Traveling Circus

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Traveling Circus
Traveling Circus album cover
Studio album by Phil Vassar
Released December 15, 2009 (2009-12-15)
Recorded 2009
Genre Country
Length 43:46
Label Universal South
Producer Phil Vassar
Phil Vassar chronology
Prayer of a Common Man
(2008)
Traveling Circus
(2009)
Noel
(2011)
Singles from Traveling Circus
  1. "Bobbi with an I"
    Released: April 2009
  2. "Everywhere I Go"
    Released: August 2009

Traveling Circus is the fifth studio album by American country music singer Phil Vassar. It was released on December 15, 2009 as his second album for the Universal South Records label. The album contains the singles "Bobbi with an I" and "Everywhere I Go," both of which have charted on the U.S. country singles charts. Vassar produced the album on his own, and wrote or co-wrote every song on it as well.

Content[edit]

The album's first single was "Bobbi with an I," a song about a transvestite man,[1] which peaked at #46 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Following it was the ballad "Everywhere I Go," which peaked at #36 in late 2009.

Vassar wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, collaborating with Nashville songwriters such as Jeffrey Steele, Craig Wiseman and Tim Nichols, as well as singer Kenny Chesney on the track "I Will Remember You."[2] Vassar produced the album himself, and used his road band on it.[3] His high school art teacher, Jason Erwin, painted the album cover,[2] and a young director named Chris Cella directed the music video for "Everywhere I Go."[4]

The album was originally slated for a February 2010 release, but in November 2009, it was announced that the release date would be moved to December 15, 2009.[2][5] It is Vassar's second release on the Universal South Records label, following 2008's Prayer of a Common Man.

Critical reception[edit]

Album[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[6]
Billboard (60/100)[7]
The New York Times (positive)[8]
USA Today 2/4 stars[9]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album three stars out of five, citing the up-tempo songs as standouts: "Unfortunately, Vassar leans a little too heavily on placid power ballads to give this a truly carnivalesque kick, but when he does take the time to lay back he’s as good as he ever was."[6]

Singles[edit]

"Bobbi with an I" received a thumbs-down rating from The 9513 reviewer CM Wilcox, who said, "As a joke, it lacks a punchline. As social commentary, it lacks a message[…]it’s a song that says almost nothing about its chosen topic, so the attention should stop short of praise."[1] Sam Gazdziak, another critic from the same site, gave "Everywhere I Go" a thumbs-down as well, saying that it "sounds so familiar and commonplace that it’s pretty much impossible to stand out in a crowded radio playlist,"[10] while Bobby Peacock of Roughstock considered it similar in sound to Vassar's first album and said that it had an "interesting" structure.[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Life"   Phil Vassar 3:34
2. "Lemonade"   Vassar, Charlie Black, Tim Ryan Rouillier 3:34
3. "Everywhere I Go"   Vassar, Jeffrey Steele 4:17
4. "John Wayne"   Vassar, Tom Douglas 4:10
5. "Tequila Town"   Vassar, Kelley Lovelace 4:00
6. "Bobbi With An I"   Vassar, Craig Wiseman 4:38
7. "She's On Her Way"   Vassar, Jeff Outlaw, Tim Nichols 3:57
8. "A Year From Now"   Vassar, Wiseman 4:17
9. "Save Tonight For Me"   Vassar, Rouillier, Julie Wood 3:59
10. "I Will Remember You"   Vassar, Kenny Chesney 3:57
11. "Where Have All The Pianos Gone"   Vassar, James T. Slater 3:23
Total length:
43:46

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 29
U.S. Billboard 200 198

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b CM Wilcox (2009-05-22). "Phil Vassar — "Bobbi with an I"". The 9513. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  2. ^ a b c Stephen L. Betts (2009-11-23). "Phil Vassar Brings Circus to Town Earlier than Expected". The Boot. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  3. ^ Sarah Norton (2009-11-02). "Phil Vassar Is Ringmaster of Traveling Circus". Country Hound. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  4. ^ "Phil Vassar's New Album Scheduled for Dec. 15". CMT. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Vassar releases CD ahead of schedule". Country Standard Time. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Traveling Circus - Phil Vassar". AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-12-17. 
  7. ^ Jessen, Wade (2010-01-19). "Phil Vassar, 'Traveling Circus'". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  8. ^ Caramanica, Jon (2010-01-03). "New CDs (Phil Vassar: 'Traveling Circus')". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  9. ^ Mansfield, Brian (2009-12-14). "Phil Vassar, Traveling Circus: Piano Pitchman". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  10. ^ Sam Gazdziak (2009-08-21). "Phil Vassar — "Everywhere I Go"". The 9513. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  11. ^ Bobby Peacock (2009-09-01). "Phil Vassar — "Everywhere I Go"". Roughstock. Retrieved 2009-12-02.