Christina Aguilera - Bionic

Christina Aguilera
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With as many phases and cycles as Britney Spears, the former pop princess Christina Aguilera seems to be more fascinated at how often she can reinvent herself without getting tagged as being a copy-cat. At the same time her pop ballad "Beautiful" was blazing the charts in 2002, she decided to shed her New Mickey Mouse skin and join the rat race of artistic metamorphism. The two-disc affair of Back to Basics was a bit tamer than her Stripped sessions; exploring ragtime, jazz, blues and jumpy soul, but it continued to reveal her craving for big musical explorations. Besides her various shades of musical styles and experimentation, her voice hailed by Rolling Stone and a vast number of critics has been considered one of the greatest set of pipes of all time.

With as many phases and cycles as Britney Spears, the former pop princess Christina Aguilera seems to be more fascinated at how often she can reinvent herself without getting tagged as being a copy-cat. At the same time her pop ballad "Beautiful" was blazing the charts in 2002, she decided to shed her New Mickey Mouse skin and join the rat race of artistic metamorphism. The two-disc affair of Back to Basics was a bit tamer than her Stripped sessions; exploring ragtime, jazz, blues and jumpy soul, but it continued to reveal her craving for big musical explorations. Besides her various shades of musical styles and experimentation, her voice hailed by Rolling Stone and a vast number of critics has been considered one of the greatest set of pipes of all time.

On Bionic, Aguilera jumps right into Lady Gaga and Ke$ha territory, although her intentions are to present futuristic, hi-tech pop (look at the half cyborg-half human album cover). When she tries to go futuristic in the beginning (the title cut, "Elastic Love"), she quickly and thankfully abandons her pursuit like a bad biology experiment. The new age sounds aren't complete failures, but it isn't as rewarding as the present-day pop offerings. Whirly synthpop dominates most of the album like the engaging lead single "Not Myself Tonight," "Prima Donna" and the zesty four-on-the-floor disco bumps of "Desnudate." Halfway into the rave soundtrack, she decreases the tempo with a slow grinder (‘Sex for Breakfast"), a Linda Perry encourager ("Lift Me Up") and a gorgeous pop ballad using the genetics of "Beautiful" ("All I Need"), but it's almost too forgettable when you consider all the strobe light dominance and just how fiery her persona blazes on bad girl cuts like "I Hate Boys" and "Vanity." In the rat race for being the top diva, Aguilera makes a few unnecessary mistakes in trying to be in first place. There's a lot of ego-stroking sexual aggression, Stripped cranking and a daring "mirror, mirror on the wall" confession about being "the baddest bitch of them all" on "Vanity." Bionic will get its play in the clubs, but the competition for claiming Queen of the Night is far from over. Aguilera is now playing on Gaga's turf and Bionic isn't as artistic as that newcomer's cultural landmark, not even close.

Notable Tracks: "Not Myself Tonight," "Desnudate," "Sex for Breakfast," and "All I Need"

Vocals: 3.0 stars
Music: 3.0 stars
Lyrics: 2.0 stars
Production: 3.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Modestly recommended

 

By J. Matthew Cobb
 
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