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Christina Aguilera is an artist that needs no introduction, love her hate her she has been around in the music industry for years and I, like many girls my age grew up listening to her music thinking she was amazing.
Christina started off her career in the Mickey Mouse club when she was younger alongside Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, she had her 1st studio album in 1999 and called it (quite originally) Christina Aguilera.
Things changed however in 2002 when Christina released a too sexy for Disney album called Stripped, and since then her bad girl image has been re-made a few times (she went all 20's with her Back to Basics album in 2006, but she always keeps her confidence and sex appeal, (even if she claims to have toned it down a bit).
Bionic is Christina's 6th studio album (including a Spanish album and a Christmas album) and this time she has decided to get a little bit more futuristic, with the cover showing Christina with her face half robot and half human.
But less about fashion and more about the music, there are a total of 18 tracks on this album, here is the track list:
2. Not Myself Tonight
3. Woohoo ft. Nicki Minaj
4. Elastic Love
6. Love and Glamour (intro)
8. Prima Donna
9. Morning Desert (intro)
10. Sex for Breakfast
11. Lift Me Up
12. My Heart (intro)
13. All I Need
14. I Am
15. You Lost Me
16. I Hate Boys
17. My Girls ft Peaches
My Favourite Songs
Bionic is a really fun song on this album, it is kind of an introduction into the whole feel and theme of the album which is probably why the album is named after this song, it is just basically about being Bionic and feeling invisible, taking on anything or anyone. It's a really funs and confident song and has a really futuristic electronic feel to it.
Not Myself Tonight
This song is perfect to listen to when you are getting ready for a night out, it has a really sexy and fun theme to it and is about going out, breaking free, having a good time and doing things that are a little bit crazy and you normally wouldn't do.
Woohoo ft Nicki Minaj
This song is my absolute favourite on the album, (mostly because it features Nicki Minaj who I love at the minute), it is a very sexy and risqué song about doing very naughty things, this song proves that Christina can still push the boundaries when it comes to describing sexual things in a pop song. This song is face paced and energetic and another great song to get you in the mood for a night out dancing.
Lift Me Up
This is one of the few slower songs on the album where Christina has a chance to really show off her voice, it is a bit more serious and emotional than my other favourite songs on the album and is about needing help through a hard time and realising that you need people in your life to love and care for you.
This song is packed with attitude and is just a really fun and comical about being so beautiful that you fancy yourself, this is a really sexy and cocky song, for example lyrics of this song are 'V is for Vanity, Thank You Mum and Daddy, Cause I Turn Myself On Yeah' and also Christina marries herself in this song, it is just a really silly fun song that puts a smile on my face.
The Rest of the Album
There is quite a good mix of both fun, crazy upbeat songs and slower, cooler more emotional songs on this album, I wouldn't say it is her best album yet (I think Back To Basics was better), but it still is a great buy as I wouldn't say there are any songs on this album I dislike and it is very easy listening.
Price and Availability
You can pick this album up in HMV or any of the supermarkets or online, I got mine in HMV for around £9 which isn't too bad of a price as there are lots of great songs on it and I have got quite a bit of listening out of it.
Overall I think that this is a great album, it isn't as good as her previous album 'Back To Basics' but there are still some great songs on it, and the other tracks are growing on me and becoming favourites as well the more I listen to them. Overall I would give this album 4 out of 5 stars.
*also on ciao under lorrainek90
It's been four years since Christina Aguilera, the singer from Pittsburgh, America, who shot to fame in 1999 with her debut single, 'Genie in a Bottle', last released an album. During this time she has taken herself out of the media spotlight to focus on starting a family. As a result, fans have been speculating on how her new album will sound; will it still have the raunchiness of her Stripped album, or the fun factor expressed in Back to Basics now that she has a child?
Well, Aguilera herself certainly hopes so, describing her sixth studio album as 'strong, sexy, fun and playful'. As in each of her previous albums, Aguilera has gone into the studio with the aim of reinventing herself with a different genre of music, this time by creating an album that she sees as futuristic and 'electronically charged', with dance beats and synthesisers in abundance. Inviting a whole new array of writers and producers to work with her, including Tricky Stewart (producer of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies') and Polow da Don (Chris Brown's 'Forever'), it is clear that Christina Aguilera is set on creating a whole different sound. So, has she achieved this, and if so, is it a success?
Although Bionic is relatively long for a studio album, with 18 tracks and at 59 minutes long, the songs are arranged into 'sections'. For example, the record opens with the more upbeat, club-suited tracks such as the lead single 'Not Myself Tonight' and 'Desnudate', contrasted with the middle section of the album that Aguilera calls 'The Heart', in which the deeper and more meaningful ballads are heard, including 'All I Need' and 'You Lost Me'. The album ends with 3 light and catchy tunes, where it is clear to see Aguilera has had fun coming up with their 'cheeky' lyrics, as in 'I Hate Boys'; 'I know every apple here ain't bad, but I found a worm in every single one I had'. It would probably have been a better idea to shuffle the different genres around a bit, so that when playing the album from start to finish you get an even mix of styles, therefore making for a more unpredictable and interesting listen.
Aguilera seems to think that, in order for her fans to believe she hasn't turned all 'mumsy' since giving birth to her son, she must sing about sex. This is blatantly demonstrated in the album's low point, 'Woohoo' feat. Nicki Minaj. With its repetitive, inane lyrics about cunnilingus, and no clear tune, the highlight of the track is Minaj's verse, whose rhymes and rhythms provide a relief from this otherwise monotonous song. And at 5 minutes and 38 seconds long, 'Woohoo''s tediousness seems never-ending.
'Glam', intended as a song to walk down the catwalk to, is another with totally uninteresting lyrics, encouraging fashion models to be confident with themselves when going down the runway; 'Let's get glam, don't let the clothes wear you'. The track fails to get anywhere and seems quite fragmented, with different sections that don't particularly link together very well. The backing is very thin, with a few synthesisers and a constant irritating clicking.
As with her previous albums, it is the ballads on which Aguilera shines, showcasing her impressive range and power vocals. 'Lift Me Up' is the album's stand-out track. It was written by Linda Perry, the mastermind behind 2002's 'Beautiful'; the track that made people realise that Christina was not just an average pop star. With its inspirational lyrics and soaring vocals towards the end, 'Lift Me Up' is an uplifting track reminiscent of Aguilera's earlier years.
'Vanity' is Aguilera's self-appreciation track which comes across in a very humorous way, with witty lyrics that take the potential arrogance away from the song; 'V is for Vanity, every time I look at me, I turn myself on'. Although slightly random in the context of the rest of the song, Aguilera demonstrates her talented vocal ability towards the end of the song with a long glissando that reaches an E♭5.
It seems as if in this album Aguilera has been so set on ensuring that she surprises her listeners with a new sound to the extent that she has left behind some of the qualities of her previous albums that made her so unique. Her sometimes breathtaking vocals, particularly flaunted in Stripped, are shown little evidence of in Bionic, favouring the use of strong reverb and heavy auto-tuning.
Lyrics were another important part of Aguilera's previous records, often relating to deep aspects of life such as self belief, and even discussing her pained childhood in raw but extremely moving songs. But these meaningful lyrics are much more lacking in Bionic, in which the subject matters are very materialistic, with a heavy emphasis on sex, again seeming as if she's trying to prove herself.
Respect must be given to Christina Aguilera for being adventurous and trying something new, but she should have stuck to her strengths more. It seems as though she got so carried away with the idea of her album being futuristic that she forgot what she's good at and what enabled her to stand out amongst all the other middling artists out there. It gets to the point where by the time you've finished listening to the album you're sick of the sound of synthesisers, and are not particularly left inspired by or in awe of what can be an incredible voice.
I was very excited about Christina Aguilera's Bionic CD coming out, but quite frankly, after listening to it, a fair few times, it does not live up to my expectations. Only on a couple of the songs does Christina's 'soul' voice come out as it did on the vast majority of the tracks on 'Stripped'. Instead, what is left, is a rather average CD of electronic music. Aguilera does not play up to her strengths in 'Bionic', and should leave this style of music to Lady Gaga, who pulls it off much better, but would not be able to compete in songs such as 'The Voice Within' or 'Beautiful'.
Having sounded rather negative, however, there are a few brilliant tracks on this album. 'You Lost Me' is a beautiful ballad with touching lyrics which Aguilera portrays only too well with her emotional soul voice. 'Prima Donna', though not being an excellent track, is an up-beat, 'fun' track. It seems hard to fail to like this even if it does have elements of the other 'electronic' sounds of other, rather average tracks.
Christina Aguilera is a singer from the USA. She is acclaimed for her high vocal ranges and experimental songs whilst unexpected behavior and over-the-top sexual behavior gives her reputation and unstable status. In her fourth album, she takes the electronic route, abandoning the classy ego in her Back To Basics Era whilst clinging to her dirty ego in Stripped hiding. Christina Aguilera is well known for changing her styles like how you change underwear. One minute she was the Disney princess, then genie in a bottle, the dirty boxer getting dirty, then telling everyone is beautiful.
With all of her changes, there is always controversy, this time she has been accused of copying Lady Gaga. I think the only reason they say she's copying Gaga is because they are both blond and beautiful. If you watch the music video to You Lost Me, there is nothing that would make you scream GaGa.
~Cover art and booklet. ~
It's very artistic and I like it. It's very cool and unique. The booklet continues it's art work in a raunchy manner. But she looks stunning in all the images. Almost like a modern Madonna. There are some vibes from blonde singers such as Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Britney Spears, but not that much.
The cover art and booklet were designed by street artist D*Face (Dean Stockton). His website is: http://www.dface.co.uk/
Overall I was very impressed with it. It's a wonderful album with great songs.There are some things that have left me confused. For example, she dedicates the album to her son and husband. (who are now in the progress of divorce), and yet she boasts about hating boys and having sex for breakfast. To me it is like a mother giving their son a porn video of his parents as a Christmas present; it doesn't make sense. As Christina's son, Max gets older, I have a feeling he is going to be freaked out by the over-the-top antics of his mother.
Any Christina fans that know my user name from Last.FM or know me on twitter by ChloboShoka, don't get me wrong I've been a fan of Christina Aguilera for years. She is a very inspiring and great artist. She is one of the best mainstream artists around right now. I hate Boys, Vanity and Woohoo are delightfully awful and catchy, but I still enjoy the songs regardless.
Bionic - 8/10
An explosive introduction to her album. The change of style is obvious. She is daring, almost arrogant.
"Bionic taking supersonic~
Bionic hit ya like a rocket~"
I enjoyed this song because the robot feel to this makes the song work. Will you be screaming X-X-X-T-I-I-I-I-N-A?
