The Circus Comes to Town

I think Britney herself said it best with "It's been awhile." Although it's been only a few years since she last tore up the charts, her erratic behavior was better at selling tabloids than albums. Now that she's really back this time, she's got a solid album to prove it. In fact, you'll be glad to know that lead single Womanizer is one of the lesser tracks in comparison. Womanizer feels flat when compared with the hyper, chantey feel of songs like the salacious If U Seek Amy (try saying it out loud, or rather in your head if there are people around.) Elsewhere, she succeeds with the confident Kill The Lights, cooing "is that money in your pocket, or you're happy to see me?" in reference to her famed experiences with the paparazzi. Surprisingly, one of my favorite moments comes in the down-tempo techno track Unusual You. It's gentle without being contrived, and still remains a standout. Speaking of standouts, there's also the title track Circus, with a chorus sure to be on everyone's lips in a matter of days; the introspective Blur where Britney admits she "can't remember what I did last night;"the chaotic Mannequin, which is actually downright experimental for arguably the most mainstream artist in the world; and the bass-slapping Lace & Leather, which feels like a tongue in cheek take on a Prince/Janet Jackson sound-a-like. The duds? My Baby, although certainly sweet, is one of the more boring songs I've heard in a while and Out From Under tries too hard to be emotional. Otherwise, it's a great album that I would definitely recommend as well as give the The Guide to Everything Fabulous stamp of approval. Circus hits stores December 2nd.

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