on 17 August 2006
I have to say before i start that this normally isnt the type of artist i listen to. im very guitar driven/obsessed i love the likes of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Santana. But there is something about christina that just stands out from the rest. This album is sung which such enthusiasm for the genres she clearly loves and let me tell you there is variety a plenty here. She touchs on the great classic genres such as blues and jazz, old style RnB and maybe even a hint of Gospel and 70's Disco.
this all adds up to something attractively fresh. Fresh is the key in this day an age too many of her fellow performers stickin with the same formula for guaranteed success she constantly goes out of the way to find something different which is risky but she pulls it off again. simply beautiful!
on 4 September 2006
01:Intro (Back To Basics) - Nice little intro, nothing special but I assume she'll keep the into's coming with every album: (6/10)
02:Makes Me Wanna Pray - Love the gospel vibe, the vocals are amazing although OTT but I like: (7/10)
03:Back In The Day - One of my favourates from disk one, fresh with a great vibe - it doesn't get much better: (9/10)
04:Ain't No Other Man - I've over-exposed myself to this track now, but a great comeback: (8/10)
05:Understand - I simply love it, such a great r&b ballad a true highlight: (9/10)
06:Slow Down Baby - The most urban track and it took me a while to get into but good enough to keep on listening: (7/10)
07:Oh Mother - heartfelt and moving, prehaps my favourate from disk 1: (10/10)
08:F.U.S.S (Interlude) - Um, lyrically hillarious and loving her attitude but why is it here!? Not necessary: (4/10)
09:On Our Way - Nice vibe but kinda average for her, I can still listen too it with ease though: (6/10)
10:Without You - Loving how different it is to the rest of the disk, has that mellowness I love: (8/10)
11:Still Dirrty - has one of the most addictive beats on the album, a good carry on from a classic pop song: (8/10)
12:Here To Stay - I hope she is! Although a weaker moment, its undoubtedly Aguilera with the empowering lyrics: (6/10)
13:Thank You(Dedication To Fans...) - well I like the beginning and the parts where she sings...: (2/10)
01:Enter The Circus - Just Genius: (10/10)
02:Welcome - love the lyrics, gives us a true taster of what her life is like as an entertainer: (8/10)
03:Candyman - fun, different and sexy. what more do you want from a record? Huge vocals and no doubt a future single: (9/10)
04:Nasty Naughty Boy - Oh my oh my, one of the best and most daring on the album. love it: (9/10)
05:I Got Trouble - such a great vibe, lyrically good and vocally different. thumbs up: (7/10)
06:Hurt - Christina's new masterpeice, touching and moving - ballads don't get much better lyrically or vocally: (10/10)
07:Mercy On Me - Such a good pleading for forgiveness song, something different from her which I like: (8/10)
08:Save Me From Myself - My vocal highpoint, so restrained something we aren't use to from her but it gives her a fragile edge and is just beautiful: (10/10)
09:The Right Man - Nothing wrong with this track, but I don't feel it as much as the others: (6/10)
-- Bonus Video --
A nice little extra, her relationship with her produces seem so fab hopefully we can expect more from the interesting combination of Christina, DJ Premier and Linda Perry!
A great effort in my opinion, the lyrics on the album are superior to most coming from artists of her generation and vocally she's on top form - superb production from DJ Premier and Linda Perry makes a varity which I love! You can tell that Christina's taken her time and worked hard to get everything as good as she could, yes a couple of duds are thrown in but the whole package is just excellent. The glossy booklet with the lyrics and great artwork makes it an album to buy rather then download!
Best Tracks: Back In The Day, Understand, Oh Mother, Candyman, Hurt & Save Me From Myself.
Worst Tracks: F.U.S.S & Thank You
If you're not someone who's willing to take Christina Aguilera seriously, look away now. The following is definitely not for you.
I resisted buying this collection for a long time, because I'd liked Stripped so much that I knew I was expecting too much for a repeat. I was right, but the outcome is not all bad.
After the Intro, Makes Me Wanna Pray kicks off proceedings with a belting gospel sound, with Christina accompanied by Steve Winwood, who people of my generation will know from the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic.
Next up, Back In The Day is a dedication to the artistes who have presumably inspired the collection, opening with what sounds like a sample from Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance, and with voiceovers reminiscent of Greg Osby's Honor The Example from 3-D Lifestyles, though there are probably more people get namechecks - Miles, Trane and Otis Redding to name but three. If the song is successful in turning Aguilera's audience on to any one of the people namechecked then it's all right with me.
Understand samples the bluesy 1967 recording Nearer To You by soul diva Betty Harris, in which she was partnered by Allen Toussaint, which complements the main song well, but the sample also makes you want to hear more.
Oh Mother and Still Dirrty explore subjects Aguilera has tackled before - domestic violence and hypocrisy.
CD2 opens with a couple of circus-themed pieces, the first of which bizarrely brought to mind Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Karn Evil 9 (I'm sure Christina's never even heard of it!). The second, Welcome, is a good song, and uses Aguilera's cast-iron voice to full effect.
The set then moves on to three 1940s-style bump'n'grind songs. The first of these, Candyman, sounds maybe like the Andrews Sisters, but with lyrics that would have made the girls blush. Nasty Naughty Boy is like Cab Calloway meets Marilyn Monroe. It's about as good a tribute to Cab as Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby on Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive (recommended to anyone who wants more of this kind of thing).I Got Trouble, reminding me lyrically of Neneh Cherry's Trouble Man, and maybe inspired by Billie Holliday, finishes off the triptych. In its day, this kind of music was considered more risqué than anything on this record would be today by a mainstream audience - jazz, like rhythm'n'blues and rock'n'roll was originally, after all, slang for sex, and polite society in the forties was bigger than it is today and didn't talk about such things. Aguilera does a good job of inserting some of the risqué flavour with lyrics like "Makes the panties drop" and "I'm gonna give you a taste/Of the sugar below my waist."
Hurt, which follows, is more in a more familiar Aguilera style, as are the remainder. A moving song, well sung as you'd expect, and the video's good, too.
There are only two low points on the collection.
At the end of CD 1 there's a rather tasteless piece of apparent self-regard; supposedly voicemessages from fans, they're kind of sickly, and in a couple of cases quite worrying, as in the case of the boy who claims that because of Aguilera he now takes no notice of what others say. Is that really what she wants to say, or is she really saying we should think for ourselves?
And the final track on CD 2 seems like Aguilera making a bid for the wedding song market: The Right Man? Do me a favour! Who's this a tribute to? Susan Maugham? Annoyingly, though, it's really well sung (well, Susan Maugham could at least sing), so it's hard to be too cross, and I wouldn't be surprised to find it's going down well with brides-to-be.
Elsewhere, I've slated Joss Stone for conservatism on Introducing, and compared her material unfavourably with Stripped. Well, Christina hasn't quite managed herself to equal Stripped but, of the four I'm giving Back to Basics, one star is for taking a risk on putting together an eclectic package which manages to combine very nicely some nods to the past and some expressions of the present. This is a bold attempt at a tribute to the people Aguilera purportedly looks up to, and you have to respect the effort. She could easily have remade Stripped and cleaned up, but instead has gone out on the edge a little. I don't know much about Christina Aguilera beyond the songs I've heard and the videos I've seen, but I'd like to think there's a sign here that she wants to be more than just an entertainer. I hope that doesn't make me delusional.
on 18 January 2009
Christina Aguilera is a one in a million artist, through her debut album she crafted a very old-school bubblegum pop mood which i didn't perticularly find interesting enough for me to become a fan, however Stripped was an entirely different album and altogether was a far more deeper and rythemetic album which reflected blues and RnB as her influence which eternally expressed Xtina's creativity with lyrics and balanced some incredibly deep and moving songs.
Chritina made the right move to pull a new dynamic out of the bag with this stunning album...to go back to her musical roots and establish her fetish for 20's and 30's style music and the result is very exceptional indeed .
crammed with 22 tracks spanned over two splendid discs, there are no fillers but instead some great introduction numbers and excellently 'belted' and produced songs which tested producers mark Ronson and writer Linda Perry...but together they have made one of the best albums of that year that so far has stood the 3 years since its release and is Aguilera's most triumphant and acclaimed album.
Stripped was a minor dissappointment production wise...Back To Basics however is one of my 25 top albums.
there are too many tracks to favour, they're all brilliant with excellent beats and 4 splendid singles.
intro(Back To Basics-sets the standard for this set-10/10.
Makes Me Wanna Pray-a genuinly thrilling song that expresses a new and unusual style for Aguilera...it poses her stunning vocal range over a rythmetic soul choir,this song is by far one that stands out on this album and should have made a fantastic single release-10+/10
Back In The Day-another stunning track which makes for a slower unwinding pace but ultimately is genuinly expressive while ultimately has its own style to establish itself as one of the greats of the album,overall this song is a perfect melody.10/10
Ain't No Other Man-if you haven't been living under a rock you will understand that this was the lead single of Back To Basics and it set the tone for what this album would be like,while this was a brave descision for a lead single of such an epic album this song can stand its own ground to be a genuine classic song of the new millenium.10/10
Understand-another uniquely paced song with repetitive soulful retro styled vocals as a basis for this masterful song,"I'll make you understand".10/10
Slow Down Baby-a funky beat with assisted jive and rapping to mould the songs power together that is a feel good song and utimately a star of disc one.10/10
Oh Mother-STUNNING,fantastic rythm that doesn't transform into a ballad yet ultimately is strong and dependant and possibly my fave song by Christina,certainly my favourite of the album(which is tough),it is an extremely personal affair of a song with an awe inspiring chorus.10+/10
F.U.S.S-a fun semi-filler track that is reaching out to Scott Storch who failed to help produce some songs for this album and ultimately she did it without him,good girl.9/10
On Our Way-as you've possibly guessed it this is a genuinely great song on the album and ultimately is satisfying upon every listen.10/10
Without You-while slower in paced it stands it's own ground.9/10
Still Dirrty-a sequel to the controversial song from Stripped,ultimately this is a far more fun interpretation of the song with independant lyrics and a funky little beat,a favourite of mine from the album,great use of bass and trumpets to create this song.10/10
Here To Stay-and ultimately this song proves exactly why Aguilera is in fact here to stay forever more.10/10
Thank You-dedicated to all fans which shows portions of phone calls to Aguilera showing how she has influenced them to do good and Aguilera singing around the basis of the messages.a fantastic end to disc one.
Enter The Circus-eerie lead track with Linda Perry as a host for this intro track adding to the unsettling yet fantastic atmosphere of this melody,this is one of the best intro's Aguilera and Perry have composed and stands it's ground in its own right generating a very creepy atmosphere yet fun too.10+/10
Welcome-a great follow on from the intro with a fantastically powerful song from Aguilera.10/10
Candyman-my favourite single by Aguilera,while out of place on the second disc it is a highlight and is the most successful release from the album with grammy nominations and top ten worldiwide smash,fantastic feel good casually seductive song with a cheery melody.10+/10
Nasty Naughty Boy-this may be the most raunchy song on the album reflecting a burlesque style attitude and conveys a more erotica style formation of a song.10/10
I Got Trouble-amazing song that shows a more dated effect with its style like you were actually listening to it being beamed out from a gramophone.10/10
Hurt-the most beautiful and breathtaking song since Beautiful,ultimately this is a strong performance and was a success single release.10+/10
Mercy On Me-shows the more slower pace of the album,yet the weight of Aguileras vocal performance shows just how stunning her rane actually is.10/10
Save me From Myself-a highlight of the second disc,more like a ballad if anything,very weighty and reaches for the heart strings.10/10
The Right Man-and ultimately we come to the end of Aguileras most accomplished,acclaimed and perfect album thus far.10/10
Back To Basics is a far more artistic album than Stripped ever was which is why this is on my top 25 album ever list,makes me proud to be a fan of her music.
this summer she will release a more future disco/electronic dance style album,Aguilera will be taking inspiration from popular culture and artist Andy Warhol,and to add to it she will reference Japan in the art of the album to create a more unique fun and far fetched experience like none of her albums have ever reached,i really cannot wait for her 4th release,hopefully it will be in the style of Britney's stunning spectacle that is CIRCUS!,or possibly even more special.
Back To Basics is recommended to all who love a good time and those who love retro style swanky music and occasional ballads.
on 24 August 2006
Now, dont get me wrong, this is an amazing album, but reading some of the previous reviews, i think some people have gone a little overboard on just how good it is.
There is no doubt that there are some amazing songs...but there are also some that arent so amazing. Anyone who is a fan of Christina will love this album, because the 22 songs on this double album showcase her voice in just the right ways...and not once do you doubt her talent.
