Showing posts with label christina aguilera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christina aguilera. Show all posts

Saturday, June 23, 2018

video review: 'liberation' by christina aguilera

And this was way better than I think anybody expected it to be - go figure - but we're still not done with the updates!

Friday, June 22, 2018

album review: 'liberation' by christina aguilera

You know, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised that this record got so many votes so quickly on my schedule - it's her first record in six years, and she does have songs that are fondly remembered - but I'll admit I still am. And to explain why, we need to talk about Christina Aguilera's larger career and try to place some of it in context...

And even then, it's a struggle. Like many of her pop peers in the late 90s, Christina Aguilera started out in the Mickey Mouse club before transitioning into more adult pop tunes, notable because she actually had the pipes to back it up and become a serious player in pop and R&B. And while she was praised for that voice which helped her become a serious hit-maker around the turn of the millennium, get closer and the story becomes a lot more tangled. Part of this was inevitable as the early 2000s did a serious number on the careers of 90s pop divas, but ever since the beginning Aguilera's larger career seems strewn with weird choices and miscalculations. A strong debut is followed by an attempt to jump on the Latin craze of the time a year later with a record entirely in Spanish. Her 2002 album Stripped shows the dichotomies even more starkly, with pivots towards R&B and soul with 'Beautiful', rock with 'Fighter', and even hip-hop, none of which reflected any consistency. Her 2006 record Back To Basics showed a course correction towards a more flashy, almost old-fashioned brand of pop with tracks like 'Candyman' - even hiring P!nk cowriter Linda Perry to help. But that highlighted the unfortunate reality that while P!nk might not have the same register, her writing and edge had been consistently stronger since her breakthrough around the same time - P!nk knew exactly who she was and could build the cult of personality Aguilera struggled to assemble. Meanwhile despite artists like Lady Gaga highlighting Aguiilera as an inspiration, we got 2010's disastrous Bionic and the underwhelming Lotus in 2012 - at this point Christina Aguilera was becoming more well-known for her work on The Voice than as an artist in her own right, to the point where I'm surprised she hasn't leveraged that spotlight to push an album earlier, although she's continued to pop up on singles like 'Say Something' from A Great Big World and 'Feel This Moment' from Pitbull. But now we have a new album, with a producer list spanning from Kanye to Jon Bellion to Anderson .Paak, with guest stars from GoldLink and 2 Chainz to fellow pop diva Demi Lovato - and say what you will about Christina Aguilera, she doesn't play it safe, so what did we get with Liberation?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

the top ten worst hit songs of 2013

It's that time again.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year where I take a look at the biggest hit songs of the year and pick out the top ten best and worst to the complete indifference of artists, producers, and fans alike! Sounds like fun, eh? Okay, let's get started, and I think the prime place to begin is at the absolute bottom: the top ten worst hit songs of the year.

First, some ground rules. For one, a song will only ever make the list if it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 Year-End chart this year. Of course there are holdovers I dislike from last year, but they had their chance to pop up on my 2012 list (which is available here). And I'm only choosing songs from this list - of course there were worse tracks that I covered in my album reviews, but I want to make the point that not only are these songs terrible, they're also impossible to escape throughout the year.

And here's another thing to keep in mind: for a song to reach my list, it has to actively annoy or irritate me, and simply being boring is often not enough to propel a song into my line of fire. The year-end charts are less aggressively bad than they are boring, and this year had that problem more than previous years, mostly because the indie boom lost momentum and mainstream radio had no idea what to replace it with. That means large tracts of this year were dominated by easy listening slow jams, interchangeable EDM, increasingly listless hip-hop, and a disco revival that came out of nowhere. 

But that's not saying there weren't songs that pissed me off, so let's begin by tackling some Dishonourable Mentions, shall we?