>There was a time when acts like Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce were the newbies in the industry. Now with the Rihanna’s, GaGa’s and Bieber’s taking over as the new breed, those former newbies are all transitioning into either Living Legends or Faded Stars. At this point, Christina Aguilera is somewhere in the middle and her new album “Bionic” doesn’t seem to do much to push her towards either side. The album is by no means a Bad album, but it’s not exceptionally Good either. The first problem is that the album is way too long at 18 tracks (the deluxe edition extends that to 23 tracks), so as a whole it’s not an easy listen. Fortunately the good outweighs the bad (“My Girls” “I Hate Boys” and a few of the lifeless ballads), and when it’s good it’s Great! Aguilera molds her voice to the various genres included on this album. The Electro-Punk-Dance supplied by producers John Hill and Switch are some of the best on the album, “Elastic Love” and the title track are great examples of Aguilera stretching and shifting her power house vocals into an almost unrecognizable style that completely suits the production. Even when she goes into Latin-Dance (“Desnudate” a KILLER track that should be the next single — should have been the FIRST single) Dance-Pop (“Glam”) and island influenced R&B (“Woohoo”) her voice provides the power without going overboard. And the choice ballads “All I Need” “I Am” and the albums best song “Lift Me Up” are among some of her best, but also show some vocal growth and maturity.
And than there’s the bad which, truth be told, aren’t bad enough to ruin the whole album but just play as unnecessary filler. The aforementioned “I Hate Boys” and “My Girls” sound like a desperate attempt to make something catchy for the radio, while “You Lost Me” and “Sex for Breakfast” sound like they could have been included on previous Aguilera albums (“Back to Basics” and “Stripped” respectively). After listening to over 90 minutes of music, the final result is a little lukewarm. And given the songs available on the Deluxe edition (“Monday Morning” being the best of the 6 tracks), it seems like the album could have been perfect If her or her label knew how to appropriately edit the album down. Leaving her with just an okay, somewhat uneven album. It definitely doesn’t push her any higher into the Living Legend circle, but it’s still good enough and shows enough promise to assure she still has a good place in the industry among her peers.
Oh and another thing. I’ve actually compiled my own tracklisting of the album and have been listening to it exclusively ever since. The reason being, this album is horribly sequenced. It feels like it could have been split into two albums like her last album “Back to Basics” and worked better, but she goes from R&B/Hip Hop to ElectroPunk to Latin Dance, and than from Emotional ballad to Disposable Pop Trash (“You Lost Me” into “I Hate Boys”) the album on the whole becomes a bit of a mess. I edited and have created (in my mind at least) a far superior version of the album. And I’m sure other listeners can do the same.