Christina Aguilera, BIONIC (DELUXE VERSION)

Christina Aguilera's new album Bionic has the singer leaving behind the pop of her early days and the retro-feel of Back to Basics (her last album before the Keeps Getting Better greatest hits collection) and venturing into the world of techno and clubs. Unfortunately, this new direction is at a cost.

Bionic can be easily divided into three parts (not including the five bonus songs on the deluxe version). The beginning of the album is club and dance hits; opening with the song "Bionic" is perfect, as it foretells all the electronics and synthesizers that permeate the songs (and, often sadly, the vocals). This part of the album is also hypersexual, from the lyrics ("whisper all your fetishes inside my ear/ my domain is shame free so lose your fear") to the subjects (the bisexual partying of "Not Myself Tonight," the, er adoration of "Woo Hoo"). There are also songs celebrating fashion ("Glam") and oneself ("Prima Donna").

Halfway through, Bionic does a 180-degree turn. We then get the inspiring ballad ("Lift Me Up") and the song to Christina's young child (who I doubt will be hearing this album unedited for some time) and songs of sensitivity and loss. Aguilera then returns to clubbing for the finale, with a perky song bashing men ("I hate boys but boys love me/ I think they suck and my friends agree") and the uber-narcissistic "Vanity."

What distinguishes Christina Aguilera from much other pop is her powerful voice -- and it's largely absent here. On some songs the vocals are so synthesized they could be sung by anyone. The rap and club music styles don't work that well, and the massive amounts of sexuality -- which make her "Dirrrty" seem subtle -- feel more sensationalistic than wild or expressive. And the bonus tracks on the deluxe edition are either painful (especially "Bobblehead") or forgettable. There are a few decent songs on Bionic, but Christina Aguilera is capable of much better.

Overall grade: D+
Reviewed by James Lynch


James Lynch said...


Chad Cloman said...

Each one of those dots is a different link to what I'm assuming are spam sites.

digitaldoc said...

Correct Chad, thanks for pointing it out, and they're deleted.