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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful World part II
UK quartet Take That are 2 albums into their phenomenal comeback. Following their "Beautiful world" CD which sold over 2 million copies in the UK alone, they decide not to tinkle too much with that albums winning formula. Loads of sixties sounding Beatles-style Pop/Rock numbers and ELO-style harmonies a-plenty. So far, it seems the decision has paid off; lead-off single...
Published on December 9, 2008 by Nse Ette

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's Barlow...?
Barlow lends his voice to only a few songs, which is the first thing wrong with this album.
Also, it doesn't seem that John Shanks has written a single song on this. I follow Shanks' music endeavors because the songs he writes are so good, such as "Patience" by Take That a few years ago. There doesn't seem to be any of that here.
While the album is still good,...
Published on December 25, 2008 by A. McLellan


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful World part II, December 9, 2008
By 
This review is from: Circus (Audio CD)
UK quartet Take That are 2 albums into their phenomenal comeback. Following their "Beautiful world" CD which sold over 2 million copies in the UK alone, they decide not to tinkle too much with that albums winning formula. Loads of sixties sounding Beatles-style Pop/Rock numbers and ELO-style harmonies a-plenty. So far, it seems the decision has paid off; lead-off single "Greatest day" became their 11th UK #1, and the CD just topped the UK album charts with the third all time best first week sales behind Oasis and Coldplay, leaving Britney's same titled, same day released album trailing in their wake.

And the music? Not a wide deviation from its predecessor which is good and bad. The good? The towering opening piano ballad "The garden", the jaunty Beatles-esque "Hello", the Lennon-like ballad "Julie" (with a "Sha la la la" refrain), the tender theatrical piano ballad "The circus", the angst laden but sunny "How did it come to this" (rumoured to be about Amy Winehouse), the upbeat "Hold up a light", and hidden cut, the Latin-tinged "She said" (on which they sound like they are having so much fun).

Standouts are a pair of ballads; the stunning piano ballad "What is love" (lead vocals by Howard and deep questioning lyrics), and "You" (nice wall of harmonies).

Now the bad. The rest of the songs are largely safe and forgettable, and I feel they need some more edginess; guitars, synths, something. Not that fans are complaining though! Three and a half stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Age of the "Man Band" has arrived, December 27, 2008
By 
J. Walters (Salt Lake City, Utah United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Circus (Audio CD)
The term "boy band" has unfortunately gotten a bad rap in today's fast changing world. It's an abusive label that has been placed on music groups who all sing but typically don't play instruments. Because the most popular outfits were young male teens or twentyish guys singing popish, bubblegum, R&B tracks then that's the image people forced on these groups. Sadly, these groups are often criticized for being flavor of the month acts who just crank out these syrupy songs aimed at teenage girls and are not serious musicians with longevity in the industry. That may be true for some groups but there are some artists who do take their music seriously and are each talented in their own right and also have the ability to stay on top.

Take That are one those rare bands that started out as a 90's pop sensation in the UK and then disbanded in 1996 only to make a successful comeback 10 years later. With their new album going #1 in the UK, it's almost like they never left except their music has evolved to a more Beatle-esque meets Coldplay sound. I guess if you had to put a label on them, it would be "Man Band." The lads from Manchester have found a winning formula that keeps all members involved in the singing and songwriting process. The downside is that it has divided some loyal fans into 2 camps. One camp wants the band to keep their old pop formula and have Gary Barlow sing all the songs. The other camp are the ones embracing the new direction and were probably fans who favored more songs with Mark Owen and Robbie Williams back in the day. Fans of the former camp will likely be disappointed in how little Barlow is on this album and how many songs Owen gets this time round. Thus the problem with bands like this. Everyone has their favorite band member and everyone on in the band is capable of taking the lead. In my opinion, for the most part TT pulls off the balancing act quite well for the most part. I personally wouldn't given Mark the amount of songs they did but the ones he does are memorable and catchy. What makes this situation more interesting is the giant elephant in the room/studio for Take That. What happens to them if Robbie Williams decides to rejoin the band? That's something that might never happen but for now the band is enjoying their success with a solid follow up album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album and brilliant live show, August 20, 2010
This album is really good and has the third biggest ever opening week sales in UK chart history behind Oasis and Coldplay showing how loved and respected this pop band is.

Love Said It All and Greatest Day and all the other songs. Yes Mark takes lead on a lot of songs and i would have liked more from Howard and Jason although they do get their moment to shine on the album. Think the contrast of vocals between Gary and Mark works really well on Said it all. Again this album has sold millions of copies in the UK and is one of the biggest selling of all time in Britain. The Circus tour to accompany this was amazing and hailed as one of the best live shows by the media.

2nd best selling album of 2008 and 13th in 2009 in the UK.

As of 2014 the only group in British music chart history to have 4 albums cross the 2 million plus sales threshold with Beatles/Coldplay at 3 a piece & Queen/Abba 2 albums.

27th biggest selling album Worldwide in 2008 (no US sales)

Fun Fact: To launch the album's Worldwide release in Paris, the band performed at a lavish nightclub exclusively for the first time in 12 years in the city. The performance included acrobats, trapeze artists, stilt-walkers and jugglers, all in keeping with the circus theme!

