1. Great voice
2. An established fan base
6. A loving husband and adorable child
7. A solid song-writing team
The list could easily go on and on, but sadly, the math does not add up. Christina Aguilera has “what a girl wants.” However, her fourth studio album Bionic proves to be yet another reinvention of Christina’s image; this time around having superhuman strength and capacity. Utilizing electronic devices and mechanical parts to assist Aguilera in performing difficult, dangerous, and intricate tasks achieves nothing but supreme unoriginality in the singer’s case. With harsh criticism by the masses fueled by her in-your-face obvious imitation and reproduction of pop music’s ruling queen Lady Gaga, Aguilera’s numerous uncanny similarities (duplicated in Bionic‘s tracks and music videos) do not leave much room to defend any new music.
Read more of our review of Christina Aguilera’s latest record Bionic after the jump…
Aguilera released her self-titled debut album in 1999 (Christina Aguilera) displaying ultimate submission into the pop princess kingdom with manufactured hits “Genie In A Bottle” and “Come On Over (All I Want Is You).” After taking full creative control on her second album, Christina re-introduced herself to fans as the ultimate feminist sex symbol on Stripped (2002) with songs “Dirrty,” “Can’t Hold Us Down,” and “Get Mine, Get Yours.” The year 2006 brought the highly anticipated Back To Basics with yet another image reinvention turning Aguilera into an admirably smart, stylish, classy, and elegant woman fusing bubble gum pop from the ’50s with standard jazz and blues. Aguilera then put together all aforementioned components to create her own unique recipe, thus achieving a translatable, modern sound that fans both old and new fell instantly in love with.
As with Back To Basics, Christina made the world wait another four years before releasing Bionic. When fans are forced to bide their time for new music by a favorite artist of theirs for an extended period of time, expectations are frighteningly high for a groundbreaking record and number one hits. Given Aguilera’s recent role as a mother and wife, I was expecting and wishing for her maturity level to be reflected on Bionic. I yearned for artistic depth throughout the entirety of the album. Instead, after all that time and anticipation, I am left with tunes such as “Elastic Love,” “Woohoo,” and “Sex For Breakfast.” All of which lack a display of Christina’s inimitable vocal talent and are blatantly lacking any form of impressive lyric. “Woohoo” is about nothing more than Aguilera’s female nether regions and penchant for oral sex: “You know you really wanna taste my / You know you wanna get a peak / Wanna see my / You know you wanna put ya lips where my hips are.” Wow, classy Christina…very classy.
If these tunes were remotely catchy it would not matter what the lyrics were specifically pertaining to. Examples of good hooks/bad lyrics include any and all of Ke$ha’s repertoire as well as Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My)” from 2002. I remember singing that song in junior high oblivious to what the lyrics meant. I was mortified when I figured out what the track was really about, but up until that point it did not matter because no one could get that song out of their head.
All criticism aside, Christina’s repeat match up with in demand songwriter Linda Perry (sole writer behind smash hit “Beautiful”) on Bionic‘s “Lift Me Up” along with Aguilera’s utilization of Sia Furler’s talents for ballads “You Lost Me,” “I Am” and “All I Need” save the album. Both Furler and Perry draw upon simple elements like piano-based melodies accompanied by minimal string orchestrations. Paired with the singer’s raw belting make the “All I Need” lyrics “Telling the truth to you gives me wings / Free with my words / Free as a bird / I am flying high / Looking at you / Everything new / You are my life” come to life. Knowing that the track was written about Aguilera’s son Max makes it that much more special. If Aguilera could channel the depth, clarity, and vocal range in her other songs (especially the upbeat dance tracks), Bionic would have received five stars in every review!
Two uptempo songs that Aguilera should have released to the public via radio and iTunes when promoting Bionic are “Glam” and “Prima Donna.” Both written by Aguilera along with songwriting and production superstars Claude Kelly and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart. Kelly and Stewart were able to capture catchy refrains in a fashion true to Christina’s hip and savvy style. Sadly, most of her tunes lack the flair needed to make any of them a hit single. Why the vocalist did not team up with songwriter to the stars Kara DioGuardi (“Ain’t No Other Man”) again on Bionic is beyond me.
With such an extensive fan base, Aguilera was handed the ingredients on a silver platter to make a hit album. Unfortunately, for us and Aguilera, the outcome of Bionic‘s release went horribly wrong. This is undoubtedly because Christina tried too hard to channel and impersonate someone whose image is based solely on her individuality and the fact that she just does not give a fuck what people think of her: Lady Gaga. One could argue that I am wrong and that sex sells no matter who is copying who. But due to the release of two songs “Not Myself Tonight” and “Woohoo,” which force Aguilera’s sexuality down listener’s throats failing to land radio airplay, along with her canceled summer tour, it seems fans simply want Christina to be herself and no one else. Hopefully, Aguilera will find her “voice within” for the next record and leave the “bionic” woman by the wayside.