because all the time, effort, and money is poured into the club tracks, such as the thumping, stuttering first single "Womanizer" and its better, the relentless "Kill the Lights," so sleek and sexy it winds up diminishing the rest of the record. "Kill the Lights" may be exceptional, one of Britney's best-ever singles, but it also doesn't have much competition here: it's one of a handful of tracks that follow through on Blackout, while the rest of Circus plays it safe, never hitting the beats hard enough to alienate a pop audience but perhaps layering on a bit too much saccharine for dance fans. It's careful and considered, right down to the single-entendre "If U Seek Amy," a Katy Perry-styled exercise in crass commercial carnality that is at once the best and worst song here. Best because Max Martin once again works his undeniable pop magic, turning this into a trashy stomper that feels inevitable and eternal, working against any sense of taste or decorum, something that the lyrics work overtime to undercut as they insist that all the boys and all the girls still want to F, U...well, spell it and you'll get the picture, and if you don't, Britney's elocution will paint it for you. This sexy strut doesn't work not because Spears' desirability took a nosedive in the five years since In the Zone -- although it did -- but because Britney's sexiness never was this explicit; she teased and hinted, at least in her music, and it feels wrong to have her be so nakedly vulgar here. Still, it was a necessary move, a way to stir up headlines and perhaps snatch the tabloid tiara from Katy's head, but the rest of the record doesn't follow through as it resorts Spears' standard formula: a couple of great dance singles, a couple of pretty good chill-out cuts best being Bloodshy & Avant's "Unusual You", a couple of not-good-at-all ballads, and a whole bunch of stuff in the middle. If she feels marginally more connected here than she did on Blackout, it's a Pyrrhic victory, as Circus never feels as sleek or addictive as its predecessor.
Rolling Stone - Caryn Ganz
The clubby, adventurous pop on her sixth album — her first since getting committed and losing custody of her kids — would have made a fine follow-up to 2003's In the Zone.
Billboard
...the singer does double duty as a dance diva and brokenhearted balladeer.

...the singer does double duty as a dance diva and brokenhearted balladeer.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/2/2008
  • Label: Jive
  • UPC: 886974038726
  • Catalog Number: 740387

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Womanizer (3:44)
  2. 2 Circus (3:12)
  3. 3 Out from Under (3:53)
  4. 4 Kill the Lights (3:59)
  5. 5 Shattered Glass (2:52)
  6. 6 If U Seek Amy (3:36)
  7. 7 Unusual You (4:21)
  8. 8 Blur (3:08)
  9. 9 MMM Papi (3:22)
  10. 10 Mannequin (4:06)
  11. 11 Lace and Leather (2:50)
  12. 12 My Baby (3:21)
  13. 13 Radar (3:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Britney Spears Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Cathy Dennis Background Vocals
Guy Sigsworth Strings, Keyboards
Max Martin Background Vocals
Leah Haywood Background Vocals
Andy Page Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Strings, Electric Guitar, Synthesizer Bass
Nicole Morier Background Vocals
Henrik Jonback Bass, Guitar
Windy Wagner Background Vocals
Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald Guitar, Drums, Keyboards
Kasia Livingston Background Vocals
Debi Nova Background Vocals
Candice Nelson Background Vocals
Claude Kelly Background Vocals
Luke Boyd Background Vocals
Myah Marie Background Vocals
Technical Credits
David Boyd Engineer
Shelly Peiken Composer
Tim Roberts Pro-Tools
Guy Sigsworth Composer, Producer, drum programming
Ron Taylor Pro-Tools
Jeri Heiden Art Direction
Tom Coyne Mastering
Max Martin Composer, Programming, Producer
Jackie Murphy Art Direction
Harvey Mason Jr. Composer, Producer
Britney Spears Composer
Andrew Hey Engineer
Andrew Wyatt Engineer
Balewa Muhammad Composer
Emily Wright Engineer, Vocal Editing
Wayne Hector Composer
Andy Page Engineer, drum programming
Eric Weaver Engineer
Arnthor Birgisson Composer
Dabling Harward Engineer
Nicole Morier Composer, Vocal Producer
Henrik Jonback Composer, Engineer
Theresa LaBarbera Whites Executive Producer
Seth Waldmann Engineer
Larry Rudolph Executive Producer, Management
Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald Composer, Programming
Alexander Kronlund Composer
Kasia Livingston Composer
Nathaniel "Danjahandz" Hills Composer
Candice Nelson Composer
James Fauntleroy Composer
Claude Kelly Composer, Vocal Producer
Jim Beanz Engineer, Vocal Producer
Frankie Storm Composer
Luke Boyd Composer
Rob Knox Composer, Producer
Brendan Dekora Engineer
Savan Kotecha Composer
Shellback Composer
Nikesha Briscoe Composer
Pontus Winnberg Composer
Stacy Barthe Composer
Adrien Gough Composer
Peter John Kerr Composer
Jim Carauna Engineer
Ronnie Jackson Composer
Rafael Akinyemi Composer
Ezekial Lewis Composer
K. Briscoe Producer
James Washington Composer
Henry Walter Composer
Christian Karlsson Composer
Benjamin Levin Composer
Patrick Smith Composer
Marcella Araica Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    love this cd!

    This is the best brittney cd to date!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Very good.

    Upbeat songs. Very danceable. Go Britney! Go. Go.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    one very awesome urban dance album by ms britney spears

    this cd is the best of the best this is britney spears at her best because she is the best of the best

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I'm on the fence....

