If you're like me - if you despise the number of moronic "artists" who churn out the blandest of music but nevertheless rocket to the top of the charts - then "Stripped" is a must-have. I have been a fan of Christina Aguilera's voice for some time, but I was more than a little disappointed with her self-titled debut; I knew she could do better. And now she has. Jettisoning the catchy-but-empty pop of her early days, Aguilera has brought forth the real person behind the image, and real music back into the pop scene. Besides the fact that every single song on this album is worthy of Christina's incredible voice, you would be hard pushed to find a more raw, emotional album than "Stripped". Just listen to "I'm OK", the creepy account of a childhood plagued by an abusive father, and try not to be moved. It's impossible. It must be said that there is a dark undertone running throughout "Stripped", which may turn a lot of younger people off; most of the songs are about as bright and happy as a funeral, but that's what makes this album so great. Christina is one of those long-lost divas; she sings the blues because she's had them... frequently. But that's not to say she wallows in self-pity; "Keep On Singing My Song" sees her deciding to ignore the critics, get through the pain of the past and move on with life, while the raunchy "Get Mine, Get Yours" and club anthem "Dirrty" complete the dance numbers but still retain a level of quality not seen in the rest of today's so-called R&B tracks. If you are still unconvinced, then just listen to "Walk Away" - a sexy, melancholy song about the pain of breaking away from a harmful relationship. This is true blues, and it puts the numerous R&B pretenders (e.g. Justin Timberlake, Beyonce Knowles) to shame. Congratulations, then, to Christina Aguilera, Scott Storch, Matt Morris and Linda Perry for creating a heartfelt CD that hasn't left my player since October. Even though she has already shown a maturity beyond her years with "Stripped", I'm sure Christina will continue to grow... and I'll be first in line for the next album.