Not Myself Tonight 8/10
The first single of the album. I personally think Bionic would have been a better hit for her. The music video to it was sexual, daring and over the top. The song might take you back to the Stripped Era where she freely embraced her dirty side. Easy for Christina fans to be hooked.
Woohoo (Feat. Nicki Manjai) 7/10
This promo single features rising star Nicki Manjai. She truly takes her dirty side to the extreme. It's got a really catchy vibe to it.
"You don't even need a plate."
"Licky yum yum what a great boy."
Christina fans would find this tune tasty, but the rest of you won't be licking your lips. The immature rapping reminds me of The Cheeky Girls's The Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)
Elastic Love 7/10
"A paper clip couldn't even hold us together."
You're not exactly paper, Christina. This song is cool and bubbly. Great for jogging to.
A very strong britney vibe in this album. The raunchy lyrics and moans remind me of Britney Spear's album, Black Out. So perhaps Birntey and xtina fans may kiss and make up and enjoy the song.
Love & Glamour (Intro) 4/10
Nothing special, but shows her cool accent.
A little bland and generic for Xtina. However, it's a good song for the fashion show.
Prima Donna 10/10
Great song for a party. She shows her strong vocals again.
Morning Dessert 10/10
Great intro I love the beyonce vibe in this one.
Sex For Breakfast 10/10
Perfect song for valentines day. Her vocals are sooth.
Lift Me Up 6/10
The studio version is weak compared to the live version she did earlier this year.
My Heart (Intro) 7/10
This is really cute.
All I Need 8/10
Such a warmhearted song. I had a real strong Seal vibe in this. But I think it's a very beautiful song.
I Am 10/10
I adore this song. It's the strongest track of the album hands down! Simple and powerful.
You Lost Me 10/10
She did a great job preforming this live at the American Idol final. The studio version does not disappoint. It's raw and powerful. I love this as a single. The music video was what she needed to slam the copying gaga rumors. The song itself is simple and magical.
I Hate Boys 7/10
Could be considered sexist. It's a good song to listen to when you're stressed in a relationship, but it highlights all of the week points of her vocals.
My Girls (Feat Peaches) 10/10
Another great track. This one is very catchy and fierce. it includes the indulging rapping from Peaches.
Everyday I see myself I love me even more~
A good song for masturbation and self indulgence or just for the giggles. It's a very pornographic song. See certainly owns the throne for daring music.
Monday Morning 7/10
Great rapping song. Immature, but still an enjoyable song.
Stronger Than Ever 10/10
She's doing what she does best in song: powerful ballads. A very uplifitng song.
I am (Stripped) 10/10
Similar to I am, but with a bit more melody. She seems to love the word stripped. Since releasing her second studio album, Stripped it has never been forgotten and she wants you to remember while trying to charm old fans and new fans alike.
This is my second favorite album from Christina. She's risked her reputation and career with this album. It's a very controversial album. No one can stop this lady doing what she wants to do. I respect her for doing and singing what she wants and when she wants. She loves being sexual in her music, and she's not going to let being a mother get in the way of that.
~Overall rating: Four Stars~
I have given it four stars because there are some good tracks and the album has a really fun vibe along with some epic songs such as You Lost Me, I Am and Stronger Than Ever. The album is nowhere near as good as Stripped, but still worth a listen for Aguilera fans.
If anyone knows how to change an image, it's Christina Aguilera. She appeared on the scene with Genie in a Bottle as the raunchier version of Britney Spears, ramped up the sexiness with Dirrty and epic second album Stripped, and went all retro with the Forties-esque Back to Basics. With Bionic she's at it again, expanding the futuristic theme she touched upon at the end of her greatest hits album.
Bionic, released in 2010, led Christina to be accused of trying to be Lady Gaga. The title and cover of the album, with half of Christina's face as a robotic hologram, really expands the imagery. I have the Deluxe Edition which includes a bonus CD of five extra songs. Christina has always made albums with loads of tracks and this one is no exception, with 18 songs on the first disc alone. Whatever else the album is, it's certainly value for money!
Opening title track Bionic is a RnB electro-pop song that makes an impact on first listen. It sounds like nothing else Christina has done, and to be honest is more reminiscent of a modern RnB artist. Single Not Myself Tonight is another electro-pop tune. I wasn't keen on it at first listen but it's rather grown on me, and I can imagine dancing to it on a night out.
Woohoo, featuring Nicki Minaj, is one of those annoying songs that irritate the life out of you even though you can't stop humming it. Christina is no stranger to explicitly sexual songs, and I've never minded it before, but this goes too far even for me! It makes me want to childishly go "Ewwww!".
Elastic Love is a rather odd, yet surprisingly fun song that compares a relationship to an elastic band, with mentions of paperclips, gaffer tape, staplers and post-its thrown in! It sounds like something Lady Gaga would do... very strange.
Desnudate has a bit of a Latino influence with some Spanish lyrics, though the electro-pop vibe is still present. As far as I can tell, Desnudate literally means 'get naked' in Spanish.
Love and Glamour is a short interlude leading up to Glam, a song about fashion, and Prima Donna, in which Christina sings about, erm, being a prima donna. These songs are in-your-face and confident. Morning Dessert is another interlude which leads on to Sex for Breakfast: despite the name the song is quite soft and relaxed. Following is Lift Me Up, a pleasant old-style ballad. My Heart is another interlude featuring the voice of Christina's son - this is pretty cute, but I bet he'll be embarrassed about this when he's older! All I Need is another ballad. It seems to be about Christina's son and is rather sweet, but nothing special.
I Am, despite being another ballad, is one of the best songs on the album. It's simple yet memorable and out of all the songs on the album is probably the most like the Christina of old. You Lost Me is another rather forgettable track, while I Hate Boys is catchy yet rather childish. My Girls starts off sounding rather like Shakira's She Wolf but ends up nowhere near as catchy or memorable, seeming to serve only as a way to namecheck all the women who have appeared on the album. Vanity, as the name suggests, is about loving yourself, and while it's vaguely catchy, it's rather irritating.
The bonus disc contains five extra songs. Monday Morning is a pleasant enough pop song. Bobblehead is about stupid girls who act dumb to get what they want. While it's refreshing to hear pop stars sing about how it's cool to be smart, this song actually sounds rather nasty, unlike Pink's Stupid Girls which is another song in the same vein. Birds of Prey is a slightly different, dance-sounding track, while Stronger Than Ever is an excellent ballad in the style of Hurt and Beautiful - in fact I'm not sure what it's doing on the bonus disc, it should be on the main album! I Am is a stripped-down version of the song from the main album.
I didn't like this album at all when I first bought it, but I have to say this album has grown on me. There are some very strong songs on here including Stronger Than Ever, I Am and, depending on my mood, Not Myself Tonight. The electro-pop nature of the album is another direction for Christina and comparisons with Lady Gaga are inevitable. While Christina should be applauded for taking risks, I can't help feeling that this kind of music feels rather contrived as a style for her - the music on Stripped and Back to Basics suited her so much more. Also, on this album the constant in-your-face lyrics about sex and how wonderful Christina is become rather irritating after a while.
I wondered a while about how many stars to give this album. Ideally it would be three and a half but that's not possible. In the end it has to be three as I've given other albums by her four in the past, and I definitely liked them more than this!
I hope Christina changes direction again for her next album and makes the sort of music that suits her once again!
Now i am a massive fan of Christina, and have each of her albums and love each of them. This album her forth (not including her greatest hits) is another change of vocal style as has each and every of albums. the first being cheesy pop, the second dirtier pop, third jazz, blues and pop, and finally the forth being electro pop. I highly anticipated this album and have to say i like it. there are some songs that aren't as good as some of her past hits, but as she has set the bar so high that would be no easy feat. The collection of songs are certainly different and some take a couple of listen in order to allow it to grow on you however there are other songs which can be fallen in love with in seconds such as 'as i am' which is a personal favourite from the album. in addition to the electro songs there are also some ballad like songs where she sings about her happiness as a mother and wife, as well as some fun songs and duets with stars such as Peaches.
my final verdict is it is a good album, however it may take a few listens to be engulfed by it .
After a 4 year hiatus, Christina Aguilera had to slot back into the music industry, which would have been fine if artists such as Lady Gaga hadn't emerged.
Christina's previous album 'Back To Basics' was once again a different theme for the singer, offering 1920's, 30's and 40's music, which people took to instantly. The album debuted at no. 1 in the USA and UK and eleven other countries. So let's face it, the expectations for Christina's next album were high.
Unfortunately, this album didn't cut it. Christina has moved on from her 1920s sound and moved onto electro-pop. Her first single 'Not Myself Tonight' is possibly the best electro track on the album. So if you're not taken with the song, you won't enjoy this album.
Christina is a fan of her 'intro's' and there are a few on this album. I can see the point of an intro track at the beginning of the album, but not halfway through it...
Christina has tried to fit in with the likes of Lady Gaga (understandably so), but it just hasn't worked.
There are a few ballads on the album - 'You Lost Me', 'Lift Me Up' and 'All I Need'. The ballads are definitely the strong parts of the album, which is probably not what Christina Aguilera wanted to hear. These songs showcase her voice excellently and confirm that she is still one of the best singers of our generation.
This album was received badly with considerably low sales, in fact breaking the record for the biggest drop in the UK album charts in one week, going from the no 1 spot (only 29,000 copies sold) to no 29.
I would strongly recommend waiting for the album to drop in price before purchasing this album, because even the biggest Christina fans will be disappointed.
At the moment, there is only one female megastar in the world of popular music, and she goes by the name of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta - perhaps you're more familiar with her stage name 'Lady Gaga'. Gaga has built her fame on writing genuinely catchy pop songs with a raunchy appeal - completely overshadowing the pop superstars of yesteryear, including the original 'Dirrty' songstress Christina Aguilera. It's understandable then that Aguilera would want a slice of the action, and as a result she has ditched the simplistic swing of her previous album in favour of a sexy-electronica vibe. 'Bionic' is the name of her latest collection of songs - but is it a successful foray into Gaga's territory?
On to the songs...
Opening with the title track 'Bionic', the album aims for an up-tempo start with relentless Electro-bass and a heavy beat. Vocally, the track isn't especially impressive although the chorus works particularly well. "Bionic, so damn bionic... gonna get you with my electronic supersonic rocket eh". Keeping up the pace, 'Not Myself Tonight' is a track with a club beat - its sound unmistakably inspired by Gaga. Beginning with a short section of spoken word, it's the album's first single release - although to be honest, it isn't especially memorable, and lacks any real character. Aguilera does however get to show off the full spectrum of her vocal range, which is certainly impressive - "Cause 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".
The second of the album's single releases 'Woohoo' (featuring rapper Nicki Minaj) is perhaps one of the most annoying songs I have ever heard - it's basically Christina (sorry 'Xtina') informing the listener of how much we want to see her private parts. The last word of each line (where Mrs Aguilera would supposedly name her naughty bits) is replaced with a "whoo-oo" which really grates. However much I dislike the song, it's one of those tunes that gets into your head, and is really difficult to get out - "Kiss on my *****, all over my *****, all the boys think its cake when they taste my *****".
Woohoo is followed by 'Elastic Love', a electro-pop number which, although lyrically terrible, is a definite 'grower'. It's one of those songs which you assume is going to be pretty poor on first listen, but due to its excellent punky chorus, turns out to be one of the albums better tracks. Overall, it's very 80's in sound, and however good it is, feels a wee bit out of place - "Elastic love, ever-lastic love, ever lusting love, such a spastic love"
'Desnudate' is a dancey number featuring a Latino vibe. It's perhaps Christina's attempt at 'doing a Shakira' - although in my opinion, it's not a particularly good song. The use of trumpet and Spanish guitar adds an exotic appeal towards the latter part of the track, although it's not enough to create a memorable pop-song. Again, like the previous track, it feels a bit out of context on the album, and adds yet another genre to Bionic's collection of songs - "what's your indulgence, tell me what's your vice? Do you like it naughty, do you like it nice (Dime tu fantasias)".
Sixth track 'Love & Glamour' is merely a ten second intro for 'Glam' which is very much in the Madonna 'Vogue' style of song-writing. "Let's get Glam" is the message, and it's carried over a relentless electronic bass-loop. I like this one, although it's not particularly original, and would certainly fit into the 'guilty pleasure' category - "Walk, turn, pose, stop, give 'em what you got, work those hips side to side, get the angle right..."
Featuring a bass-line which is incredibly similar to the previous track, albeit more heavily distorted with electro-fuzz, 'Prima Donna' sounds more like the Christina Aguilera of five or six years ago, and works particularly well as a result - "So ladies pop, pop, pop, blow it up, make it pop, pop, pop, turn it up". Slowing down the pace, the one-and-a-half minute 'Morning Dessert', works as a dreamy and ethereal intro for 'Sex For Breakfast' - a song describing Xtina's extreme sexual appetite early in the morning. In fact, the notion of sex is a strong theme running through the album - it's as if Aguilera was told to sex it up if she really wanted to jump on the Gaga bandwagon. Apart from the raunchy lyrics (lots of talk of juices flowing), the song is actually quite dull, and a bit too slow for my liking - "and when the sun rises, there's one thing on my mind... sex for breakfast (I need it, I want it), stay inside (when the morning comes), and even though that we made sweet love all night, sex for breakfast feels so right".
A mid-album foray into the world of the ballad...
As the first of Bionic's ballads, 'Lift Me Up' marks a refreshing change from some of the rather forced electro numbers which precede it. It's nice to see a track where the vocals haven't been electronically tampered with, as is the case with so many of Bionic's other songs. With an infrequent electric guitar backing, It actually reminds me of one of U2's slower songs from the "All that you can't Leave Behind" album, although it's arguable not Aguilera's greatest piece of song-writing - "so the pain begins, as the music fades, and I'm left here with more than I can take".
Bionic's twelfth track 'My Heart' is simply a twenty-second spoken word intro for 'All I Need', another song which fits into the ballad genre. It's a pretty track which utilises a haunting piano as a bridge between chorus and verse. The song is very Katie Melua in style, and although I'm personally not a fan, it is a very listenable and vocally pure piece - "taking my time seeing the signs, letting you guide me home, watching you grow, letting you know you are my only..."
Fourteenth track 'I Am' is, in my opinion, by far the best track on the album, a beautifully written and anthemic song featuring a maturity all but lacking in the tracks which surround it. Opening with an orchestral string section, the song is instantly likeable, and will perhaps be the only track from the album that will remain on my iPod - "I am... temperamental, and I have... imperfections, and I am... emotional, and I am... unpredictable".
I Am is followed by 'You Lost Me' - another slow number which *almost* repeats the quality of the previous song. Vocally, the track is excellent, with Aguilera really opening up towards the end - "I am done, smoking gun, we've lost it all, the love is gone, she has won, now it's no fun, we've lost it all, the love is gone".
Undoing all the good work of the previous four tracks, Aguilera shifts back into immaturity with 'I Hate Boys', a song which seems to be aimed at a young teen target audience - I suppose it's a fun number, but it just feels really out of place after 'You Lost Me'... "I hate boys, but boys love me... I think they suck, and my friends agree". Continuing the female-power vibe, 'My Girls' (featuring Peaches) is an up-tempo number with a funky bass-line. To be honest, I instantly took a dislike to the track, although it's one of a handful of Bionic's songs which grows on you with frequent listens - "My girls, we're running the show, my girls, we're teasing all the boys on the go".
Bionic's final track 'Vanity' isn't an especially good close to the album - it's all about Aguilera telling the audience how wonderful she is - that is, unless she's singing from the perspective of someone else - either way, it doesn't really appeal to me. Yes, the tune is mildly catchy, but it feels rather generic, and like i've heard it countless times before - "mirror mirror on the wall, who's the flyest bitch of them all? Never mind, I am - that bitch is so f****** pretty".
FINAL ANALYSIS - should Gaga be looking over her shoulder in fear?
Overall, Bionic is a disappointing album which relies too heavily on sexual innuendo to enforce the point that 'Xtina is now as 'cool' as Gaga'. There's nothing wrong with a liberal sprinkling of sex, but here it feels really forced, and the result is an album which is all over the place. Yes, it's fine to want to modernise your sound, but actually, the best tracks on Bionic are the slower numbers where Aguilera gets to demonstrate her ability as a songwriter and vocalist. Thankfully, the second half of the album is better than the first, although three of four tracks don't make an album. Personally, I would have preferred to have seen a shorter album (perhaps thirteen tracks), with some of the weaker songs kicked into touch.
FULL TRACK LISTING
1. Bionic - 3:21
2. Not Myself Tonight - 3:06
3. Woohoo (featuring Nicki Minaj) - 5:28
4. Elastic Love - 3:33
5. Desnudate - 4:25
6. Love & Glamour (Intro) - 0:11
7. Glam 3:39
8. Prima Dona 3:25
9. Morning Dessert (Intro) - 1:32
10. Sex For Breakfast - 4:49
11. Lift Me Up - 4:07
12. My Heart (Intro) - 0:18
13. All I Need - 3:33
14. I Am - 3:52
15. You Lost Me - 4:17
16. I Hate Boys - 2:24
17. My Girls (featuring Peaches) - 3:07
18. Vanity - 4:21
PRICE & AVAILABILITY - Where can I buy the album from?
Christina Aguilera's Bionic can currently be purchased for £8.95 in CD format from amazon.co.uk, or £7.99 as a digital download from the iTunes store.
Let's get the format stuff out of the way first.
There are two versions of the album on general release in the UK. The standard edition features eighteen tracks. A 'deluxe' version featuring twenty-four tracks is also available. On iTunes, the deluxe version is £9.99 and the standard version is £7.99. On Amazon, the deluxe download only features twenty-three tracks, but is £1.50 cheaper than its iTunes equivalent at £8.49. The standard eighteen-track version is £7.49. Physical CD formats are also available, standard and deluxe, the latter sitting on two discs as opposed to one.
This review is based on the standard edition, comprising eighteen tracks, all of which are the same regardless of whether you buy the download or the physical format.
2. Not Myself Tonight
4. Elastic Love
6. Love and Glamour (intro)
8. Prima Donna
9. Morning Breakfast (intro)
10. Sex for Breakfast
11. Lift Me Up
12. My Heart (intro)
13. All I Need
14. I Am
15. You Lost Me
16. I Hate Boys
17. My Girls
In the late 1990s the popular music scene came under assault from two female singers, both of whom had similar musical routes, each with very different vocal talents. Commercially, Britney Spears was largely the more successful, with a constant deluge of singles (and albums) ever since, which, combined with some very public mental problems, have kept her very much in the forefront of mainstream music. Christina Aguilera may also have debuted on the Mickey Mouse Club, but her career has taken a slightly different path, with fewer studio albums and singles and (arguably) a much quieter personal life.
Bionic is Aguilera's fourth studio albums. Pitched as 'something entirely new' by the singer, it follows three very successful albums, each of which has had a notably different sound. Her debut in 1999 was very much a pop music album, the follow up Stripped saw her expand her style and sample more urban styles, as well as unleashing one or two big ballads. Back To Basics in 2006 was entirely different again, exploring blues, jazz and swing music (to varying degrees of success). Once again, the album shifts in sound, this time combining and exploring a number of genres, including R & B, electro and synth pop. It's a collaboration between Aguilera and a number of different producers and is, as is often the case with such things, rather less remarkable than the singer would have you believe.
It's four years since Aguilera's last album and a lot has changed. Whilst Aguilera has never been a prolific musician, her absence is partly attributable to the birth of her first child and it was inevitable that critics would explore her new material looking for maternal influences that night have shifted or matured her sound. In fact, they'd go almost entirely unfulfilled. Whereas the birth of Madonna's children had an enormous influence on her Ray of Light album, here Aguilera's child passes virtually unnoticed by her music, almost as if she wishes to disassociate her music from her personal life (with a couple of small exceptions). This is probably her first mistake. Allowing her personal life to inspire her music wouldn't necessarily have softened or changed her style, and there's almost an aching chasm here in musical substance. Aguilera has always been very detached about what she sings about and it seems that even becoming a mother has made no difference to this.
Bionic is the mark of a strong, independent woman, an image that Aguilera has always been very competent at marketing. It's clear that in the time since we last heard new material from her Aguilera has suffered none of the problems that her peer Britney Spears has incurred, and Bionic feels like an assertion that Aguilera remains very much on top of her game. Aguilera herself co-wrote around half of the tracks on the album and whatever your view on the choice of styles, it's clear that she has had a lot of creative input into this album. It feels less driven by fashion and a little more experimental than other mainstream singers even if the comparisons to others are almost limitless. Most obviously, many critics have compared Aguilera's shift in image and sound to the likes of Lady Gaga, who has, of course, very much taken off as the current princess of pop. It's an inevitable comparison, but not as merited as some would suggest, musically at least. Aguilera's sound here is harder and rather more soulful than most of Gaga's material and less targeted at the mainstream music buyer. At times, it is a little like Britney's more recent material but vocally rather more superior. Ironically, the greatest similarity here is between this and Aguilera's 2002 release Stripped. Indeed, Bionic could easily have been called Stripped Part 2. It might have been released eight years later, but there are endless similarities in style and content.