    I consider myself a "modern" Britney Spears fan. I don't care for her older stuff, and really started listening to her after Blackout was released. I really thought Blackout was a good CD. It was edgy and dark. There are a couple things that aren't so great about Circus. First, there is really no flow to the CD. It goes from a pop vibe to an 80s vibe to a club vibe, etc. Its not nearly as sleek or ambitious as Blackout. It feels almost like a Britney Spears mixed tape, rather than an album with a concept. Second, I read that she recorded over thirty songs and I heard one called "Trouble" (which was an iTunes bonus) which definitely should have made it on to this CD. I don't understand why "Radar" is being forced on the listener again, when it was on Blackout. She should have left it off the CD and put another song on there..like the amazing "Trouble", which was released as an iTunes bonus. There had to have been better songs than the ridiculous "If You Seek Amy" and the misfit song "Lace and Leather" Stand out songs are definitely "Womanizer" and "Mannequin". But the song "Kill the Lights" definitely puts the rest of the album to shame. She should have stuck to a more urban feel for Circus. It's an ok CD, but not easy to listen to all the way through. She also should have thought twice about the way over-Photshopped pictures that were used for the cover and the liner notes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    just as good as early studio albums and just as crazy as oops i did it again

    i only heard one song from this album womanizer is a frikin hit i hear britney spears might allowe a metal band to cover her songs on all her albums when she turns 29 she let children of bodom cover oops i did it again and she allowed a unknown finland metal band to cover toxic her albums are fun to listen to plus shes a frikin hawt and uber sexii her music brings a smile to my face if you are not a fan of britney spears i suggest you go out right now and buy all her albums her albums are off the hook shes off the hook her music is off the hook

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing from begining to end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    awesome from begining to end i hope femme fatale is just as good as both circus and blackout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great album

    I am not a big Britney fan, but I thought this album is really good. A great album to own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    great cd

    this was a really great cd with alot of good original songs that are catchy and danceable to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Britney Spears :Circus

    I have to say i am impressed with Britney's latest album.What a great comeback!I especially love tracks "Circus" and "Out From Under".Her songs for her newest album are really something.Thumbs up!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great cd!

    This is a great cd. In my opinion it's the best since Britney which came out in 2001. The tracks are upbeat and great to dance to. Out of the songs which haven't been radio played or made into a music video I love Shattered Glass and Kill the Lights.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Love it, Listen to it in the Car all the Time!

    Bought for 20 yr old daughter but Mom and Daughter listen to it all the time. It's upbeat and great to have in the background as we talk!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    love britney!

    Great cd loved it !

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Hit! Hit! Hit!

    Britney Spears has DEFINITELY made a major comeback. This girl has so many great songs on her new album 'Circus'. These delightul hits make you want to get up and dance. The energy of the songs are original and the way they are put together are phenomenal. I have never liked so many songs on one CD. You know how you buy a CD and then you only end up liking 3 or 4 songs? Well not with Britney. You'll end up humming these catchy tunes on your way to work, in the office, working out, or where ever you go. There is NO WAY you can forget the legendary Ms. Britney. And these aren't the teeny bopper, pop-princess tunes either. These are hard-core, empowering, I-Am-Woman songs. You will catch people of all genders and people of all ages bobbing their heads as they induldged in some of the best songs EVER! I am so excited that Britney Spears released a new album.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Love It!

    I have never been a huge Britney fan, but when I heard Womanizer on the radio I decided to try out the album. I absolutely love it! Each song is a little different, unlike Blackout where they were all very dance-club like. If you are a Twilight fan, try Unusual You. It would be great for the next soundtrack. Each song has a different twist and I can honestly say that there is not one song that I don't like. If you loved Brit in the past or are not sure if you'll like her now, I highly recommend this album. It just makes you want to dance in the car at times and relax at times. It's great!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I love this album!

    I have always been a Britney fan. I'm almost 30, and her music is my guilty pleasure. I thought Blackout was her best album ever, and it's a shame her personal life unfolded the way it did, it really took away from that album. Circus, despite it's mediocre reviews, is a great album though, although not onto the level of Blackout. Spears music is never going to be deeply touching or moving, but her music is pure escapism. You can't help but put on Circus and tap your fingers or feet. My favorite songs on the album are "Circus" - not about the tabloids, as many assume, or her rollercoaster year, but of her being an entertainer. "Kill The Lights" is sure to be a single, and is really right behind "Toxic" in my book as her best ever. "Blur" is a song that many people in their 20's, and even 30's, can relate to, whether they are club goers or barhoppers.<BR/><BR/>Spears can carry a ballad, but that is the one thing this album lacks. She always has one killer ballad, but there is nothing that comes close to "Everytime" from In The Zone.<BR/><BR/>Overall, a great album. No message songs, just good pure fun. And in this times, isn't that what we need from the entertainment industry?

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome!

    I listen to this cd every single day! it is amazing! i love the smoothness of the songs and the upbeatness to them. Some of my favorite songs are kill the lights and circus! Please buy this cd! you won't be disappointed!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    She never really went anywhere!

    Awesome CD- get the extra bonus with the DVD - worth it! Can't wait to see the Circus unravel live on stage!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    brits back and shes here to stay

    britney spears is about to release the new album circus i heard acouple songs off this album this album is going to be just as awesome as blackout maybe even better than first 4 studio albums but brtits back and shes here to stay thank you britney spears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Britney's best ever

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!! BRITNEY THIs is AMAzing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LUVVVVVVVVVVVV IT. keep up the good work. I truly reccommend this to everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    the best album since britneys debut!!!!!!!!!!

    this album is just hott yes i said its hott this album is one of britneys best this album is frikin awesome britney spears is the best of the best

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews