on 7 July 2010
No doubt I'll get slated for this review, but I couldn't even listen to this CD all the way through. Call me old-fashioned, but I like my music to have melody, and the first few tracks on this CD just don't! Am i alone in thinking it odd that the 1st CD she releases after the birth of her baby is the seediest, with all the swearing and lewd pics etc ... not my bag at all ... depressing really ... as I wonder why music has taken this pornographic turn! Have loved most of her earlier material, but as a mother myself, just find hard to understand the timing of this release.
on 17 February 2015
It’s been a while since Christina Aguilera’s last studio album, 2006’s “Back to Basics”. She’s not been idle in the intervening four years, however, with a greatest hits package and her first child coming along in that time. Nevertheless, four years is an awful long time in pop music. Britney Spears can go through 673 marriages and annulments in that time, or Lady Gaga could have had 210,000 costume changes. It appears to be the latter act that has permeated Aguilera’s thinking and thus influenced the course of this album. Not, I might add, for the better.
I accept and realise that re-invention and progression are the cornerstones of longevity in pop music. After all, Madonna has done it with almost every album she has released and Kylie has certainly moved on from her Stock, Aitken, Waterman “I used to be Charlene in ‘Neighbours’” days. However, Aguilera’s move from 40s style icon on “Back to Basics” to her “Bionic” sound looks to be the most ill-advised image re-invention since Britney Spears went from pop princess to drug-addled baldy.
Quite frankly, this is a pretty awful album. It’s taken Aguilera on a brave new direction, but it’s not a terribly original direction. I know there has been some controversy with fans of Lady Gaga and Christine Aguilera each claiming that the other has been copying their favourite, but although Aguilera may have decided on the direction first, the crucial first release was Lady Gaga’s. If nothing else, the timing makes “Bionic” sound like a version of Lady Gaga’s work for the most part and, it has to be said, not a terribly accomplished version.
There are some stand out tracks on the album, but they are all the ones where Aguilera drops the synth-pop and goes back to showcasing her incredible vocal talents on the ballads. Admittedly, there’s nothing here quite as powerful as “Beautiful”, but a couple of them come very close. Sadly, these songs ruined the rest of the album for me, as they stuck out so much that nothing else was going to compare favourably to them and particularly not the sub-standard songs contained elsewhere on the album.
At an hour in length and featuring 18 tracks, including those pointless intros, you do get a lot of music for your money, but you don’t get an awful lot of good music. If ever an album has shown how great an advance being able to select individual tracks is over having to sit through an entire album, Christina Aguilera’s “Bionic” is the one.
This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
Hey! If we're gonna do it let's do it DELUXE!
Christina Aguilera has one of the world's great pop voices.
She has a motor located somewhere between her larynx and
her diaphragm which throws a song out into the listening
world with such power and veracity that it can quite take
your breath away. (She of course has plenty of breath left
for the next number....and the next...and...!)
'Bionic' is a significant achievement in a number of ways.
Ms Aguilera has survived a modern makeover with her spirit
intact. Although it is clear from the credits that she has
had a significant hand in creating many of the 23 tracks
in this collection, there are huge number of top-notch
writers and producers collaborating with her. That the
finished product has a credible coherence and consistency
is both remarkable and worthy of the highest praise.
Some of the songs bully their way into being like a punch
to the sternum! 'Not Myself Tonight' has a massive great
loping synth riff and a big, bad, dangerous beat. Ms A
pitches herself fearlessly into the maelstrom. The notes
pour out of the centre of her being like little molten comets!
The long, seamless vocal runs that define her inimitable style
are truly thrilling!
'Woohoo' is a cheeky little number; nicely rude in all
the right places. (Nicki Minaj joins in the fun with a
perfectly judged rhythmic rapterlude). It's quite impossible
NOT to dance to it! (I love to dance but never quite know
what do do with my tail...no untoward suggestions please!)
At the outset 'Glam' carries off an impish homage to Madonna's
'Vogue' with repectful aplomb. The rip-roaring central section,
however, generates more unbridled emotional heat than
Our Lady Of Marylebone has ever been capable.