The way in which Bionic is structured makes it extremely difficult to listen to as package in its own right. For starters, of the eighteen tracks, three are largely to be disregarded as short intros, a trend taken up by a number of American singers that is completely without merit. Prior to the sultry (read excruciating) ode to morning loving Sex for Breakfast there's a minute and a half of Morning Dessert, apparently intended to get us in the mood. Prior to Glam, there's a ten second 'speech' by Aguilera ripping off Lady Gaga in stating how important fashion and style are. Finally, prior to All I Need, we get twenty seconds of her husband trying to get her new baby to speak. Presumably, this is supposed to be endearing. Instead, it's grossly self-indulgent on the part of the singer, and an unwanted distraction amidst what is already a rather mixed bag of sounds and styles.
Bionic is rather like a long studio session, during which Aguilera's mother, grandmother and child suddenly drop in for nice cup of tea, forcing the singer to shift the mood and tone completely into something more wholesome. Ten tracks in, after a succession of grooving, dancing, thrusting and generally being a little filthy, Aguilera's mood shifts entirely as she brings out five heartfelt ballads/slow numbers that couldn't really be more of a contrast to what has gone before. Many pop/dance albums feature the odd ballad or love song or even a chill out song, but normally only at the end, as if to soothe and calm everyone after the frantic activity of the rest of the album. Here, Aguilera goes for a good twenty minutes of soothing, soulful slow numbers, right in the middle of the filthiness, which seems to completely derail the journey commenced via the first ten tracks. The singer could/should be credited for combining such different moods of music, but the arrangement here essentially slices the album into three parts, leaving it more Broken than Bionic.
It's almost unheard of these days for the big female singers not to collaborate with seemingly endless numbers of producers and writers on every album. On Hard Candy Madonna worked with Timbaland, The Neptunes and Justin Timberlake and it's quite surprising that Aguilera hasn't gone down the same route, so credit to her for working with a different group, although in the end she might have been better off going to the same people.
Chris Tricky Stewart produces three of the tracks here, arguably the weaker of the bunch too. The lack of 'big numbers' here is a surprise, given only that Stewart brought us the likes of Rihanna's Umbrella and Beyonce's Single Ladies. Desnudate's electro-pop sound is the most instantly recognisable as having Stewart's touch and probably the strongest candidate for a future single. Sadly, that's probably more because it sounds rather like a Britney Spears song, but that doesn't stop it being a slightly mad concoction of gasping vocals, electro beats and bursts of trumpet. Glam is probably the one that is gong to see Aguilera most commonly accused of trying to be like Lady Gaga and it's a huge misfire. The Vogue-esque style spoken words grate terribly against what is a very weak arrangement, vocally and musically. "Blush on, lashes long, mascara strong' might be the mantra here, but the over-riding conclusion is 'heard it all before love'. Prima Donna is possibly the most appealing of the three, largely thanks to Aguilera's vocals that come to the fore here, in a track that comes across rather like Lady Marmalade revisited, complete with the strong music-hall style, albeit in a contemporary fashion. "A little fun never hurt, never killed nobody' says Aguilera as she writhes around an imaginary dancehall, and who are we to argue?
The second big collaboration here is with Polow Da Don, an American rapper and singer, whose material is perhaps a little less instantly-recognised over here, but has shifted big volumes for the likes of Usher, Ciara and Fergie (remember Glamorous?) Da Don's three tracks show rather more variety than Stewart's but are a similar mixed bag. Not Myself Tonight was the first single off the album, and something of a commercial failure, and it's easy to hear why. This is one of the least instantly memorable tunes on the whole album, partly because it just sounds like a continuation of Dirrrty (from Stripped) except it's nowhere near as good. It combines the same variety of vocal styles from Aguilera, albeit with a stronger choral melody, but is a very unusual slice of electro pop. Single number two Woohoo is really rather good. A filthy fusion of hip hop, rap and pop, this is Aguilra's ode to her 'lady parts' and has wonderful old school sound to it. Again, this is something that Aguilera tried out on Stripped with Can't Hold Us Down, but gets into this far more here. This is one of the strongest tracks on the album, even if the words are a bit naughty. What could she mean when she says "you don't even need a plate, just your face"? The rap from upcoming rapper NIcki Minaj is spot on too, although the need for Aguilera to align herself with an openly bisexual R & B artist seems slightly contrived herself, after her own recent admission that she is attracted to women. Da Don's third track, I Hate Boys is another Britney-esque tune, replete with cheerleader-style vocals and a plodding drum beat. I Hate Boys is actually quite a competent mixture of contemporary sounds against a reasonably old-fashioned vocal, but the finished product is rather unappealing.
The third main collaboration is with Australian producer Samuel Dixon, better known for his work with Paloma Faith and Sia (and even one track with Will Young). The Dixon collaborations sit squarely within the slower, more soulful zone within the album. All I Need is a lovely, smoky, wistful track that reminds us of Aguilera the vocalist, as opposed to the dancer, entertainer and slut and it actually comes as something of a relief. The melody is lovely, the arrangement is slick and dreamy and the song is gorgeous. I Am continues the same trend, with much the same sort of thing, almost like Beautiful part 2, except a little less heartfelt. Dixon's third collaboration is easily the best thing on the entire album. You Lost Me (pitched as a future single) is simply breathtaking; a pained, heartfelt lament of love lost through infidelity. 'I feel like my world's been infected, and somehow you left me neglected' - words that will resonate with anybody who has ever been betrayed by their love. It's this part of the album that leaves you wanting more than any other.
UK DJ Switch collaborates on two tracks here - Bionic (the title track) and Elastic Love - neither of which is particularly strong. It doesn't help that the style is fairly unusual and at contrast with the rest of the album. Switch is a purveyor fidget house, a form of house music that is growing in popularity, but is still out of the mainstream. With hints of rave music and 80s synthpop, it's arguably the bravest sound here and most notable on Elastic Love, which is to be admired, even if not enjoyed. The vocal is horrible and the repetitive, bleepy, plodding pace is unlikely to find a strong audience following here. The collaboration with Le Tigre is very appealing. Not an act particularly known outside the US, there's something a bit Scissor Sisters about the whole thing and this is, again, a bigger stretch for Aguilera's usual following. There's also a single track by Linda Perry here (who also wrote Beautiful). Lift Me Up is a perfectly safe song, dedicated to Aguilera's child, but as a song it sort of pales into comparison with the Dixon material and is rapidly forgotten alongside the emotional power of You Lost Me.
3 To Download
You Lost Me - a gorgeous, heart-ripping testament to betrayal. Aguilera has never sounded better or more sincere and the arrangement is beautiful.
Woohoo - this is a lot of fun, but it's also a credible 'old school meets the new classes' kind of hip-hop thing. Probably too saucy for the mainstream, but the sound is infectious.
Vanity - verging a bit towards the Lady Gaga end of things, Vanity is Aguilera's best attempt at putting her own mark on the Gaga sound and she pulls it off pretty well.
3 To Delete
Glam - the reverse of Vanity, this sees Aguilera doing the Gaga thing badly. The vocal is awful, the arrangement is tired and it all sounds like Vogue gone wrong.
Sex For Breakfast - one of those excruciating slowed down love numbers that tries to be sexy and sultry but just sounds tawdry. This is like Madonna's bad Sex era - best forgotten.
I Hate Boys - mercifully short, this is sort of Britney-esque cheerleading pop music and is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever.
So is this the strongest Aguilera album to date? Absolutely not, and the record-breaking status in the UK seems to confirm this. Whilst the album went straight in at number 1, it subsequently broke two chart records, firstly by selling the lowest number of copies ever to achieve a number one position (28,000) and secondly by breaking the record for the biggest fall from number one - a plunge of twenty-eight places down to number 29.
This could be attributed to a number of factors. The album's lead single, Not Myself Tonight, is a reasonably weak presentation of the material that can be found elsewhere on the album and was very poorly promoted in the UK. The mixture of styles and sounds, however, is likely to have a more damaging effect, unless Aguilera can demonstrate those styles in a more positive way. Realistically, to get the punters in, her next move really needs to be for a big-selling, crowd-pleasing number like You Lost Me, which could easily emulate the success of Beautiful, which made number one around the world. This would create the platform on which Aguilera might be able to sell some of the more controversial, daring material.
There's plenty to like and loathe here on Bionic, which means that this is never going to be as successful as the likes of Stripped, which seemed to find one huge selling single after another, but that doesn't mean that it should be written off. The more you listen to Bionic, the more that you are likely to find and appreciate.
I wouldn't say that I am a huge fan of Christina Aguilera ; although I do own all of her three studio albums. I like some of her music and I think that she is a fantastic performer , although I just can't take to the artist herself. Despite this , I still wanted a copy of her latest album as soon as it was released.
Bionic is the fourth studio album from Christina Aguilera (excluding her 'greatest hits album'). The album was released in the United Kingdom in June 2010 and so is very recent. The album comes under the ; pop , R n B , Electropop and Synthpop genres. At just under an hour long , the album contains twenty three tracks and is available to buy from Amazon for a price of £8.17
* Songlist *
CD1 - 1)Bionic 2)Not Myself Tonight 3) Woohoo 4)Elastic Love 5)Desnudate 6)Love And Glamour 7) Glam 8)Prima Donna 9)Morning Desert 10) Sex For Breakfast 11) Lift Me Up 12)My Heart 13) All I Need 14) I Am 15) You Lost Me 16)I Hate Boys 17)My Girls 18)Vanity
CD2 - 1)Monday Morning 2)Bobblehead 3)Birds Of Prey 4)Stronger Than Ever 5)I Am
First of all , you certainly get your money's worth , paying just £8.17 for twenty three songs! I noticed with her last album , Back To Basics , Christina seems to be quite generous to the fans with the amount of music she adds to her albums , unlike a lot of other stars who charge around the same price for their CDs for around eleven or twelve tracks.
There is a great mixture of songs on here ; dance tracks , ballads as well as a few jazzy ones. I like the fact that she doesn't just stick to one genre of music as it jazzes things up a bit and keeps the listener interested. It also means that it is a good album to suit all kinds of moods whether you are happy , sad , in a party mood or just relaxing etc. There's something for everyone on this CD , although having said that I wouldn't really call it a kids album (take a look at some of the song titles and you'll understand what I mean!). There's also some swearing on this album , so again it's not for 'little ears'.You could say that Christina has matured from her last album , which was also a fantastic piece of work. My favourite songs on this album are ; All I Need (a cute jazzy little song), Lift Me Up (a great soul song) and Stronger Than Ever , which is just a fantastic song and one of the best songs I have heard from Christina.
