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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Xtina is way way better than Britney, suckaz. Iƒ?TMm serious.

By Emma Gallegos

I’m hoping Back to Basics is going to be the album that will finally give Christina Aguilera a rep beyond the-girl-in-the-Mickey-Mouse-Club-with-pipes or even the-one-who-didn’t-marry-the-douchebag.

It’s that good.

While everyone else in the celeb world has been busy having babies who will undoubtedly need serious therapy, Aguilera has actually made the world a little better in creating the fraternal twin disc set that is her most recent concept album.

Because it’s all over the map musically, it’s tricky talking about the album in any general way, except to say that Aguilera is clearly at the helm as executive producer. It’s that voice and hip-hop sensibility (if not always the rhythms) that unify the album as she spans the best of the best across genres.

The first disc is full of the soul motifs and old school samples to a hip-hop beat that you might expect after hearing her single “Ain’t No Other Man.”

The second disc comes as a bit more of a shock with its creepy carnival “welcome-to-a-show” that spans the genres of Big Band, 50’s bebop and blues seamlessly.

It’s not perfect. Her lyrics are at their most brilliant when they’re provocative: “He’s a one stop shop, makes my cherry pop.”
But, as in her last album Stripped, they quickly devolve into nauseating sentimentality, when she goes into confessional mode. “The Right Man” is the worst offender: “Well I’m standing in the chapel/Ready to confess/That I’ve waited for this moment/With tears of happiness.” Barf.

But it is in the uncharted territory of genre experimentation and daring not to oversing for entire tracks that she makes her greatest gains.

Unfortunately, some of her most noteworthy efforts, especially on the second disc, will most likely not translate into Top 40 success.

In “I’ve Got Trouble,” her voice is distorted like a previously unreleased scratchy blues record, and her soft, breaking voice in “Save Me From Myself” will have you doing a double-take with your ears wondering if this is truly the singer who put the word “wooooa” in the dictionary. “Nasty Naughty Boy” is the musical embodiment of her new Marilyn-esque, red-lipped image: classed-up sex. To a swing-era Big Band, she croons that “I’m gonna give you a little taste/of the sugar below my waist/ you nasty, naughty boy.”

Not just an image, not just a scandal, not just a voice, Aguilera latest creation is a whole package (music included) that might just seduce you into forgetting she was ever anything but unrivaled- especially by oh, what’s-her-face Spears.

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