shelleyhanveywriter

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Christina Aguilera, ‘Bionic’ – album review

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Christina Aguilera, ‘Bionic’

This week saw the UK release of Christina Aguilera’s fourth English studio album, ‘Bionic.’  It’s been a wait of four years, but with a 23-strong track listing, I don’t think anyone could say she doesn’t deliver; after all, if something’s worth having, it’s worth waiting for.

I’ve been a fan of Christina since the early days of ‘Genie in a Bottle’ and ‘What a Girl Wants’, right through to the ‘Dirrrty’ dance floor numbers and the ‘Hurt’ . I consider her to be the best female vocalist of her generation, as well as an accomplished and multi-skilled songwriter.

 

Recently hailed by Rolling Stone as number fifty-three on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, Christina was featured as the youngest and only artist on the list under the age of thirty. My sister and I went to see her perform live in 2003 and I would have to say that her vocals were the only ones to rival another performer I have seen and that is Celine Dion…Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield, 1999, with support from Mike and the Mechanics, not a dry eye in the house…and that was in no way related to the increased awareness and consequent upsurge of glaucoma in the late ’90s (I was undoubtedly the youngest concert-goer there, aged 20). What can I say, I’ve always had an old head on young shoulders; which probably looks slightly strange…

Christina said prior to the release of the album, that she had been experimenting with a futuristic, electro-pop sound and that fans should expect something totally different; I would have to agree with this preview, as ‘Bionic’ features certain tracks that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with those hits that have gone before, but for me this is what I look forward to with a new record. There’s something to be said for “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but then when would we get a chance to hear an artist diversify and show what they can really do? Christina’s past albums have fused R&B with Jazz, Pop with Rock, so I don’t think her musicality or range will ever truly be in question.

Christina works with Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler and her collaborator/bassist Samuel Dixon on four songs for the album, and these for me are the stand out tracks. A couple are vintage Christina with intimate melodies, atmospheric keyboards and emotive vocals (‘All I Need’ and You Lost Me’), with the other two, whilst being just as heartfelt and delicate, feature more subtle vocals which allow the music and emotion to flow through (‘I Am’ and ‘Stronger Than Ever’.)

 

 

Christina works with Linda Perry again on this album, specifically on track ‘Lift Me Up’, which is another of my favourites. Perry wrote previous hit single ‘Hurt’ which I’ve included a link to above; I think the melody and vocals on this track are amazing, what I wouldn’t give to be able to sing like that! I really like Perry’s lyrics, she knows her audience and seems to deliver every time with all the emotion, regret and angst that we all secretly lap up.

Christina is a big fan of British electronic band Ladytron and asked them to work with her on this project and produce some songs. ‘Birds of Prey’ features on the second CD and the synthpop template is clearly evident from the outset. It would be fair to say that this record draws on numerous influences and experiments with various genres, indeed with most of Christina’s albums they feel more like a showcase than simply a thrown-together collection of same-old, same-old stuff.

For R&B and Dance fans there are also the up-tempo numbers ‘Bionic’ and ‘Not Myself Tonight’ and ‘Woohoo’, which provide those essential beats to kick-start your Friday night…or Monday morning, depending how wild you are. I love cheeky Christina who toys with the taboo, but a couple of the tracks were disposable in my opinion and didn’t need to be there, such as ‘Sex for Breakfast’ and ‘Vanity’, it can sometimes feel forced I think.

Overall, I would give ‘Bionic’ a 7.5 out of 10 which is mainly on the strength of the Sia Furler and Linda Perry tracks. Definitely an album I will listen to again and enjoy, pre wild night out or wild night in.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

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Written by shelleyhanveywriter

June 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on shelleyhanveywriter.

    shelleyhanveywriter

    August 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm


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