This album is a lot different compared to her previous albums ; and fans may take some time getting used to her new style ; I had to listen to the CD more than once until I 'got it' , and now that I have , it has become one of my favourite CDs. So if at first listen , you aren't that impressed don't put the CD back in it's case , have another listen and I am sure it will grow on you and you will become to love it.
I would definately recommend this album! It's one of the best albums of this year so far , and is worth every single penny!
Thanks for reading!
July 3rd 2010
xdonzx (also posted on dooyoo under xd-o-n-z-x)
Christina Aguilera makes a comeback with new album 'Bionic', her fourth and most highly anticipated album to date. But with the likes of Lady Gaga being permanent new fixtures on the music scene she's got a lot of competition to beat this time round. She was great the first time we saw her rise to fame. And this time there are eager hopes that she might be even better. Her new album screams change. So . . . does Gaga need to watch her back?
An Introduction to Christina Aguilera
I'm sure almost everyone has at least heard of Christina Aguilera. She was born Christina Maria Aguilera, in Staten Island, New York on 18th December 1980. When she was a young child her parents got divorced and she stayed living with her mother, who was a teacher of Spanish, although they moved a lot so they lived in quite a lot of different places. Christina dreamt from a very young age of being a singer, as you hear that most musical artists and singers do. When she was just twelve years old she was called for an audition for 'The All New Mickey Mouse Club', and she got the part, alongside Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
Christina shot to fame when she had her first breakthrough hit in 1999 with 'Genie in a Bottle'. She has won numerous awards including a Grammy for "Best New Artist" in February 2000. She has had a very successful career and sold millions of records; she has even made a Latin album and will be working on a second one. She has also released a Christmas album.
Her trademarks are her ability to hit very high notes, sing acapella, her bright red lipstick and that she wears bright blue contact lenses. Her nicknames include Chrissy, X Tina and Candy, and for those of you reading who love to know all the information you can get your hands on, she is surprisingly short at only 5ft 1" tall.
When I first saw the cover for this album I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. It reminded me a bit of how an album covers from a band like Iron Maiden would look, which is quite surprising as I can't think of any two artists who are more different. The cover features a portrait photograph of Christina's face. As you would expect she is wearing quite a lot of make up, and her usual trade mark bright red lipstick. As you wouldn't expect half of her face is made up of what looks at first like metal structures, when you look a bit more closely you can make out trumpets and other musical instruments. The inlay is full of pictures of her in different poses.
She seems to be using this new unique album art to show us that she has changed. And listening through the songs it is clear that she has definitely got a new style to that of her previous albums 'Stripped' and 'Back to Basics'. But the thing is, has she changed for the better? And unfortunately I just don't think she has.
Now for the important bit: what you're actually listening to when you turn the album on.
I really thought that the quality and consistency of the track listing is poor. I thought all the songs sounded pretty much the same and there were no big hits here that I really enjoyed listening to. Nothing stands out to me and makes me think 'wow' like most of her previous songs from past albums have done. It was a big disappointment. She didn't use her singing voice or show it off as much as she could, instead she just seemed to chant the words in this completely annoying chanting voice that sounded as if she was trying to rap but it just wasn't working. I know that sounds really harsh but you know, I like Christina as a person, I've loved most of her past albums and I spent money on this album and basically that money is wasted.
The album kicks off with an electronic, robotic sounding track that gave me a headache. It felt repetitive, samey, and it was unoriginal. I didn't like this one at all. There was no proper singing in it - we know she can hit the notes, so why does she waste that amazing voice on just saying the words instead of singing them! I thought this was dire and it gave me a headache.
2 Not Myself Tonight
Again I found this track boring, repititive and unoriginal. The lyrics were uninspiring and I felt as though my little sister could have written it. It might sound harsh but this song was another huge disappointment. There wasn't much proper singing in this track either, there was a little bit but it was just mediocre.
She isn't herself with this track and that's not a good thing!
3 Woohoo feat. Nicki Minaj
Again she wastes her amazing voice as he attempts to rap in this track, and every five seconds you hear this painful 'woohoo' sound in the background which gets extremely annoying and you want to turn the track off almost straight away. A little bit of her singing voice comes through in this near the chorus but unfortunately it's overshadowed by the unoriginal lyrics "I'm a little tipsy, play along with me" and the like which are repeated irritatingly over and over again. Listening to this you just get the feeling you've heard it all before, you didn't really enjoy it the first time and you aren't really going to enjoy it this time. I would turn this off if it came on the radio.
4 Elastic Love
The lyrics are better in this track than the lyrics of the previous tracks. But again, the tune is just so annoying! In fact by now this whole album is getting on my nerves and I already have a bit of a headache. Where has the Christina I used to know and love gone?!
When I heard the start of this song, I thought 'this sounds better, finally a good song!' as she seemed to actually be singing the words, something she hasn't done so far on the album. But as the song progressed she went back into robot mode and did some more of that annoying chanting I'd heard far too much of already.
6 Love & Glamour (intro)
This isn't really a song. It only lasts about fifteen seconds, and you just hear Christina's voice saying basically 'Life's all about life and glamour' except she tries to annoy the audience even more by pronouncing 'glamour' as 'glamearr'. At least this one is over pretty quickly though.
She sings this one in quite a high pitched voice. At least she sings some of it, though in some parts we still have to endure bits of her attempts at rapping. The chorus is quite catchy but compared to other songs that are out in the charts at the moment its nothing special. Its the kind of music that makes me feel as if I've heard it before, and can't be bothered listening to it again. I don't want to sound harsh but I'm not enjoying this album one bit. It's actually really irritating me!
8 Prima Donna
By now I am so bored of listening to this album. To be really honest I am sick of hearing Christina's voice by now. Because it's not her singing voice I'm listening to, its more like her speaking voice, but with the occasional screechy bit thrown in for good measure, and anyone can do that. This song seems so repititive and unoriginal and right now I need to take some headache pills. I hate to sound harsh but this album has been a real let down so far.
9 Morning Dessert (intro)
This was another little track that only lasted about one minute so there isn't really that much to say about this one. It featured this quite magical music playing in the background and Chirstina's voice singing in this quite high pitched voice 'it's time to get ready for work' which was a little strange. The words didn't really fit in with the tune.
10 Sex For Breakfast
This was probably the softest song on the album. As you might have guessed buy the title, the song is all about sex. The lyrics aren't very suitable for children to listen to. At least in this one she actually sings the whole way through and there's no rapping and the soft sounds are quite soothing for the headache I have gained from listening to the rest of the album. But this still isn't something I would chose to listen to when I chose a CD to put on. It was too wannabe sexy and not actually that good a song. I thought again it was unoriginal and there's so many other songs like this that I could compare it to, and its nowhere near as good as any of them.
11 Lift Me Up
She sang this one at 'Hope for Haiti'. This is the first song on the album I actually like. She really shows off her strong, sweet and powerful voice of in this track and I really like it. OK, so it's a bit emotive but I really thought that this song was beautiful. I just wish all the songs on the album were more like this one! It's an emotional song that really shows her voice off and gets a big thumbs up from me.
12 My Heart (intro)
This is another short track, this one only lasts twenty seconds. It features the voices of both Christina's husband and son, which adds a nice family touch to the album. Don't worry I'm not going to go all sentimental on you though!
13 All I Need
The soft piano playing in the background of this track reminded me of a lullaby. It is quite a sweet track but again it isn't anything special and it's not something I would listen to again. After listening to it a couple of times, then thinking back to it now I can't even remember how it goes. Its unmemorable, to me that doens't make a good song.
14 I Am
This is an OK song but its not brilliant. She sings properly in this but she doesn't hit any high notes, it was a just steady tune and so felt a bit dull. There was a piano playing in the background and you could hear her voice over the top of her own voice so it was quite echoey sounding towards the end, and it was quite pretty. It reminded me very slighty of the kind of songs she used to bring out, like Beautiful. But not as good.
15 You Lost Me
Towards the beginning of this song I thought it was going to be just like the last couple of songs I have just listened to. She has the same echoey effect going with her voice over the top of her own voice again. Towards the end she does really show off her voice in this song which is what I've been waiting for throughout the whole album. She shows she can sing like no one else can. But the song itself is quite boring and compared to the rest of the songs out in the charts in the moment I can't see this doing very well and it isn't something I could be bothered listening to again.
16 I Hate Boys
Oh no, now she's gone back to that annoying voice again. Why does she do it? It just sounds so awful. This song is so irritating! Is she trying to be annoying on purpose? I didn't like this song, it was too similar to tracks by artists like Katy Perry. There was nothing original about it, it was too wannabe cheeky and just ended up sounding like she was showing off more than anything else.
17 My Girls feat. Peaches
More of that annoying voice is featured in this song. Again, it sounds just like something by Katy Perry and is once again completely unoriginal.
Finally we get to the end of the album, my ears can get some rest at last. This song is basically about how much Christina loves herself! Or perhaps it is her taking the mick out of some other girls who are in love with themselves. I'm not going to bother making any deep interpretations for this one I'll leave it for you to make your own minds up. I actually found this annoying, but the least annoying of all the annoying songs on the album.
How Does This Rate Compared To Her Other Releases?
If you're looking to buy this album then one of the reasons is probably because you've loved all the songs that she has brought out previously. But compared to all of her other albums this one is weak, in fact it is very, very weak. In my opinion this is definitely her worst album, by miles. I really loved her first few albums and I think she has brought out loads of really fantastic songs and I really do think she is an amazing artist. But as much as I hate to say it after listening to this one I think she has well and truly had her day. If you're looking for the Christina we once knew and loved, as I was, then I'm sorry to tell you that you won't find her in here. There were no tracks in this that are even remotely similar to songs that she has previously brought out. Perhaps 'Lift Me Up' is quite similar to 'Hurt' but it's nowhere near as catchy or memorable.
Compared to recent releases by other artists this album is still unmemorable. Personally I think it must be an embarrassment to the producers because it really is that bad. The problem is simple - it is too much like other albums and there is nothing special or unique about it, which is usually what makes an album do well.
I think that Christina is trying to be original with this new album and the slightly new image she has given herself, but to me she fails. She has made attempted to make a comeback and to beat the competiton but personally I don't think she has done very well in her attempts to do this.
Price & Availability
I bought this album from HMV in store, where it cost me just under £10, which feels like such a waste of money. I bought it as soon as I saw it the first came out before I had really heard about it or knew what any of the songs were like, which is stupid and something I would never usually do. At the time I had no idea this was a new album, but I was strong in the faith that this would be just as good as all her other albums that I have heard most of the songs on and loved to listen to. Needless to say, from what the rest of my review says, I was wrong.
