Last year's album Blackout successfully brought Britney Spears back into the pop music spotlight thrashing and spitting at those who would try to keep her down. This year's Circus is more relaxed, although it is still Britney Spears, and exudes a confidence that would seem to indicate Britney has returned to stay.
The atmosphere of Circus is more confident and relaxed than last year's Blackout. However, this is still Britney Spears which means we don't get simple songs about love and money. "Kill the Lights" once again rages against the paparazzi. Hit single "Womanizer" seems like it might be speaking about a key person in Spears' life. It's hard to know exactly what she is getting at with the daddy figures of "Mmmm Papi." Musically, Circus effectively depicts the crazy quilt of Britney Spears that we can never quite ignore.
Britney Spears Is an Artist
Circus is not all taunting and teasing however. The ballad "Out From Under" is quite beautiful. The melody of "Unusual You" throbs pleasingly above a rolling electronic foundation. "If U Seek Amy" would already gain attention from the lyrical gimmick (say the title fast), but it's the pounding pop stomp that will make it memorable. All through Circus Britney Spears' vocals are distinctive, loose, and on target.
Top Tracks on Circus
- "Out From Under"
- "If U Seek Amy"
- "Unusual You"
Relevant and Confident
Circus makes a cogent argument that there is much more of Britney Spears to follow than the escapades which dominate the tabloids. She is a consistently engaging artist worth hearing. The overall sound of this album is not of a singer barely hanging on. It's of a singer maturing into her comfort zone and planning to be around for the long haul.
Released December 2008 by Jive Records