Today, on her 27th birthday, Spears releases her sixth album titled Circus, despite the fact that her personal circus has more or less left town. She still lacks custody of her two sons, and she’s stuck with a court-ordered babysitter, aka Daddy, but judging by the put-togetherness of Circus, she’s gained something valuable (and Janet Jackson-approved): control. The video for “Womanizer” has Brit-Brit playing amongst her kind again: outrageous animals, multiple wigs-cum-personalities, and lots and lots of dancing. She hisses along with lots of spunk and heart, reminiscent of our last favorite Britney song, “Toxic.” Her songwriting makes a transparent splash with songs like “My Baby,” dedicated to Sean Preston and Jayden, and “Mmm Papi,” a salute to her Daddy issues. Sure, it’s chockfull of delicious in-da-club jams, but Spears also delivers her best ballad since “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” — “Out From Under” proves that she is, indeed, dealing with her shiz.
Britney Spears, Circus
(Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008)