Circus

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Circus Music Poster Image
Pop princess sings mainly about -- surprise! -- sex.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Some songs celebrate clubbing and partying, as well as the idea of acting in certain ways to get attention. On some tracks Spears shows off a strong character and talks about not being victimized or fooled.

Violence
Sex

On "Mmm Papi" Spears moans and sings seductively ("Lil' miss fast car,
I can really get far, and don't break my heart, let's make out (Let's make out! Let's make out!)." "Lace and Leather" is a sort of vocal strip tease that talks about lingerie and high heels.

Language

"Hell" is said once and "b-tch" is sung on the song "Lace and Leather." "Blur" includes the line, "This sh-t is way too f--king bright." But the expletives are edited out. The song "If You Seek Amy" contains a play on words you wouldn't want your tweens and teens to repeat.

Consumerism

A few songs include references to Spears buying what she wants. Having money is equated with power: "I get things, everything I wanted / My own way, your time, goldmines."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

"If U Seek Amy" makes references to smoking and drinking cocktails. "Blur" is about someone who can't remember what she did the night before, as if she in a drunken blackout.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a steamy album with lots of seductive lyrics -- as well as moaning and purring. While many of the songs are catchy and danceable, the words and messages don't waiver much from the central theme: sex.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 September 24, 2009

awe great song bad video!!!

the song by itself is OK but the music video is REALLY NOT GOOD! They show britney waking around in her bra and undies! and the basic point of the song when she... Continue reading
Parent of a 3, 4, and 11 year old Written bybirdmk1 February 27, 2009

Errrm - not for my pre-teen!

Full of sexual innuendo and alcohol and drug references. The worst is the song “If You Seek Amy”, which is actually pronounced “F.*.*.K. me”!
Kid, 10 years old March 24, 2011

If U Seek Amy has a play on words.

Listen close: "All the boys and all the girls are beggin' to if U seek Amy". Don't get it? Let's change it: "beggin' to F-U-s... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 27, 2009

Sexy Album that Curses with a bad role model and bad messages

Britney isn't a good role model; her music doesn't express good messages. This album would be best given to 17 and up, no younger. "If you seek A... Continue reading

What's the story?

The follow-up to her less-than impressive CD Blackout, CIRCUS finds Spears back in familiar territory. The dozen tracks are a collection primarily about no-good, two-timing, deceptive guys, while the rest range from seductive celebrations of sexy men ("Mmm Papi" and "Lace and Leather") to a tribute to her children ("My Baby").

Is it any good?

With Circus, Spears addresses her critics and attempts to prove that she's still got it. The album resurrects

the pouty-faced pop singing of the star's youth -- with mixed results. You'll hear some "Baby One More Time"-type vocals as well as an ultra-sugary sweet ballad ("My Baby"). There are some addictive beats and hooks on the album, most notably on the successful "Womanizer" and "Radar."

 

But sex in all its variations reigns. The song "If You Seek Amy" has a sly double entendre (say it slowly and you'll get it). And her try at Latin rhythms on "Mmm Papi," finds her using an older man. Kids will probably just want to download the hot singles, not the entire album. And that's probably a good thing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Britney Spears the singer and Britney Spears the media object. How does Spears' music differ from her public image? How does she treat the media on this album -- including the title's allusion to a "media circus?" Do you think she is hurt or helped by all the tabloid attention she has received? Why do you think that many of her songs refer to her publicized scandals?

Music details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate