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‘Liberation’: Does Christina Aguilera even care about pop success anymore?

  2018.07.25. 00:00

 


At some point during Christina Aguilera’s Liberation, one wonders: What exactly is the pop star breaking free from?

As far as artistic control is concerned, the former Mouseketeer pretty much did it with 2002’s Disney-defying Stripped.

Since then, the 37-year-old has taken one artistic gamble after another, from the nostalgia-tinged pop of Back To Basics to the forward-thinking gems of Bionic.

Perhaps the freedom alluded in the title of Aguilera’s eighth studio album is in the form of melodic expression.

Lead single Accelerate packs together bits and pieces of at least three great songs into one hell of an eccentric track. The result is polarising at best, but one that certainly cements Aguilera’s reputation as a risk taker. Unfortunately, that adventurous streak is a lightning-in-a-bottle moment in this 15-song collection.

That’s not to say that Liberation merely goes through the motions though.

Far from it, numbers like Sick Of Sittin’ and Fall In Line push the agenda of feminist movement. Although, many would think the former is a jab at Aguilera’s former stint on The Voice after that infamous interview with Billboard.

And then there are also those well-publicised associations with hip-hop and R&B. The come-hither Like I Do bears the sultry brilliance of some of Beyonce’s deeper cuts from the post-4 era.

But if anything, Liberation comes across more like a conglomeration of genres: airy tropical pop (Right Moves), heart-rending soul (Twice), head-banging rock (Sick Of Sittin’) and of course – hair-standing powerhouse ballads (Unless It’s With You).

Individually, they sound great. As a collective though, it does seem as if Aguilera is clutching at straws to return to her former pop glory.

While the standalone quality of each track works great in the era of music streaming, chances are Aguilera’s experiments might be lost on the younger streaming demographic.

But if the liberation intended here is about breaking free from commercial expectations, then the real question is: Does the former pop princess even care about pop success anymore?

Source: Star2


ZOE movie is out!

  2018.07.20. 23:15

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Xtina and Max

  2018.07.19. 20:15

 



 

Christina Aguilera at HEART IBIZA 2018 in Ibiza, España

  2018.07.18. 06:05

 


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Christina Aguilera: a candid interview about rediscovering her mojo to create ‘Liberation’

  2018.07.08. 19:00

 


In the 20 years since Christina Aguilera’s arrival helped usher in a new era of pop, the performer has shown she is unafraid of transformation.

Aguilera famously torched the bubblegum teen-pop image crafted for her with a pair of leather chaps and edgier genre-blending music that announced a young woman in full control of her agency. It shocked America and the then 21-year-old singer was slut-shamed by critics, peers and even Tina Fey.

At one point she took her cues from the styles of the 1920s-1940s, committing wholly to a vintage pin-up look to match the modern take on vintage jazz, soul and blues she was exploring.

She’s assumed the role of a cyborg, channelled Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn Manson – for the same project – and re-emerged as a blissed-out earth mother.

Shape-shifting has always been a part of Aguilera’s charm, but her real appeal lies in that voice.

With a fiery range that recalled early Whitney Houston, Aguilera was able to separate herself from the pack of pop ingénues reaching superstar status during the early 2000s.

For a generation who hit puberty during the great Y2K pop explosion, Aguilera was an essential voice with music that tackled self-empowerment, feminism, sex and domestic violence – subject matter her contemporaries were shying away from.

Just look at the lasting impact of 2002’s “Stripped,” her most ambitious work to date and an album that has since become a blueprint for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato – young singers who have all come of age in front of the public and sought to shed their manufactured image the way Aguilera once did.

Aguilera has sold over 50 million records worldwide, notched dozens of Billboard Hot 100 hits, won six Grammys, dipped into film and helped make NBC’s The Voice a TV phenomenon.

Yet the past decade has been shaky for Aguilera on the music front.

Her most recent work – 2010’s underrated “Bionic” and it’s mostly forgotten follow-up “Lotus” – wasn’t met with the same fanfare and a lengthy stint on The Voice left Aguilera’s fans wondering if she would ever return to music.


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