It’s been a long 4 years since Christina Aguilera
last graced us with an album, however, it’s really no surprise; Miss Aguilera has always taken her time between musical endeavors in true diva fashion. It’s always a risky move to delay your next album for an extended period of time in the world of pop music. A good two years off usually suffices as enough time for any established star to leave their audience yearning for more – but pushing it further can endanger an artist of becoming irrelevant in the sweeping tides of the music industry. And, of course, the obvious question is – mostly due to fan feuds and a fat blogger on the Internet – can Christina make it in a GaGa world?
Let’s briefly rewind back to 2006 when Christina put out Back to Basics. This album ultimately didn't intrigue me. It seemed almost too calculated of a career move and none of the songs really blew me away. Where was the innovative fighter who told the world she was Dirrty, yet Beautiful, and didn’t really give a fuck what you think? Well, boys and girls, with Bionic, X-Tina is back in full force. Bionic ultimately seems like the natural sequel to Stripped; it follows a similar formula and has Christina exploring similar territory musically and lyrically. However, Bionic stands on its own as a worthy, unique predecessor and actually flows more cohesively throughout.Bionic
sees Christina experimenting more than ever – and not just musically, but vocally as well. Everyone knows Aguilera is a vocal powerhouse, but she surprisingly can twist her voice into multiple characters that Whitney and Mariah have never dared to try. Whether its exploring her lower register, rapping, gently cooing, or belting out something technically difficult, she’s always spot on. The album also possesses amazing production, thanks to an impressive array of established producers (Linda Perry, Tricky Stewart, and Sia) that mesh incredibly well together.Not Myself Tonight
introduced the album – and quite poorly due to the video’s numerous GaGa/Madonna comparisons. While the song itself is fun, it ends up being slightly unoriginal as the first single and actually pales in comparison to many superior tracks on the album. Woohoo
– the album’s second single – would most likely be a hot mess of a song by any other artist, but Christina’s quick and irresistibly catchy vocal stylings make it pure fun the whole way through. Desnudate
(translation: get naked!) is a brilliant 4 ½ minutes of raunchy, upbeat Latin fire, while the fabulous Glam
stands as the next generation’s “Vogue.” Sex for Breakfast
is a sexy, Janet-inspired “baby-making” song, I Am
could be considered the sequel to “Beautiful” with its magical, dreamy chorus, and Lift Me Up
climaxes into a inspirational crescendo of beauty that leaves one in awe of the powerful vocals and magical touch that Aguilera can effortlessly put into a song.
The most disappointing aspect of the album comes at the closing with the last three songs; with extremely immature lyrics and Christina screaming “bitch” multiple times while talking about how “fucking pretty” she is, it seems like this songs were solely tacked on to impress queeny gays across the world. Nevertheless, because of the superior bonus tracks, the faux pas can be forgiven; it’s just surprising she didn’t choose them to be on the actual album! Monday Morning
is effortlessly cool and could easily be a Ladyhawke song, Birds of Prey
is mysterious, dark and alluring, while Little Dreamer
is an uplifting slice of 80’s inspired pop that would have worked well as the album closer.
In the end, the album is pretty fantastic and stands as her best yet. The whole “Christina is a copycat” cry has unfairly overshadowed the music and become quite boring; besides, Christina is the original wild child of fashion. Anyone remember when she sported blond weave with a ghetto-fabulous, reverse cleavage top? And who would ever forget her infamous Lady Marmalade getup? I remember back to my undergrad years discussing what she would wear to the 2003 VMAs (I made a joke about ostrich feathers and she actually ended up wearing a dress made of magenta feathers!). She’s the long-standing fashionista of crazy and has been criticized severely for it all along – and with “Not Myself Tonight” faltering on the charts, it seems as if boycotting Christina is once again in style at the moment. However, something tells me she doesn’t care too much. This is the same girl who experienced the public turning their back on her when “Dirrty” was released, was overshadowed at the VMAs by Britney’s kiss, and has normally lived in the shadow of more popular artists. Christina is the ultimate fighter – the underdog – and she’s always pulled through turmoil stronger than before. Honestly, I don’t think she’d have it any other way; remarkably good music speaks for itself and something tells me X-Tina knows it.