Monday, June 7, 2010


In the time that Christina Aguilera has been away from the pop music spotlight, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have become stars and Britney Spears has launched a dozen comebacks. Aguilera’s last studio album of new material was “Back to Basics” in 2006. This week she unveils her latest, “Bionic.”

The 29-year-old singer seems intent on proving to fans and foes alike that she’s still got it. But first she has to figure out just what “it” is. Is she an old-school song stylist, an avant garde dance diva, or some mix of both? “I’m doing things that I normally won’t do/The old me’s gone I feel brand new/And if you don’t like it f— you,” she sings on “Not Myself Tonight.”

We all know Aguilera’s got pipes as sturdy as a Manhattan water main, and the new album features a number of songs, like the title track, that pair her soaring vocals with equally aggressive beats. Aguilera collaborates with cutting-edge rapper M.I.A. on the futuristic-sounding “Elastic Love” and, on the bonus track “Monday Morning,” she works with acclaimed rapper-singer Santigold.

But Aguilera hedges her bets, bringing in previous collaborator and proven hitmaker Linda Perry on the straight-forward ballad “Lift Me Up.” It’s a melodic, uplifting track that seems tailor made for a character to croon in the second season of “Glee.”

Many of the tracks on “Bionic” pump up the sexuality, including “Sex for Breakfast” (an unsubtle ode to morning sex), and “Whohoo” (an unsubtle ode to oral sex). These songs aren’t just sexually suggestive, they’re downright demanding. “You don’t even need a plate,” Aguilera sings on “Whohoo.”

Wall Street Journal

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