Britney Spears’ “Circus”

December 12, 2008 at 10:28 am 5 comments

I’m really sorry everyone, I don’t know how to explain my recent Britney obsession. Ever since “Piece of Me” came out and was played in a scenario where  I could dance my ass off, I’ve been hooked. Okay, there, I said it. I like Britney’s dance music. So sue me. 

Her latest single, “Circus” is a freakin’ great pop/dance song, and to be honest, I cannot wait til I am in some club in Dublin and it comes on, because I will be drunk, freak out, and dance like an insane person. Anyway, here’s the video. Embedding is disabled because it’s the official video and I guess BritneyTV are a bunch of wanks who don’t realize the value of allowing people to spread and promote their video for free. But anyway….

I’m not going to address the lyrics, because I already did that with “Womanizer” and I feel like I’d be making the same point over again – the point being that pop or dance music is virtually free of any meaning and oftentimes completely lacking coherent thought and speech structure. Pop music is like marshmallows. It’s fluffy, completely synthetic, and lacking in any real nutritional value. But I’ll be goddamned if that was ever a reason to not eat marshmallows. Because they’re fucking delicious anyway.

But the reason I like this video is because it legitimately does have some really beautiful shots, and because it’s Britney getting back to her best. She looks really good and actually remotely classy (excepting the almost-pastie outfit) and isn’t drooling on herself or pole-dancing in a bad weave, so I count this one a victory. No horrible wigs or costumes, no candy-colored production design, no garish lighting. Hazaa! While it’s nothing to crap yourself over (it’s no Lykke Li), this video is a major achievement in the sphere of regular Britney videos and probably a lot more aesthetically satisfying than a lot of pop vids. Just ignore the lyrics entirely and take it for what it is: dance-able!

Well anyway, here are some really nice-looking shots from “Circus” (apologies for poor quality, they’re YouTube screen grabs):


I think this shot is really gorgeous, and even better-looking in motion. It’s not like exceptionally high-concept or hard to do, but it’s just really graceful and captivating.


Lions! And whips! I’d like to see Katy Perry cracking a whip between two giant lions. I love the earthy, de-saturated colors of this video and that they chose to go sort of dark and dirty with the theme.


Elephants rule, though I’m sort of sad he’s captive. Anyway, this sort of reminded me of the White Stripes video for “Blue Orchid,” when the horse rears up over the girl. Because this elephant is rearing up over this chandelier. Will he smash it?! We never find out. Oh Britney, you know how to keep us wanting more.

Honestly I’ve always been a big fan of the whole Circus/cabaret/carnival aesthetic, though I will admit that people like Panic at the Disco! and probably freakin’ Pete Wentz totally ruined it and now it’s pretty played out as far as pop media is concerned. It’s been used too much to be subversive or original anymore, kind of like what happened to pirates when Pirates of the Caribbean came out. Sorry pirates, you’re just not cool anymore. 

Here are some things I didn’t like about the video:


This dirty hobo clown krumper. I hate krumpers if only because they’re called krumpers. How do I know what a krumper is, you ask? Well I work at MTV, that’s how I know. But what the fuck kind of word is that? And why does everyone think they’re so cool? I think they look like someone with no rhythm suffering an upright seizure.


There’s a part where she pulls the hat away from her face and has this really weird goofy look. I can’t believe they didn’t cut this shot because it’s completely bizarre and made me feel sort of uncomfortable.

So there you have it, the latest from Britney. I know I typically criticize pop music and recently did so with Katy Perry, whose song was also danceable, but it was not as danceable as this. Plus, she hasn’t earned my respect by going through a complete mental breakdown and general downward spiral the way Britney did. When Katy Perry goes completely berserk and shaves her head, then I’ll reconsider her right to make meaningless music. And besides, I already ragged on Britney for the trainwreck that was “Womanizer,” and this video is like Scorcese next to that thing.


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Tunde Adebimpe How to: Use a Public Restroom

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. neekaps  |  December 12, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I like this video a lot too and I think Britney looks amazing.

  • 2. parkrangerolivia  |  December 14, 2008 at 7:19 pm



  • 3. Betty  |  December 18, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    She does look good; she looks really healthy and her makeup is great. The video has great cinematography, although that “HEY BULGARI LET US USE THEIR JEWELRY IF WE PUT THIS SHOT IN” product placement is pretty hamfisted. The song is so bland though! It’s catchy and not nearly as bad as Gimme More. I guess it is silly to expect that her “comeback” be that impressive, though, given where she started. I’ll always love Toxic, though, because MAN what a good sample.

  • 4. alisaurus  |  December 19, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I didn’t have time to watch that whole video Olivia, but I got far enough to answer the question, “Why is he in the bathroom…?”
    And Betty – hamfisted!? LOL! Are you saying Britney has hamfists?? My brother used to say I had sausage fingers.

  • 5. Betty  |  December 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Hah, my sister says I have monkey paws. Siblings can be so cruel!


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