.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/d0ac6409576c41090151280122b24f3ef79fd84e.jpg Circus

Britney Spears

Circus

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
December 12, 2008

Britney may have left the psych ward, but on Circus, she proves she's still a freak. 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. "Toxic" producers Bloodshy & Avant hit pay dirt again with the melodic, glowing "Unusual You." The Max Martin-produced "If U Seek Amy" (say it fast) is a saucy, swinging standout, and the photographer-taunting stomper "Kill the Lights" recalls the synth crush of 2007's Blackout.

Britney's vocals on Blackout sounded phoned in, but on Circus, she put in real studio time, actually singing some slow jams. Frou Frou's Guy Sigsworth contributes "Out From Under," Spears' best ballad since "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman." But there are creepy ones too: Danja's "Blur" updates 2003's hungover "Early Mornin'," as the mom of two sighs, "Where the hell am I?" She does her kids a greater disservice with "My Baby," the trite ballad dedicated to them. And Mommy shows she has psychodrama to spare on "Mmm Papi," a go-go romp with daddy issues ("Grab me tight and don't let go/Mmm Papa, love you"): Is it about the papa who controls her affairs or the paparazzi she had an affair with? The fact that we're even curious shows Britney hasn't lost her talent: Her fans still can't look away.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Nightshift”

    The Commodores | 1984

    The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com