Content and quality over style. A real corker!
'Sex For Breakfeast' brings the pace down with a wonderfully
relaxed melody and a passionately focussed vocal performance.
'All I Need', too, is another gorgeous down-tempo number.
The relatively simple jazzy, piano-led arrangement gives room
for the voice to breathe and shine. It really does shine!
Cream of the crop in the slower tunes has to be Linda Perry's
glorious anthem 'Lift Me Up' (she would never have given it
to Courtney Love!). Ms Aguilera sings it like she means it.
Soulful. Unaffected. Blindingly beautiful. A marvel in fact!
The duet with Canadian electro-queen Peaches is a hoot!
Simple power-pop of the highest order. It's very funny too!
The brassy tongue-in-cheek conceits of 'Vanity' also made me laugh
out loud! The Diva's having a good time and you can feel it!
Of the Deluxe Edition's "extras" 'Monday Morning' captures the
spirit of seventies disco with a light touch and a big smile;
'Bobblehead' is chock-full of bats-in-the-belfry rhythmic madness
and the dream-like perfection of 'Stronger Than Ever' delivers
one of the finest performances of Ms Aguilera's career.
Firing on all cylinders, holding nothing back yet keeping the shape
of the whole composition firmly in focus it is simply sublime!
'Bionic' finds this consummate artist at the very height
of her powers. I loved every last moment of it!
on 6 June 2010
Firstly I must say that I think Christina is possibly the best female singer in pop music, she has an outstanding voice, versatile, emotional, expressive, soulful wide-ranging and impeccably beautiful, that virtually no-one can compete with. I must add that her previous album "Back to Basics" is my favourite album by any female singer ever, and probably my most-listened-to cd out of hundreds. And I also love "Stripped".
I have therefore been anticipating this release for a long time. I didn't mind when I heard it was going to be a futuristic album in contrast with the great Back To Basics as I realize artists have to change and grow if they are to continue in the music business. The problem is that I became a fan of Christina's on the basis of the magnificent power ballads like "Beautiful", "The Voice Within", "Hurt" etc; and that by comparison, so many of the songs seem like throwaway pop. Now I don't mind sensual lyrics, even highly suggestive, but I don't like explicit ones; besides which, making sex the theme for virtually every song is less shocking and daring than just rather boring. I want a lyric that says something; that I can connect with emotionally; now of course, there is a place for some fun; and songs like "Glam" and "Vanity" are fun; while "Sex for breakfast" is sweet, enticing and sensual; but there are just too many songs with pointlessly explicit lyrics.
I was really disappointed with the first part of the album. I'm a fan of beautiful voices with real instruments; Christina is almost unbeatable here, so why does the opening track feature robotic, emotionless vocals and endless electronic beats and synths? Ok it's called "Bionic" but I expected robotic background noises but soaring Christina vocals in the foreground. The second track, however, is excellent; "Not Myself Tonight" is a fantastic first single; no complaints there. Sadly one of the few tracks in which Christina makes the full use of her vocal abilities. It's edgy, catchy, making good use of electronics but with the latter not overpowering the song. Although I'd be more likely to think Christina wasn't herself if she wanted a quiet night in! The next few songs, I have to say, I find dull. "Woohoo" is repetitive and drags on; "Elastic Love" is catchy but uninspiring; "Desnudate" is ok, but you just feel someone far less talented could just as easily have sung it.
"Glam" and "Prima Donna" are better, and I would say, enjoyable, but I'm still not massively excited. After that it improves again; "Morning Dessert" and "Sex For Breakfast" are surprisingly good, with sweeter, softer vocals; very sensual. I'm beginning to like it at last. "Lift Me Up" is a massive standout; captivating, brilliant, exhilerating vocals; finally I remember why I got so excited about this album; finally I realize why I rate her so highly. The next two songs, "All I Need" and "I Am" are pretty; sensitively sung, the former being a moving lullably, but just somehow not outstanding. "You Lost Me" is a haunting song; once more the old Christina shines through. On the final three songs, however, she sounds more like a cheerleader; and while that might be quite fun, it still isn't the Christina I became a fan of.
This album is supposedly influenced by Lady Gaga and I am not a fan of her; I listened to one half of the first track of "The Fame" on Spotify and that was all I could bear; this Gaga-influenced album is not unbearable because Christina is a 10 000x better singer than Gaga. But while there are some enjoyable and funky beats, some melliflous vocals on this album, there are only about three or four songs that I can really latch onto; really relate to; which is ok, but just a little disappointing to me when I think there were so many timeless and almost epic songs on Back to Basics; "Make Me Wanna Pray", "Ain't No Other Man", "Slow Down Bably", "Understand", "Hurt", "Lord Have Mercy On Me", "Save Me From Myself" and "The Right Man" - and there were more! Now I realize that Christina is very open and very comfortable with her sexuality and was looking to show her naughty-but-nice personality in this album; but I felt she did that on Fighter and Back To Basics without ramming her sexiness down our throats and without resorting to swearing and obscene lyrics. Has she heard the phrase "less is more"? This applies to songs as well as fashion. Olivia Newton-John on the "Physical" album sang sexy songs without being graphic.
Christina is still brilliant; still amazing and that still shows on this album. People have said she doesn't need to "oversing" but for me using what you have and what makes you stand out is not oversinging. For me on previous albums almost every song (though I hate "Dirrty") demonstrated that she was a completely extraordinary talent. On this album you have to search for signs of that rare genius she possesses.
on 22 September 2010
I've been a fan of Miss Aguilera since her beginnings and I feel I've grown up with her. I loved her debut and thought Stripped was incredible. Back To Basics was too long but had some fantastic tunes hidden in its super long play length.
So then came Bionic and at first I was horrified. Where had this incredible artist gone? In the place of the mind-blowing ballads and clever catchy songs was a vacant, shallow mess.
Not myself tonight led me into a false sense of security. I found the rest of the album sounded nothing like it. However I persisted, thinking something must eventually grab me.
Took me 5 listens to get into it. In a similar set up to Back To Basics, this album is too long (20 tracks and 3 interludes!!!) and suffers a severe identity crisis. There are too many styles competing for attention. All the ballads are crammed in the middle instead of being spread out.
There are some songs I love, the two singles, Not Myself Tonight and You Lost Me. The latter being a stunning ballad. The second disc adds some fantastic songs which should have replaced some of the junk on the first disc - Monday Morning, Birds of Prey and Stronger Than Ever. I Am and I Am (stripped) is an example of Aguilera at her best.
There are some songs I cannot stand - Bobblehead on disc 2 being so dreadful I couldn't listen to more than 30 seconds of it along with Vanity, and Sex for Breakfast.
I hated woohoo at first, the lyrics are awful, but I can listen to it. Bionic, Elastic Love, Desnudate, Prima Donna, All I Need and Lift Me Up are passable songs. Not the best, but definitely not the worst.
The main put off for this album is the ridiculous song titles - I Hate Boys for example. Christina, you are a fully grown woman and mother, not a 14 year old girl. I Hate Boys has a quite a good hook when you get into it but it's another one to ignore the lyrics.
If I were to cut it into a more chewable piece my play-list would look like this:
Not Myself Tonight
You Lost Me
Lift Me Up
Birds Of Prey
Stronger Than Ever
11 tracks, 45 minutes running time, and much easier on the ears and concentration span.
This album is hit and miss. I agree with other reviewers, the only way to decide if its your thing is to listen yourself. You will probably find a few songs to your liking but it doesn't take away from the fact this is Aguilera's weakest album to date.
on 12 June 2010
There are really three albums here. A generic electro-pop album can be found on tracks 1, 2, 7, 8, 16 and 17. An interestingly eccentric electro-pop album can be made from tracks 3, 4, 5 and 18-21. And an album of ballads with a more organic, less synth based sound can be found in the middle of the album over tracks 9-15, 22 and 23.
By far and away the most interesting stuff is the oddball electro-pop songs. They are almost weird and strange enough to rival Lady Gaga. Due to record company intervention (or something) most of these tracks ended up on the bonus disc instead of on the main album itself. So for perhaps the first time ever the deluxe version is authentically worth buying. If you buy the standard version then you're not getting many of the best songs.