On HMV.co.uk this will cost you £8.99 with free delivery. On Play.com it is slightly more expensive at £11.99, with free delivery. Prices on eBay and Amazon will vary. All prices are correct for 28/6/10. You should be able to get this from most large supermarkets and it is also available to buy widely online.
When I bought the album I was expecting lots of singing, I didn't expect a lot of 'chanting' or rapping in this album. I expected there would be lots of songs that would really show of Christina's talent and make the most of her amazing voice. I thought there might be one or two tracks that weren't as good as the rest, as you normally would get a couple of weak links. But when I picked this up in the shop I had very high hopes for what it was going to be like.
The album didn't live up to any of these hopes. It was a huge disappointment and it is just the same as most of the other albums you will find in the charts right now. I would compare this to albums by artists like Katy Perry and the Sugababes. Except worse. The lyrics were boring and uninspiring, the tracks were consistently bad and compared to Christina's other releases this has got to be her worst album yet. Unlike a lot of her previous releases I'm sure this will be forgotten about in a couple of months as it really is unmemorable, and it is completely unoriginal. All the songs sound much too similar and when you try to remember how they went after you finish listening to them they are so dull you can't even remember how the tune went. I am really disappointed with this album, it feels as if hardly any effort has gone into it and it is almost as though she is just trying to be like Lady Gaga.
I would not recommend this album to buy for all of these reasons. It really is a let down.
Christina's last studio album "Back to Basics" was released four years ago. Since honing her style as a 1950s starlet, she has been busy producing; not only a child, but also a brand spanking new album in her own studio, the aptly named "red lips room."
In a typically drastic departure from her past style, Ms Aguilera has chosen a futuristic theme for her new album. "I really went into this record wanting it to be a fun and playful experiment," she says. "Being a new mom, I'm seeing things differently through my son's eyes... it's almost like getting to also be a kid again."
(I'll say. Curiously for her first album with the parental advisory "Explicit" label, parts of this album feel as if they are aimed at 8 year old girls who like to make up chants in the playground.)
Producer Tricky Stewart stated "Christina wants music that you haven't heard before... so you're trying to create an entirely new sound for an artist." Indeed. I believe there may come a time when record shops will need to create a new category simply named "Aguilera" in order to catalogue her work, because she sure isn't neatly slotting into any pigeonholes.
The new album features collaborations with Sia, Goldfrapp, Ladytron and Le Tigre. Xtina also told fans on her website "I was heavily inspired by Prodigy when I was fifteen years old." Who knew?
She cites characteristically feminist reasons for her new sound. "As women, our bodies go through such amazing things and we are superhuman. We give life, we give birth, we are our child's source of everything.... I think it's pretty super human, and that's where the inspiration for Bionic came from."
The album kicks off as it means to go on, with synthesized, electronic sounds and distorted vocals. Just in case we have any doubt about who is the queen of pop, she points out "Many times imitated, not duplicated; can't be replaced...."
This hypnotic rhythm may not be for everyone, but is does sum up the new sound. And I do believe that the line "Over and over put it on replay til you're insane," is prophetic. This track is definitely a grower.
The first verse of "Not myself tonight" is weirdly un-tuneful, but the song soon gets into standard dancefloor territory. (I have a horrible feeling this is going to be played on many a hen night.) Sadly, I found the video kind of boring. Oh look, it's Xtina in PVC, kissing a girl. Yawn.... (If she wants to shock people, why doesn't she just dress as a cowgirl and release a country album? I'd buy it!)
I love the opening bars of Woohoo; it feels like a cross between a fairytale and a futuristic computer game. I'd have liked more weird stuff like this... But they go and ruin it with the vocals. The titular "Wohoo" is irritating, like a toy which keeps squeaking because the dog is chewing it. Xtina is joined by US rapper Nicki Minaj, and their lyrics are naughty enough that you'll be thankful that most of them would be unintelligible to the casual listener. This album ain't for kids!
Miss Aguilera continues with her Madonna/Gaga/Gwen Stefani style with Elastic love. It seems she's been reading up on Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus as she helpfully explains of her lyrics "rubber band was an analogy." She continues the stationery theme with comparisons to a ruler, pencil, paperclips, sharpener and stapler. (Yes, really.)
Desnudate (which translates to something along the lines of "naked") is one of my least favourite songs, it's kind of repetitive and boring. It seems like pointless filler to me, but judging from all the sex noise, perhaps she included it in the album because it has some kind of "personal resonance..."
Now Christina, I loves ya, but what's with calling us bitches all the time? It's as if the album was written by a teenage girl who has just decided it is cool to call her friends "Bitch" and does so at every opportunity (whether if fits into a line of a song, or not.) The tribute to Vogue, "Glam" is a song about getting ready to go out - I would mention Lady Gaga's "Fashion," here but I'm afraid it would only cause trouble... Nonetheless, the backing track for this is almost identical to many a Gaga tune. This distinctive sound continues in Prima donna (I found this a little disappointing with my first listen - it sounds too generic - but it's growing on me.)
Christina's famous appetite for sex goes into overdrive with Morning dessert and Sex for breakfast; at least they sound pretty to me, unlike some of her more "urban" efforts.
Thankfully she goes back to basics with Lift me up, which simply showcases her beautiful voice. The album effectively splits at this point, illustrated with a short track of her little boy. (It is extremely cute, but how embarrassing for little Max when he is a teenager and finds his two year old voice sandwiched between his mum singing odes about his father's sexual prowess. All together now; eew!)
Sia's influence is all over "All I need;" Christina's vocals aren't fussy any more, they are more grown up and mature. This is just a beautiful, simple song; a woman, as opposed to a pop star.
"I am" is hypnotically magnificent and I cannot stop listening to it. The same goes for You lost me, another gorgeous Sia-esque song. I've never heard Xtina's vocals quite like this before. It is amazing, and may well send shivers down your spine.
On her website, the singer describes part of her album as "More in touch and comfortable with my initial pop route... but in a much more sophisticated and mature manner." This is illustrated with "I hate boys". (See, I told you she was more sophisticated.) This is one of those songs that will be picked up by tweens who will love singing the line "I hate boys, but boys love me..."
Likewise they are bound to enjoy "My girls." However, it's a bit of a weird and pointless song, seeming to exist only to namecheck the women on the album.
The first time I heard Vanity I almost keeled over at the lyrics; It opens with "I'm not cocky... I just love myself... bitch!" and continues in the same vein. But now I am fairly sure it is just a tongue in cheek song that is meant to make you laugh. Unfortunately it also serves as anthem for the entitlement generation. I suppose that's still better than the self loathing encouraged by women's magazines. I do appreciate the fact that Xtina is trying to be a positive influence on the way women think about themselves. I'm just not sure that emulating a blow up doll is the most empowering thing we can do for ourselves.
If you buy the Deluxe version of the album (and why wouldn't you, bitch? Dammit, she's got me saying that now) you will be the proud owner of 5 bonus tracks:
"Monday morning" feels like an early Madonna track. Which is sort of fitting - with a small child, it seems inevitable Aguilera will be drawn to the sounds of her childhood, and being a child of the 80s, she probably grew up singing along to a fisherprice tape recorder with a cassette of "True Blue." Unfortunately she goes and ruins a perfectly nice, melodic song with a bit of playground style chanting, and the inevitable "soda pop!" lyrics. Why is this album aimed at 12 year olds?
For all my complaining about certain tracks, after listening to this album I immediately wanted to hear it all over again. I think this is a good sign. However, I can count the number of times I will voluntarily listen to "Bobblehead," on one hand, and I've used them all up. This is truly awful. But then again, maybe kids will like Aguilera's imitation of an airhead who just doesn't "get it."And I can think of worse lyrics for them to sing along with than "I know you got a brain why don't you use it?"
Xtina goes for a slightly Arabic flavour on the ominous sounding Birds of Prey. (Could this be the theme for her next album? Pretty please?) This is quite dark lyrically; "They watch and they feed / they take what they need / they bite as you bleed..." It seems that the more people wrong her, the more she bounces back; "Stronger than ever" continues this common theme of her work with powerful vocals - no messing around with fiddly bits or electronica.
The stripped version of "I am" is stunning in its simplicity; It makes me wish the whole album could be like this - but of course, she wouldn't be where she is today if she didn't experiment wildly...
On her last album, Xtina's song "Still Dirrty" reassured us (lest we were unduly worried) that despite dressing in a ladylike manner, she still had the same fierce sexuality which influenced her "Stripped" album. Apparently she's not sure if we got the message, because this album is saturated and dripping with sex. Why SO obsessed? Her album art shows her blindfolded and topless, "bottomless" but for a cartoon of a kitten (seriously?), and Xtina doing her very best impression of a blow up doll. It's kind of... tiresome. If only she could get the message that sexuality doesn't have to be in the one dimensional style of a German sex shop.
If I sound harsh, it's because I expect a lot from Ms Aguilera. And I know she can take the criticism! So despite my minor quibbles, (and they really are minor)it's great to have Christina back. At this point in her career, she has nothing to prove - we all know she is easily the best vocalist of her generation, and possibly in the history of the world - so she CAN experiment and have fun with different styles.
Can't wait to see what's next!
It's been a while since Christina Aguilera's last studio album, 2006's "Back to Basics". She's not been idle in the intervening four years, however, with a greatest hits package and her first child coming along in that time. Nevertheless, four years is an awful long time in pop music. Britney Spears can go through 673 marriages and annulments in that time, or Lady Gaga could have had 210,000 costume changes. It appears to be the latter act that has permeated Aguilera's thinking and thus influenced the course of this album. Not, I might add, for the better.
I accept and realise that re-invention and progression are the cornerstones of longevity in pop music. After all, Madonna has done it with almost every album she has released and Kylie has certainly moved on from her Stock, Aitken, Waterman "I used to be Charlene in 'Neighbours'" days. However, Aguilera's move from 40s style icon on "Back to Basics" to her "Bionic" sound looks to be the most ill-advised image re-invention since Britney Spears went from pop princess to drug-addled baldy.
The opener is the title track, "Bionic". It's an electro-pop track that sounds very similar to a Lady Gaga track. This is not necessarily a bad thing and the song has grown on me on repeated plays, but there's nothing distinctive about the song and the vocals are so synthesised in parts that it's not always obvious it's Christina Aguilera singing. Given that she has one of the best voices around, that can only be counted as a mistake as it loses its main selling point that way.