I think Christina has gone out from the norm of today's music 'scene' and ventured into the unknown, by basing her album on the 20's, 30's and 40's. Although she hasnt ventured too far, as most songs do have a modern feel to them.
I have to say that the best songs on both albums have to be Aint No Other Man, Oh Mother, Without You, Still Dirrty, Candyman, Hurt, Mercy On Me, Save Me From Myself, and The Right Man. The second album is the better of the two, because it includes Candyman and The Right Man and also because the first one can get ever so slightly boring if your not in the right mood to listen to it. There may be too many ballads/slower songs.
Christina has followed her last album by revealing herself further, showing that she still has her dirty and filthy side in Still Dirty. Talking about problems with her father in The Right Man (which if you listen properly can really make you feel for her), she talks about her mam and of course her husband.
Not only does this album have belting vocals, and a fresh new twist, but it has the lyrics to go with it. All in all a very good album. Remove Understand, Thankyou, Enter the cirus, and I got trouble, and this album would be sensational.
on 19 August 2006
"Back to Basics" has been a while coming but it's worth it. The double-disc album is the perfect showcase for Aguilera's incredibly versatile voice and should please both her current fanbase and people looking for something new.
It isn't just a feisty adult album like "Stripped"; it's a real compilation of musical styles, from the recognisably familiar strains of "Ain't No Other" to the sexy glamorous forties-style "Nasty Naughty Boy" and "Candyman" which sounds very familiar to "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". I also enjoy the small tracks like "Intro" and "Enter the Circus" which are becoming trademarks of Aguilera's albums.
As other reviewers have said, number 13 - "Thank You" (to fans) - is a track you'll probably want to skip, but what comes across in this album is that Aguilera is happier and stronger than in "Stripped" and wants the world to know it. Tracks like "the Right Man" and "Makes Me Wanna Pray" (similar to "Sing My Own Song") are touching tributes to her husband without being saccharine. And the beautiful honesty of "Hurt" and "Oh Mother" is haunting.
Every time you listen to this album, you get to know Christina Aguilera just a little bit more, and it's worth it. A real gem of an album. Welcome back, Christina - you've been missed!
on 24 August 2006
This is a very different style of music for Christina but one which I and many of her fans love. There are some very strong tracks on both discs but in my opinion disc 2 is much more enjoyable and has fantastic songs including 'Candyman' 'Hurt' and 'The Right Man'. Disc 1 is much more laid back and relaxed and I would recommend skipping to 'Oh Mother' particularly if you liked 'I'm OK' from the Stripped album. There are also some upbeat tracks including 'Ain't No Other Man' and 'Still Dirty'.
If you are a fan of Christina Aguilera and have bought her previous albums you should definitely give 'Back To Basics' a try.
on 16 August 2006
It may be hard to match the fantastic Stripped but Back To Basics is a wonderful two disk album full of stand-outs. The throwback sound works perfectly with Christina's voice and her choice in producers was the right one. The DJ Premier produced first disk features : Makes Me Wanna Pray & Still Dirrty and Linda Perry returns to produce the wonderful second disk featuring Hurt and Save Me From Myself. Christina doesn't just sing in the one style but in a range of styles. She can sing absolutely anything her voice is that good!
on 28 August 2006
I am a Christina Fanatic! So, i'm easily pleased and love everything she does.
I loved stripped when it came out and still do, but some songs tend to have a unpolished feel to them and she likes to warble and trill all over them. But, not so much on this album. I can tell she's thought out carefully what she's singing. some songs she does go mad on, but some she holds back completely! giving them a timeless quality.
I must say I personally prefer the second disc. The songs a far stronger and can be listened to over and over and over.
The first disc has a lot of up tempo songs on, which are great, but with a concept album of 20's, 30's and 40's, you can't go in drastic new directions from the previous track.
'Makes me wanna pray'
all of them!
on 6 June 2007
The music is great, Christina as good as ever....nuff said..
From a vinyl collectors point of view the packaging is very very good, its a triple album in VERY high quality vinyl and very innovatively packaged in a retro book / box set format. Made to look like it was from the 50's...nice....Really unusual sleeve / cover . A real talking point and nice addition to any vinyl collection.