Album (weekly): UK #1 (5th) / Europe Hot 100 #5, 2 million + copies sold in EU (IFPI), 15 million minimum European certified album sales for band as of this album / Career album sales in UK: 13.3 million

1.The Garden: UK #97 / Europe #45 (not released in UK charted on strength of downloads),
2.Greatest Day: UK #1, (11th) / Europe #8
4.Said It All: UK #9, / Europe #33
8.Up All Night: UK #14 / Europe #49
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5.0 out of 5 stars A complete album of enjoyable tunes from TT, July 27, 2009
By 
This review is from: Circus (Audio CD)
A brilliant follow up to 2006's Beautiful World - The Circus is definitely Take That's best album as a collective work. The Circus thankfully takes more risks and therefore showcases more of the band's personality. While it doesn't have as many stand out brilliant singles like Patience, Shine, and the stunning Rule the World it is the better album as a whole.

BW while a great comeback played it safe by being a bit samey after awhile in the production apart from tracks Shine, I'd Wait for Life, and Wooden Boat. The lead single off the Circus called Greatest Day however is one of their best songs ever w/ signature soaring harmonies w/ another fantastic chorus. A TT anthem (which they do so well) like the classic Never Forget off their third album.

It's a refreshing theme for TT mach 2.0 to continue featuring different lead vocals, especially for the fans who really appreciate it. Gary has a fantastic voice full stop. One of my all time favorites. The guy is just so versatile as proven by how many times TT have changed their style over the years. As a huge fan of Mark's solo work, and his rocking, soulful voice it's always wonderful to hear as many tracks as possible from him. Howard has a beautiful voice as well which effortlessly conveys so much emotion. Lastly Jason, has gained so much confidence as a lead it's inspiring how far he has come. He truly has a lovely voice.

The Garden has a great message w/ all the guys sharing lead vocals. Hello, and Up All Night are in the same fun style as Shine, w/ Mark on lead. Julie could have been a Mark solo track for sure. What is Love and Here showcase Howard on lead. How Did It Come To This shows Jason finding a signature singing style. I wish You was switched as a b-side with Sleepwalking off the Greatest Day single. That is an amazing track and is too good to be a b-side. The Circus (just Gary and a piano) is a pretty little tune to anchor the album's theme nicely. The stand out track has got to be Said It All. Just an immense song, when Gary hits that note towards the end, and then Mark takes over - simply fantastic. Also Hold Up A Light is a great tune but really comes alive in concert as they have shown on their recent tour.

All in all, a great record from start to finish that doesn't diminish on repeat listens. It gets better. A+
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4.0 out of 5 stars Adult Pop with Teen Pop Echoes, May 17, 2009
By 
Tyro (Brooklyn, New York USA) - See all my reviews
Overall, unlike some other listeners, I like this album better than "Beautiful World," which seemed bogged down by a number of undistinguished ballads. "The Garden" is probably the best song here, and the one that transcends the mainstream subject matter that can make TT seem a little bland. It earns its melodrama better than "Greatest Day," which works better with the video - it is drama with little content. This could be the greatest day: why? so what? While some fans wanted a Barlow-dominated album, I found that the variety of voices here gave the album more depth. "Up All Night," the Beatlesque "Shine"-type song of this album, is instantly likable, and its laddish lyrics give the band some much-needed grit. The social commentary of "How Did it Come to This" similarly earns its hook with a little humor. These are all non-Barlow elements (Mark Owen, mainly) that make the cd more engaging. "The Circus," a piece of Barlow-balladry threatens to dissolve in its schmaltziness. Songs like "Julia" and "You" veer too close to teen pop, though; they're about * * this far from the Partridge Family. "Hold Up a Light" may pander to the band's 02 Arena audiences, but it works, and would have made a good b-side. "Said It All" is a song with a strong hook, reminiscent of Keane, and, as the last single, rounds out a collection of "adult pop" with few skip-track moments. Take That are more charming this time around even as they are unabashedly commercial.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, December 23, 2008
This review is from: Circus (Audio CD)
Wonderful follow up to "Beautifyl World". A great collaborations of all 4 members in each song makes each song unique . They are truly a versatile modern group that caters to everyone .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, March 13, 2009
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This review is from: Circus (Audio CD)
Unlike others who complain about too much Mark Owen's voice on the album, I really enjoyed his songs. I can't imagine Gary Barlow singing those songs (Up all Night, Hello).
I love this album more than The Beautiful World album which is also great! All the songs are catchy but my favourites are The Garden (being the best song on this album), Hello, How Did We Come To This, Up All Night, What Is Love, Said It All and the bonus track She Said which is so beautiful it makes you wanna dance all the time.
Take That never fails to surprise me with their good catchy songs and The Circus is not the exception. All four of them did a great job and they deserve five stars from me without any hasitation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's Barlow...?, December 25, 2008
This review is from: Circus (Audio CD)
Barlow lends his voice to only a few songs, which is the first thing wrong with this album.
Also, it doesn't seem that John Shanks has written a single song on this. I follow Shanks' music endeavors because the songs he writes are so good, such as "Patience" by Take That a few years ago. There doesn't seem to be any of that here.
While the album is still good, my favourite track being "Where Is The Love", it doesn't seem to hold the same style of song as "Beautiful World", which is disappointing. There's no real stand-out songs on this.

But still, it's an enjoyable album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Circus is great!, July 8, 2009
By 
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I really like Circus it was out awhile before I finally purchased it, but it is great. The guys have really grown since the early days, and when I heard their last record "Beautiful World" I was surprised how good they could really sound without Robbie Williams but now in fact it's like Robbie who? the guys all sing now and I especially like Gary and Howard on lead together very Lennon and McCartney to me. This CD flows better as a whole then just the singles so just put it on and let it play from start to finish.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cool songs and a cool Album, November 5, 2013
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This review is from: Circus (Audio CD)
Nice Cd good songs and i never like them when i was younger but now the are older i respect them more for what they have completed in their lives
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Circus
Circus by Take That (Audio CD - 2008)
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