Next up is the lead single from the album, "Not Myself Tonight". It's much the same as before, being a heavily synthesised electro-pop track that seems to suggest influences more along the lines of Lady Gaga than it does Aguilera herself. I'm surprised that this was selected as the lead single when even after two tracks it's proved not to be the strongest song on the album, although perhaps it was selected as, compared to "Bionic", the vocals are more obviously Aguilera's.
"Woohoo" follows and this is certainly a very strange song. The lyrical style reminds me of the Pussycat Dolls' "Beep", although it's far more explicit in content, being about cunnilingus. It has quite a bouncy beat, but the rap in the middle from Nicki Minaj takes the edge off the song and destroys the rhythm a bit, as does the repetitive ending. It's also the longest track on the album and does outstay its welcome in musical terms as well as the dodgy lyrical content.
If "Bionic" didn't sound like it was Aguilera singing, "Elastic Love" certainly doesn't. This is certainly a brave and different track, but it's awful on so many different levels. It's another electro-pop track, but everything is so heavily computerised that there is no way you would recognise the singer if you heard the song in isolation. The lyrics are weak at best and cringe worthy for the most part and the only minor redeeming feature the song has for me is that heavily 80s influenced chorus that reminds me of something Fuzzbox might have done.
"Desnudate" isn't too bad a track, especially compared to what has gone before. Although it's much of the same as before, being an up-tempo electro-pop track, it does display Aguilera's vocals better than anything else on the album thus far and it's got a decent beat that should make it a success on the club scene. That said, the moaning and groaning over the chorus was a little too much, but maybe that's why I feel far too old for clubbing these days.
I've never understood the penchant for putting strange intros before songs and "Love and Glamour" doesn't help me understand any more, but fortunately this brief spoken word intro is over almost as soon as it starts and we're into "Glam". I do like the bass-heavy line on this track, although the song as a whole is very weak and once again misses that distinctive Aguilera vocal, until about half way through. There is really nothing here that separates this from what Lady Gaga has spent the last year or so doing, apart from the rare appearance of Christina's powerful voice. There is an interesting break about three quarters of the way through the track that reminds me of "Cha-Cha Slide", which was a fun, if minor, diversion from how weak the song as a whole is.
"Prima Donna" is really the first track on the album that is distinctively a Christina Aguilera track, in terms of the vocal. It is again a very electronic influenced pop song in terms of the backing, but the vocal on the verses and chorus have that powerful vocal. The music isn't terribly original, which is a shame, sounding like the Pussycat Dolls "Bottle Pop" in parts and with a backing that strongly evokes the Jacksons "Can You Feel It?" towards the end.
The sultry "Morning Dessert" acts as an intro to "Sex for Breakfast", but the two do tie together quite well and at 90 seconds, the intro is almost long enough to have been a track on its own with a little work. Sadly, it is a little repetitive, but it is just the prelude to the song proper. "Sex for Breakfast" is the first down-tempo number on the album and allows Aguilera's vocal to come through nicely, although the song itself is just a little dull, offering nothing new and distinctive only from any other slower r 'n' b style pop song by the vocal.
"Life Me Up" is the first indication that Aguilera is still capable of the kind of wonderful pop song that has made her the success she has been. It's a beautiful pop ballad, beautifully performed and bringing Aguilera's vocals fully to the fore. Admittedly, it's largely generic pop ballad and as with previous songs on the album it's only the vocal that helps it stand out as a Christina Aguilera song.
Shamefully, after something so beautiful there is another pointless intro, possibly only included to show the reason for Aguilera's four-year break was her son. This is then followed by another simply beautiful pop ballad in the form of "All I Need". Once again, this is a lovely pop ballad, with a stunningly emotional vocal and a very sweet, almost lullaby like backing track. Sadly, these two songs serve only to showcase how bad the rest of the album is by reminding us of the heights Aguilera is capable of reaching.
As if realising she's hit a rich vein of form, "I Am" continues the theme. Once again it's a lovely, piano and orchestra led pop ballad, although it lacks some of the emotion and strength of the previous two tracks. Like "Lift Me Up", it's largely generic pop ballad, but nicely done and it stands out in comparison to the majority of the album, seeming weak only relative to the couple of tracks preceding it.
"You Lost Me" is more of the same, but the haunting and very basic opening to the track sets it up nicely. It's a simple vocal and piano arrangement until the violins kick in and the song grows into something bigger and more rounded. After all the electronic arrangements on most of the album, this is brilliant in its simplicity. The power and emotion sit wonderfully with the simple backing and Aguilera's superb vocal and if this song isn't released as a single or snapped up for a feature film, it's been wasted, buried as it is towards the end of an album largely filled with dross.
If ever a song title has told me out far out of an artist's demographic I am, "I Hate Boys" is possibly it. It's a bouncy up-tempo pop number that sits quite at odds at the end of a run of lovely pop ballads. The electro-pop backing and the group vocals reminds me a little of the Pussycat Dolls, although the attitude and lyrics belong a little more towards the Katy Perry camp. Fortunately, apart from the intros, this is the shortest track on the album
"My Girls" has an electronic backing that reminds me of something that a prog-rock band might have done. Sadly, this is the best part of the song, with another Pussycat Dolls sounding electro-pop backing and group vocal. Once more, the vocal is so heavily altered that it's not easily identifiable as Aguilera and the section from Peaches in the middle sticks out horribly and not at all effectively. Again, the short running time of the track is perhaps its saving grace.
The album ends with "Vanity", which brings the album full circle with a Lady Gaga sounding electro-pop song, although to be fair it's perhaps one of the better versions on the album, rendered slightly more disappointing for coming after the ballads, undeniably the album's high point. Unfortunately, my over-riding impression of the album is the constant references to "Bitches" in the lyrics, which seems completely unnecessary and the sample at the end who I assume is her son just seems completely wrong with the lyrical content that precedes it.
Quite frankly, this is a pretty awful album. It's taken Aguilera on a brave new direction, but it's not a terribly original direction. I know there has been some controversy with fans of Lady Gaga and Christine Aguilera each claiming that the other has been copying their favourite, but although Aguilera may have decided on the direction first, the crucial first release was Lady Gaga's. If nothing else, the timing makes "Bionic" sound like a version of Lady Gaga's work for the most part and, it has to be said, not a terribly accomplished version.
There are some stand out tracks on the album, but they are all the ones where Aguilera drops the synth-pop and goes back to showcasing her incredible vocal talents on the ballads. Admittedly, there's nothing here quite as powerful as "Beautiful", but a couple of them come very close. Sadly, these songs ruined the rest of the album for me, as they stuck out so much that nothing else was going to compare favourably to them and particularly not the sub-standard songs contained elsewhere on the album.
At an hour in length and featuring 18 tracks, including those pointless intros, you do get a lot of music for your money, but you don't get an awful lot of good music. It speaks volumes that, so soon after release, I've seen a copy on eBay for only slightly over £2.00 including postage and this seems about right, as purchasing a copy for £9.95 from Play isn't good value with the quality of the material. Even the Amazon download price of £7.49 is too much and you're better off simply downloading the ballads, which at 79 pence per track actually do represent really good value in isolation. If ever an album has shown how great an advance being able to select individual tracks is over having to sit through an entire album, Christina Aguilera's "Bionic" is the one.
The Bionic Woman
Bionic is the new album from Christina Aguilera. She is an American recording artist who has now been on the music scene for over ten years, releasing her first album, Christina Aguilera in August 1999. The album lead to Aguilera receiving a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2000 beating Brittany and others. She has her unique brand of sexiness, coupled with an innocent, good girl image which has proved to be a commercial success for her.
Her first album was somewhat young and fresh and in the ten years since she has definitely grown up and developed even more of a raunchier style than she started out with. I do like her music though as I feel that, unlike some other female artists of her age/generation can actually sing, and sing very well. She has a big voice and can belt out some tunes.
Bionic was released on June 8th 2010. THe cover of the album is really interesting and works well with the title. It has half of Christina's face on one side and then a bionic robot on the other half of the face.
This album I feel is a complete shift away from what she is good at, actually singing and contains a lot of electropop songs and some really weird sounds. I have to admit that I really don't like this album. When I first listened to it I was actually surprised that it was a Christina album as its so different from what she usually does. I think it's nice for an artist to vary their sound but I think this is a step too far from Christina unfortunately. I would say one thing that works about the album is the title, Bionic. You can almost imagine that a bionic type of robot is dancing around to her sounds!
I also felt this album was far too long, with 18 songs that to me pretty much all sound the same it gets a bit monotonous and boring, unfortunately as I really do like Christina. Actually, according to an article I read this week, Bionic made UK chart history by first debuting at number one with lowest number of copies sold in eight years and then by registering the largest weekly decline for a number one album.
The track listings are as follows:
2. "Not Myself Tonight"
3. "Woohoo" (featuring Nicki Minaj)
4. "Elastic Love"
6. "Love & Glamour (Intro)"
8. "Prima Donna"
9. "Morning Dessert (Intro)"
10. "Sex for Breakfast"
11. "Lift Me Up"
12. "My Heart (Intro)"
13. "All I Need"
14. "I Am"
15. "You Lost Me"
16. "I Hate Boys"
17. "My Girls" (featuring Peaches)
Christina Aguilera is a singer who has changed tack a few times in her career - starting out as a girl next door type and then morphing into a sex kitten before embracing a more classic look for her last release, "Back to Basics" which was released in 2006.
Aguilera took some time out following an extensive tour for that album, having married in 2005 and becoming a mother for the first time with the birth of her son Max in January 2008.
She has returned to a pop music scene which has changed quite dramatically since "Back to Basics" with the rise of another blonde female US singer overshadowing all others. One might have thought Aguilera would have been able to rise above the enormous shadow of Lady Gaga, but having listened to her latest album release, "Bionic" it would seem she is a singer in search of an identity in the current pop scene.
~~Christina - The Voice~~
Aguilera was born in New York City in 1980, but raised in Pennsylvania following the break up of her parents' marriage.
There are clips of Aguilera as a child performing in talent competitons on local TV and even then it was obvious she had a prodigious vocal talent. Her ability to hit big notes and hold them got her her first recording gig recording the song "Reflection" for the Disney film "Mulan" and her debut solo album followed not long after.
Aguilera had also famously co-starred with a young Britney Spears on US TV show "The Mickey Mouse Club" and there has always been rivalry between them, with Aguilera famously pipping Spears to the post for the Best Newcomer Grammy award in 2000.
For all that Aguilera has experiemented with her image and different musical styles, it is her vocal ability that is her greatest strength.
Aguilera stated as far back as 2006 that she wanted to do something "electronic" for her next album, and of course in 2006 this might have seemed revolutionary and ground breaking.