1. Bionic (5 out of 10 stars)
Middle of the road electro-pop of zero distinction. Lady Gaga has nothing to fear.
2. Not Myself Tonight (6 stars)
Nice use of swearing. Has a decent big beat to it but it's not as heavy and brutally no prisoner taking as it should be. Unremarkable and workmanlike.
3. Woohoo feat. Nicki Minaj (8 stars)
Eccentric song about oral sex with a good sample of the title repeated throughout. Not subtle but effective. Lyrically pretty bold.
4. Elastic Love (9 stars)
Lyrically very eccentric and musically rather odd. A very interesting song. The best song on the album. Apparently the word "spastic" doesn't have offensive connotations in America.
5. Desnudate (7 stars)
Strong track with some foreign language vocals and what sounds like a horn section. Lyrically suggestive of something kinky.
6. Love & Glamour (intro) (5 stars)
Pointless spoken word intro to the next song. Why it's sequenced as a separate track I have no idea?
7. Glam (6 stars)
Lyrically a bit girly for my tastes. Musically perfectly fine but not particularly memorable or notable. Rather indifferent overall.
8. Prima Donna (4 stars)
By numbers electro-pop. Bland and lyrically very uninspired. Filler album track.
9. Morning Dessert (intro) (2 stars)
The album drops the electro-pop direction and turns into an album of more organic sounding ballads. This is a horrible mid-tempo track that has a start and then just stops. Pointless filler. It sets up the next song but it's not as if Sex For Breakfast needs to be set up with an overture.
10. Sex For Breakfast (4 stars)
Lyrically connected to the previous song. Tepid lightweight R&B that reminds me of Vivian Green (shudder!!). Not very interesting musically or lyrically. Harmless.
11. Lift Me Up (1 star)
I'm sure it's all very competent etc but I thought it was drippy clichéd BS. Music created to the big ballad formula. All soul but without any trace elements of soul. Terrible.
12. My Heart (Intro) (1 star)
Spoken word crap. Why do musicians think anyone cares that they had a kid? Kate Bush pushed her kid at us on the mistaken belief that everyone was fascinated. At least Christina hasn't built songs around her kid (as far as I can tell) and instead restricted most of it to this track.
13. All I Need (2 stars)
Dumb lyrics put to electro-pop is fine, but dumb clichéd lyrics put to slower piano music is just not on. At least it's fairly short.
14. I Am (6 stars)
Wow, a ballad with a pulse! Musically decent but the lyrics are a bit so-so.
15. You Lost Me (4 stars)
I can't work up any enthusiasm for this mid-tempo ballad. All a bit insipid but at least it has some sweeping loud parts.
16. I Hate Boys (7 stars)
The album now reverts back to electro-pop after that long run of back to back ballads. This is a solid but unremarkable song.
17. My Girls feat. Peaches (7 stars)
Has a more convincing electronic beat to it than the previous song.
18. Vanity (8 stars)
A strong, interesting song. The lyrics are easy to interpret as arrogant, but I think she's aware of how over the top they are and is in on the joke at her own expense.
19. Monday Morning (8 stars)
Strangely restrained, laid back electro-pop. A strong confident song with an easy unforced charm to it.
20. Bobblehead (9 stars)
Very eccentric dissing song. Nice (for us) and nasty (for the subject). As it's probably the second best song this should definitely have made it onto the main album. Reminds me of the song Hollywood by Marina and the Diamonds.
21. Birds Of Prey (8 stars)
Strong song with a more epic, expansive feel to it then Christina usually aims for.
22. Stronger Than Ever (7 stars)
Up-tempo ballad that's much, much better than any of the ballads that made it onto the proper album. Even the lyrics are fine.
23. I Am (Stripped) (6 stars)
Solid alternative mix of a song that's on the main album. The differences don't seem all that important so I have no hardcore opinion on what version is best.
It's a bit of a mess and way overlong for a pop album. If ever there was an album designed to be played around with using iTunes playlists then this is it. Perhaps they never even expected anyone to play it from start to finish after the first week of purchase. Personally I find it odd that they sequenced all the ballads back to back, which almost makes it feel like they've plonked a whole separate EP of ballads into the middle of an electro-pop album.
I like to make EP playlists out of some albums on my iPod. Tracks 3, 4, 5 and 18 made the cut (I've deliberately ignored the bonus disc for this).
My alternative 10 track 40 minute album version:
4. Elastic Love
17. My Girls
19. Monday Morning
21. Birds Of Prey
22. Stronger Than Ever
Do not buy the single disc version. The bonus disc is not just rubbish studio off-cuts. Some of the best tracks are on there.
on 23 June 2010
Well there are some really great songs on this album but a lot of them are just fillers. The album kicks off with the electronic bionic which has a good chorus but the rest of the song is pretty crap. Not my self is a bit better but the next 2 songs just sound dreadful. Desnudate is OK but to be honest it could be sung by any female singer and it would sound the same. Then we're introduced to the next part of the album. The next 2 songs are a bit better but nothing special. Then theres yet another intro and the next songs play-Lift me up is truly amazing and sex for breakfast is fairly good. Then we get another intro which seems to inrtoduce us to the better songs on the album. All I need is a truly chilling ballad, I am isn't anything to rave about though. You lost me is fantastic. I hate boys and My girls (featuring peaches) are great songs that are electronic but you know it's Christina while most of the other electronic songs on this album could be sung by anybody. Vanity is a fantastic way to finish off and has a very Christina feel to it. The album does have some great songs but much of it is lacking. Christina has a fantastic voice so she should use it rather than wasting it on songs like woohoo.
on 31 May 2010
Ok first of all I would like to point out I HAVE heard the album in full and I believe I can review this album. Ok so I CAN listen to this album from start to finish which just shows how incredible this album really is and its a shame that she has been unfairly comapired to Lady GaGa so please dont let the gossip sites and hard core lady gaga fans influence your decision to buy/download the album it treuly is a pop masterpiece. From Slow amazing ballads to up tempo fun dance songs it has it ALLL. Best album to date(and that says alot!) Thanks
on 18 June 2010
Christina Aguilera is well known for reinventing herself. She's gone from sweet teen pop princess ('Genie in a bottle' and her early pop-y hits) to raunchy in-your-face young woman ('Dirrty' and other songs on 'Stripped') and then to a smooth "back in the day" sound with the entire 'Back to Basics' album. This latest offering is yet another twist in the tail.
Very now, very fresh and full of electro beats, it's good to see Christina trying something new. She's clearly going for a more fun, wild style than on her previous two albums, which by and large had quite a serious feel to them. Some fans may be disappointed that she doesn't always use her voice as impressively as she could - indeed a few of the tracks could have been sung by any pop/ R&B artist. Don't fret though, as there are some really catchy songs on this album, and several of them do showcase her voice in all its glory. Personally I think it's good that she's trying out a new style and not always doing her trade-mark "warbling". Every artist needs a bit of variety and range in what they do.
The other different thing about Christina's new sound is that she has upped the adult content a heck of a lot! Whilst she has often alluded to sex in her songs in the past, she has never been as frank and forthright as on this album. She also swears a lot. This seems to be part of her "franker-then-ever" image and certainly reflects what a lot of current artists are doing.
I would definitely recommend buying this album. It's something quite different from Christina, and very current too. This is definitely one album where it is worth getting the deluxe addition, as the extra songs are some of the best. There are a few tracks which are not super-amazing, but overall there is some great innovation and some really catchy songs. Do yourself a favour and listen to it a few times before making your mind up, as some of the songs are quite different and may take a while for you to get in to.
Here are a few notes about my personal impressions of each of the songs. I have not commented on the skits/ intros to songs.
1. Bionic - This feels more like an intro top the album to me. Nice electronic sound, a bit empty though.
2. Not Myself Tonight - This song is in the same vein as "Dirrty" - an in-your-face song about going out, getting a bit wild and having a good time. The sound is totally different from "Dirrty", but Christna's fabulous vocals are still there. Not outstanding, but it grows on you, and it's a good introduction to her new sound.
