By Amy Slatem
Christina Aguilera’s forth studio album, Bionic, combines a chance-taking range of genres to create an introspective, but distastefully raunchy 18 tracks.
Before the recent release of Bionic, there was hype around Aguilera’s collaborations with big music industry names. Among her co-writers were Linda Perry (who has worked with Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Pink), M.I.A (Paper Planes singer) and the impudent sex rapper, Peaches.
This pop-tart album, recorded in Aguilera’s home studio, combines and relies on multi-instrumental layers of music and background singing with provocative sounds. With its salacious ‘ahs’, ‘oohs’ and Spanish phrases, Desnudate (‘get naked’) is not a track you want playing when the parents are around. Bionic clearly shows Aguilera is comfortable with her sexuality, but does she have to share it so intimately with the listeners?
Aguilera has experimented with style flexibility, but Bionic is incoherent with its genre mash of hip hop , pop, R&B, synthpop and retro. This inconsistent album which comes with limited excitement, focuses too much on background beats than on singing.
Woohoo, featuring Nicki Minaj, has an energetic beat but weak lyrics. Much like candy floss at an amusement park; when you have too much of its overly fun, bubblegum-poppiness it will end up making you nauseous. Being a typical pop/ hip hop track that has shallow lyrics and tone is the reason Glam is dull, predictable and nothing new. Sex For Breakfast, with its slow R&B rhythm and racy lyrics, is sensual but so drowsy it will put your partner back to sleep before ‘breakfast’ is served.
Aguilera’s Vanity is repugnant and narcissistic with untamed language and a typical Lady Gaga-like dance beat that is annoyingly catchy. “Every time I look at me, I turn myself on”…embarrassing, yes, and with the repeated ‘bitch’ name calling throughout the album, by the end the listener is bound to grow a self-confidence complex.
Having proved in her previous three albums that ballads are her strong point, like Hurt from Back to Basics in 2006, her latest monotonous and unoriginal sex-driven songs prove to screw Aguilera over. However, tracks like You Lost Me and Lift Me Up, revive the pop album by returning listeners to the more vulnerable, emotional side of Aguilera that the other superficial tracks need.
If you are not keen on Sex For Breakfast, the mediating track between the feisty pop sounds and the slower less shallow ones, then Bionic is not going to make you scream for lunch.
Christina Aguilera’s Not myself tonight. (YouTube video)