The problem is that during her hiatus electronic influenced music has swamped the charts. Aguilera has also chosen an even raunchier look and style for "Bionic" but with the rise of Lady Gaga this look just seems, well, a bit of a copy of Gaga - and other acts such as La Roux.
Aguilera's problem is that despite being a very attractive woman, she doesn't have the natural sex appeal of someone like Madonna, Britney Spears or Lady Gaga. So when she dances about revealing lots of flesh, there's something a bit flat about it all. Ironically when she embraced the classic Hollywood glamour look for "Back to Basics" and put some more clothes on she seemed more alluring, leading me to believe that when it comes to clothes, Christina needs to learn to put more on to up her sex appeal.
"Bionic" is Christina's first album to bear the Parental Advisory sticker, but apart from the odd expletive, the reason for this is her obsession with sex. Christina doesn't have much to tell us about herself on this album, but she does tell us several times how much she likes sex. She also informs us how much she loves fashion and make up, and how much she loves herself. She does manage to add a little bit of depth with a song dedicated to her son, but overall if this album is supposed to represent Christina, the woman, then one can only draw the conclusion she is a pretty shallow one.
Stylistically, you can lump the songs into three different categories - the first one is the songs about Christina's love life, the second is her ballads, and lastly there are a few songs which are fun pop songs. It goes without saying that the most successful songs are generally in the last two categories.
~~Xtina Does Sex~~
Debut single "Not Myself Tonight" is pretty tame and I have to say I cannot understand why Aguilera picked this as the lead single. Even after repeated plays I find this pretty unmemorable and the S&M themed video is clearly meant to be a return to the Christina of "Dirrty" when she brought out a video that marked a complete change of image and direction and as a result managed to shock.
The thing is Lady Gaga has upped the ante in the shocking video stakes leaving Christina to look as if she is playing catch up - and with a song which completely lacks the hooks and strong dancefloor vibes that Gaga's dancefloor hits have had. The heavily synthesised backing is probably the song's saving grace, which evokes some 1980s electro pop but the chorus isn't a killer and while Aguilera's vocals are as good as ever the moaning and groaning is just too fake for words.
"Woohoo" is Aguilera's ode to cunnilingus. Yes, you read that right - cunnilingus. The lyrics leave absolutely nothing to the imagination and I don't suppose the album artwork helps - a picture of a half naked Aguilera with a picture of a cartoon pussycat strategically placed over her, ahem, pussy with the lyrics printed beside this spectacle.
On first hearing I found this laughingly dumb - both the song and the artwork - but I have to say this song is a grower. Once again the backing for this is heavily synthesised but drums are high up in the mix to get an evocative rhythm going. Aguilera is joined by rapper Nicki Minaj too. Minaj doesn't capture the excitement Aguilera conveys on her part on this RnB pop track and sadly I found her rap a bit superfluous to requirements. One can only surmise Minaj isn't quite as enthusiastic about the subject matter as Aguilera is.
The song is a grower which a hook that stays with you, leading me to wonder why on earth this wasn't the first single - although it has to be said that Aguilera's lyrics are pretty dreadful. Sadly this is the case throughout the album - her skill and talent as a vocalist are not in doubt - unlike her talent as a lyricist.
"Elastic Love" is another good pop song, although the use of the word "spastic", even in it's American definition, might offend some people in the lyrics. One has to wonder why Aguilera used it, and in my mind anyway I pictured her poring over the rhyming dictionary to find it.
The sound on this track is really good however - another heavily synthesised backing track and Aguilera uses the lower register of her voice to great effect. The sound is retro early 1980s dancefloor - perhaps that's why it appeals to me along with the fact Aguilera experiments with electronics to make the voice and the music more interesting.
The electronic sound continues on "Desnudate" which features lots of heavy breathing and panting from Aguilera and her unmistakable voice on the chorus, especially when she yells "oh oh oh oh" on the chorus. I quite like the beat to this dance track - it's more interesting in the bridge when a vibrant horn section kicks in over the fairly generic dance beat. It's about as sensual as wet fish however.
Aguilera only really manages to nail true sensuality on the intro "Morning Dessert" which is a preamble to "Sex for Breakfast" which starts off equally sensual but strays into histrionics towards the end. "Morning Dessert" has a lovely dreamy quality about it and Aguilera's vocals are controlled and truly genuine for the first time on the album. I have no doubt Aguilera is sincere when she speaks of her love of all things carnal, but her vocals on other songs on the subject here just don't ring as true.
"Sex for Breakfast" continues in this vein but is a little less dreamy and Aguilera's more familiar soulful vocals are on show here. The song features a slow piano, gently strumming guitar and a very deliberate drumbeat which captures just the right rhythm to convey exactly what Aguilera is singing about. Her voice here is yearning and convincing too before hitting the histrionics towards the end which spoils the overall effect.
Perhaps we are supposed to be convinced that Christina hits those high notes as she reaches a climax. All I can say is if that's the case, I'm kinda glad I am not her neighbour.
~~Christina the Balladeer~~
For many people, Christina Aguilera does ballads best - and certainly the success of songs such as "Beautiful" are testament to that.
There's a few ballads of varying quality here. "Lift Me Up" is a Linda Perry song which is beautifully sung - in fact it's probably one of the best vocals Aguilera turns in on here but the song itself is pretty generic. The song tries to be uplifting and only manages it through Aguilera's vocal which is utterly believable. I suspect this may well be a future single but it's the singing which is the star of this - in a lesser singer's hand this would be instantly forgettable. It goes without saying that this song has the strongest lyrics on the album - Aguilera didn't write them.
"All I Need" starts with a brief intro of Aguilera's husband talking to her son which is nice but perhaps a little cloyingly sentimental for some. The song has a lullaby sound to it which is apt as the song is about her baby son. Aguilera's vocals are nicely muted but the lyrics whilst no doubt written from the heart are banal and it's the arrangement which features a piano and some particularly impressive percussion which shine on this ballad.
On "I Am" the tempo ups a little as Aguilera sings over a piano admitting she has imperfections. What is so interesting about this song is Aguilera's voice - she uses her lower register throughout - there's no sign of the hollering Aguilera can do so effortlessly and instead there is something incredibly endearing about the song - even though I suspect she has done this to somehow detach herself from the personality traits and flaws she references in the lyrics.
"You Lost Me" is a big Christina ballad, and probably the most commercial one on here as it starts slow and builds up to the trademark Christina big notes as she conveys pain and heartbreak as well as she ever did. If you love Christina to sing a ballad this is the one which will probably satisfy you the most. The backing vocals are eerie and haunting but the arrangement is simple - featuring mainly the piano and just a few strings.
~~Christina Likes to Have Fun~~
Finally we have the pure pop section where Christina plays with her girlfriends. The best of these is "I Hate Boys" another piece of electro pop which I suspect has lifted a bit from Katy Perry but is just the sort of song you can see girls dancing and singing along to. It's got "single" written all over it.
Title track "Bionic" is a heavily synthesised pop song which has very strong Gaga influences on the verses before the strong chorus kicks in. I suspect Aguilera would have a big hit with this if she were to release it as a single but it's way too similar to Gaga, despite the fact she repeats the fact her name is "Xtina" several times throughout the song. The melody on this is very strong but the lyrics, once again let it down.
"My Girls" sticks in this category too but sadly Shakira beat Aguilera to the style on this song - the introduction is almost identical to "She Wolf". This is the sort of song my teenage daughter loves which brings girls to the forefront whilst also gently dissing the opposite sex. The song is total electro and has a short rap from Peaches which isn't really necessary and actually knocks the song off kilter for its duration. If you like empowering female pop songs then this will be for you.
"Glam" is a slight little pop song about clothes and make-up but it works because Aguilera's vocals are light and airy for the most part and the sound is clearly borrowed from Madonna. Dare I say "Vogue"?
Aguilera gets a bit more histrionic vocally towards the end which seems unnecessary on such a slight little synthesiser backed song. "Prima Donna" is an angry song which features lots of auto tuned and heavily synthesised backing vocals as Aguilera sings the praises of adult pleasures such as having a drink but there's little to convince here - there's none of that genuine sense of fun to be found in "I Hate Boys" for instance.
Sadly "Vanity" is just rubbish. Christina just reiterates her high opinion of herself which is fair enough (if I could sing like that I'd feel much the same I am sure) but when she gets to the point where she says she turns herself on, it's hard to either retain interest or take the song seriously. This is just self indulgent pap which doesn't even have humour to save it. Perhaps Aguilera meant this to be light hearted but sadly I can't find anything even mildly amusing about it and as she wrote the lyrics herself - about herself - she only really has herself to blame.
After listening to this all the way through several times now I can only conclude that Aguilera perhaps took a career break at the worst possible time and has come back with a new look and sound which sadly looks passé following the advent of Lady Gaga.
She is undoubtedly a far better singer than Gaga, but the material lets her down. She has often described herself as a creative and inventive person, but her lyrics are actually one of the weakest links on this album and sadly if her assertion that she is, indeed, a prima donna is true then I think we will be stuck with these infantile and banal lyrics from her for some time to come. There doesn't seem to have been anyone brave enough to reign her in and push her to produce something a little more thought provoking and the only lyrics which have any real depth are to be found on the ballads she sings.
It's also hard to be sure exactly which direction Aguilera is going in as she hedges her bets - the RnB sound is kept on there with guest raps, but she also seems to want to take the electro pop and dancefloor fans with her too, never mind ensuring there are a couple of ballads to keep the more conservative listener with her.
Similarly there's a mish mash of writers and producers on this album including Linda Perry, Ester Dean, Polaw da Don, Tricky Stewart and Bernard Edwards Jnr which adds to the disjointed sound in my opinion. It's a shame because there is no getting away from the fact Aguilera is an incredibly gifted singer - and one who isn't scared to try new sounds but doesn't seem able to find the right one for her.
Overall the impression I get from "Bionic" is Aguilera has taken one step forward and two steps back as she grapples with the competition from the Gaga phenomenon and remembering the success she had with "Stripped" returns to the premise that "sex sells". Sadly, that was 8 years ago now and my abiding thoughts with "Bionic" is that it's a mixed bag with no real jewel to make it shine - there are unfortunately a fair few turkeys to weigh it down.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Not Myself Tonight
3 Woohoo - Aguilera, Christina & Nicki Minaj
4 Elastic Love
5 Des Nudites
6 Love And Glamour
8 Prima Donna
9 Morning Dessert
10 Sex For Breakfast
11 Lift Me Up
12 My Heart
13 All I Need
14 I Am
15 You Lost Me
16 I Hate Boys
17 My Girls