Album review: Britney Spears - Circus

Album review: Britney Spears - Circus | Random J PopAfter breaking down in spectacular fashion and losing her hair, as well as her kids and her sanity, Britney is back with a brand new album. I was angry that Britney went and recorded an album as hot as Blackout only to not promote it and continue breaking down. But thankfully Britney seems back on the path to recovery and is ensuring she doesn't make that mistake again.

Right off the bat Circus lobs the goods at you in full force. Lead single "Womanizer" still sounds hot to me now as it did before. The chorus can get irritating, coming off like a playground rhyme, but the beat is so hot and the song is so catchy, that it's forgiveable. Britney continues her reign as the girl you could rely on for a catchy lead single. Even if you hate her songs, chances are you can sing her shit at karaoke without even needing to look at lyrics - which means her job is done. "Womanizer" is that song. Insanely catchy, with a chorus that just worms its way into your head and refuses to leave. Title track and second single "Circus" is even hotter and would've made a cracking lead single. Producer Dr. Luke showcases his new production style which takes a Danja-esque turn. The song is tailor made for a single and live performances, with it's dance breakdown section bang in the middle. Too bad Britney doesn't look to have stepped up to the performance plate with this song.

Danja: the man who was instrumental behind Blackout's sound is back into the mix with his contribution "Kill the lights" - coming off like a cross between "Piece of me" and "Gimme more". If "Womanizer" and "Circus" didn't do anything for you, this song will. Britney's swagger on "Kill the lights" is air tight. The way she rolls out the verse first is killer. I don't think I've ever heard Britney ride a beat so tightly. This song is not as hot as "Gimme more", but I don't think anybody was expecting Danja and Britney to come with a jam that hot ever again. But this song is definitely hotness and better than most of what Danja brought to the table on Blackout. The beat is insane.

"If you seek Amy" is a hot ditty of a song, which cleverly plays on it's own title. The song channels old skool "Oops...I did it again" Britney, which is no doubt down to the song being produced by the man who helmed her hits "...Baby one more time" and "Oops...I did it again!": Max Martin. This would made a hot single, especially with the controversial angle where the song title is concerned. "Mannequin" is a hot little banger. Those of you who remember the video of Britney dancing in a dance studio to a new song will re-call this track. The producers of the song (Rob Knox and Harvey Mason Jr of The underdogs) rip off Timbaland and Danja's style completely. But credit where it's due: the beat is fire and the song is mad catchy. Even if the lyrics are complete nonsense about God knows what.

Unlike Blackout, Circus features a selection of slower numbers. In the zone contributor Guy Sigsworth brings 2 ballads to the table: "Out from under" and "My baby", both of which are nice songs. Neither are as hauntingly beautiful as "Everytime", but are still nice songs. Danja produced "Blur" is a great song, and at this point it's clear that Danja and Britney definitely have a musical chemistry. Where it would've been easy for him to come how he did on Blackout or give us more of songs like "Kill the lights", he flips it and gives Britney a swoony mid tempo with a southern twang. Britney sings over the beat without any vocal manipulation or the aid of backing vocalists, which makes her shine even more.

The bonus tracks are all absolute trash. The international bonus track "Radar" everybody has already heard, liked and been done with. And the rest all sound whack. The fact that Bloodshy & Avant's tracks got relegated to bonus tracks and sound like such crap is shocking. These guys usually give Britney some hot tracks, but they fell off on this occasion.

Circus is a better album than Blackout from a performance stand point, because Britney stands more at the forefront of the songs due to less emphasis on vocal manipulation and Britney sounding as though she had fun in the studio. But Blackout was a better album because it was edgy, brilliantly produced and unexpected given what Britney was going through at the time. Bloodshy & Avant and Danja gave her some stellar songs, possibly some of their best. So which album stands clear above the other is tough to call. Blackout has the bangers, but Circus has Britney selling the songs.

Britney easily could have fallen off completely with this album by either putting together an album of weak material or an album which sounded just like Blackout. Thankfully, she's done neither. Stick Blackout & Circus on a playlist and you've got a pretty solid set of songs to enjoy.

Britney Spears' 'Circus' scores itself a 6 out of 10
Album highlights:
■ Womanizer
■ Circus
■ Kill the lights ★ J's fave
■ If U seek Amy
■ Blur
■ Mannequin

A review of Britney's previous album: Blackout


  1. Nice review j

    As usual ;-)

    who's the producer behind 'mannequin'? That song is H.O.T.

    'Out from under' is very beautiful, and is my favorite slow jam in the album. It should absolutely be the 3rd single

    (I heard the video had been all ready shot)

  2. "Mannequin" is produced by Rob Knox and Harvey Mason Jr. of The Underdogs. I agree, The song is a BANGER! No idea what she's on about in the song, but it's hotness. Britney could do such a hot video and live routine to that; especially with the break down section in the middle, but she probably won't. She'll just walk around the stage looking bored stiff.

    I think "Out from under" is set to be the 3rd single, with "Kill the lights" being the 4th.

  3. I actually really liked Phonography and Trouble, both of those were bonus tracks and I think they would've actually added to the album, especially Trouble.

  4. I'm tired of Britney Spears already. This album may be her best yet, but again, I question how much that actually has to do with Britney. Everyone's willing to cut her all this slack -- producers, the public, her maniacal fans -- but I don't understand why she deserves it. She was never that talented to begin with. And she became a hot mess of her own accord. Granted, she was marketed extremely well in the beginning and she's a genuine household name, but whatever magic was there is clearly lost. She gets good tracks because her name's Britney, but she can't actually perform them. Unless some miracle falls upon her, her tour next year will be a joke. People make all these excuses about her live performances, but the reality is even b****es like Miley Cyrus pull out better performances than Britney.

  5. I agree with you to an extent. But good music is good music and Circus is a good album. Britney's live performances are mad weak, she still doesn't seem to have her shit 100% or even 70% together and her personal life continues to eclipse her music. But her music is good and I can't knock that because of other shit surrounding her. Me saying her music is whack because I'm tired of her would be no different from me saying I am... Sasha Fierce is amazing (which I don't think it is) purely because I love Beyoncé. And that Good girl gone bad is a whack album (which it isn't) because I can't stand The Forehead. I'm just going on the music, and the Britney's music on this album is solid.

    Britney's fortunate enough to have a good A&R person working for her. I don't think it's just a case of her being Britney. Britney being Britney at her peak got her a bunch of terrible songs for her patchy, whack and inconsistent 3rd and 4th albums.

    Right now Britney is getting praise and love from folk because everybody likes a story about somebody who had it all, fell spectacularly from grace, lost it all and then slowly begins to up the pieces on their way back up.

    Britney's at a point in her career where she's gone beyond being a pop star now.

    I think the only people who are getting a raw deal and should be dissapointed are her fans. They're the ones who are getting punked the hardest with these live performances and the shambles of a tour which is kicking off next year.

  6. This album is decent. I actually like a lot of the singles. Too bad Britney's just an image with no musical or performing talents what so ever. "Circus" is probably my favorite song. And the vid for "If U Seek Amy" is such a slap in the face to Britney haters, lol. Besides that though, meh. If it's your taste in music, more power to you, but the creation of this album is irrelevant to whose name is on the cover.

    I completely agree with Brandon. Miley Cyrus, strongly dislike her as I do, does contribute largely to her albums and is alright live. Britney, uh, NO.


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