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Circus [Deluxe Edition]

Circus [Deluxe Edition]

4.5 20
by Britney Spears

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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


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. [A Deluxe Edition was also released featuring three bonus tracks and a bonus DVD.]

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Britney Spears   Primary Artist,Background Vocals,Interviewee
Cathy Dennis   Background Vocals
Greg Kurstin   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Guy Sigsworth   Strings,Keyboards
Max Martin   Background Vocals
Leah Haywood   Background Vocals
Andy Page   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Strings,Electric Guitar,Synthesizer Bass
Chris B. Worthy   Guitar
Nicole Morier   Background Vocals
Henrik Jonback   Bass,Guitar
Windy Wagner   Background Vocals
Kasia Livingston   Background Vocals
Debi Nova   Background Vocals
Candice Nelson   Background Vocals
Claude Kelly   Background Vocals
Luke Boyd   Background Vocals
Myah Marie   Background Vocals
Lukasz Gottwald   Guitar,Drums,Keyboards

Technical Credits

David Boyd   Engineer
Greg Kurstin   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Shelly Peiken   Composer
Guy Sigsworth   Composer,Producer,drum programming
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
Max Martin   Composer,Programming,Producer
Jackie Murphy   Art Direction
Harvey Mason   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,Video Producer
Ezekiel Lewis   Composer
Alexander Kronlund   Composer
Kasia Livingston   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,Vocal Recording
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
Christian Karlsson   Composer
Benjamin Levin   Composer
Patrick Smith   Composer
Nate Hills   Composer
Marcella Araica   Composer,Engineer
Lukasz Gottwald   Composer,Programming
Henry Walter   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Circus 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
megan12 More than 1 year ago
This is the best brittney cd to date!
ThyWickedJuggalo More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
ExcitedaboutFun More than 1 year ago
Upbeat songs. Very danceable. Go Britney! Go. Go.
InsaneCrazedJuggalo More than 1 year ago
this cd is the best of the best this is britney spears at her best because she is the best of the best
DarthTyranus More than 1 year ago
awesome from begining to end i hope femme fatale is just as good as both circus and blackout!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a big Britney fan, but I thought this album is really good. A great album to own.
Seagal More than 1 year ago
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!
MushRoomHeadfan101 More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CountryFan271 More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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?
a_paper_star More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
lwdove More than 1 year ago
this was a really great cd with alot of good original songs that are catchy and danceable to.
nicolemarie60 More than 1 year ago
WOW!!!!!!!!!!! BRITNEY THIs is AMAzing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LUVVVVVVVVVVVV IT. keep up the good work. I truly reccommend this to everyone.
nickelbackfan101 More than 1 year ago
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
madrugada.mm More than 1 year ago
Awesome CD- get the extra bonus with the DVD - worth it! Can't wait to see the Circus unravel live on stage!
librachic More than 1 year ago
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!
aj76 More than 1 year ago
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!
BigApple More than 1 year ago
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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