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Album Review

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

After leaving his woman, a guy realizes independence can’t compare to the love he took for granted ("You Get Used to Somebody"). "Angel Boy" is about a sinful man seeking spiritual redemption. The artist refuses to measure himself by the media’s standards on "Smilin’" ("Just another fantasy for sale/Telling me what I need, what I should do, who I should be/That stuff don’t matter to me at all"). The couple on "Set This Circus Down" clings to a homesteader’s dream of settling down. "Grown Men Don’t Cry" gets misty-eyed about homelessness, absentee fathers and the love of a child. Other songs seek romantic reconciliation ("Why We Said Goodbye") and marvel at the power of unconditional acceptance ("The Cowboy in Me").

Objectionable Content

"Telluride" recalls a winter spent tending bar and making love. Hurting from a breakup, a guy hopes that a few beers and a little blue pill will help him "Forget About Us." A father of four justifies walking out because of a change in his wife’s disposition ("Angry All the Time").

Summary Advisory

The reigning king of country music is at his best when pondering priorities with a masculine vulnerability. He’s moved by poverty. He resists trendiness. He recognizes spiritual hunger. All terrific messages. However, emotions sometimes get the better of him, prompting moral choices teens shouldn’t emulate. Apart from those few cuts, Set This Circus Down pitches its tent on solid ground.

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range









Number-1 country disc crested at 2 on the pop chart. "Grown Men Don’t Cry" is a Top-5 country single.

Record Label




On Video

Year Published


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