3. Woohoo - Aguilera, Christina & Nicki Minaj - Cheeky, naughty song. Quite catchy, and although the chorus is rather repetitive it works. Definitely makes you want you move your feet! Nickin Minaj's rap near the end is brilliant, getting progressively more breathless and delirious as she goes on.
4. Elastic Love - MIAs influence on this song is pretty clear. Innovative and unusual but very good, with quietly clever lyrics. One of the stand out songs on the album for me.
5. Desnudate - Sexy song with some Spanish lyrics. It has a really good beat to it, and I can imagine it being a hit in clubs.
6. Love And Glamour - Filler
7. Glam - A girly song about fashion. I'm not too big on fashion myself, and I found the song a little bit too girly, but it's not bad. I think one of the other commenters compared it to Madonna's "Vogue", and I can definitely see that. There's a little bit of powerful vocals from Christina near the end that lifts the song from being too mundane.
8. Prima Donna - Reminds me a little of a couple of songs off Rhianna's album 'Rated R'. A stompy, shouty declaration of independence and being a powerful woman.
9. Morning Dessert - Filler
10. Sex For Breakfast - Smooth R&B song for lovers. Some of the lyrics make me cringe a bit, as they sound a bit like a parody of over the top R&B love songs designed for "making lurrrve to".
11. Lift Me Up - Half sorrowful, half hopeful, this is a quietly beautiful ballad. It feels both uplifting and sad, which is a combination I like.
12. My Heart - Filler
13. All I Need - Apparently this is about Christina's love for her son. It's a bit too sweet for me - I prefer love songs with a more melancholy tone.
14.- I Am - Delicate and beautiful ode to giving yourself over completely to you lover. Sweet, and a good showcase for Christina's beautiful voice in its soft and gentle form.
15. You Lost Me - A beautiful, mournful song about the sad end of a relationship. This is one of my favourite songs on the album. Christina's voice is absolutely stunning on this - full of emotion. Be sure to get on you tube and watch Christina singing this live, it's amazing.
16. I Hate Boys - The first of three fun and upbeat songs in a row. Very catchy, and full of girl power! You'll be singing along in no time, and probably stomping your feet too.
17. My Girls - Aguilera, Christina & Peaches - A catchy fun song with a girl power punch and a big slice of funk. I like the song a lot, but Christina's vocals aren't very distinctive.
18. Vanity - I think it's fair to say that Christina has her tongue firmly in her cheek here, as she sings about how much she loves herself. Slightly outrageous, catchy and fun.
1. Monday Morning - Laid back, funky tune with a bit of a retro feel to it. Vocally not very impressive, but it's something quite different for Christina, and it has an effortlessly cool sound.
2. Bobblehead - Funny, catty song about girls acting dumb around boys. Christina raps throughout this song.
3. Birds Of Prey - Haunting, beautiful song with an electronic sound and a bit of synth. Really different, but I love it - should probably have been on the first disc and released
with the standard album
4. Stronger Than Ever - Reminiscent of some of the songs on the album "Stripped". This is a mournful but defiant anthem of a song.
5. I Am - Like the one on the first disc, but more pared down. I actually prefer this cut.
on 10 August 2010
THIS ALBUM HAS VERY OK SONGS ON IT, AND THESE ARE THE BALLADS IM TALKING ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE SOUNDS A MESS, THE SONGS SOUND A MESS AND VERY POOR PRODUCED WHICH IS SUCH A SHAME SHE HAD SUCH A AMAZING VOICE AND STILL THINK SHE DOES BUT WHY GO DOWN THE ELECTRIC POP WHEN SHE CAN BELT A BALLAD...THE BALLADS ARE VERY DISAPOINTING THO CONSIDERING TO WHAT WE KNOW FROM A CHRISTINA AGUILERA BALLAD I HOPE THIS ISNT THE END FOR THIS DIVA...WITH POOR RECORD SALES AND ALBUM REVIEWS I FEAR IT MAY BE.....BRING BACK THE OLD CHRISTINA!