Saturday, January 09, 2010

'Bionic' Christina Set to Return Soon

As I mentioned before, 2010 is going to be a big one in terms of stratospheric female musicians returning to the forefront. Among them is my overall favorite female solo artist of my generation: Christina Aguilera. It's been three and a half years since I've had a new Christina album in my hands, with 2006's Back to Basics. While her 'Greatest Hits' conocoction dubbed Keeps Gettin' Better from '08 helped refuel the fire (that never truly died with me) kind of, there is no substitute for the real thing when it comes to my Xtina fix.

While several are quick to bemoan her long absences between records, I have to say that these musicians are not machines, especially not the ones who actually write their own material, and want to have a strong hand in how the songs sound, and drafting their plan of attack for the album's eventual release. I know the Christina versus Britney debate has been always in the back of people's minds, but at this point in their careers I really don't feel there is much to compare them with. I do not mean this as an insult, as I am aware that Britney does co-write some material, but I am firmly in the camp that Britney should not be cranking out albums (apparently, she also is due to release a new record in 2010 -- her seventh, if you can believe it) but instead should be focusing on her own personal well-being and happiness, as well as that of her two small sons. Partially one of the reasons why Christina has taken so long to come back to the music world was to immerse herself in her private life, what with her recent nuptials and the birth of her son, Max.

Just as Back to Basics was inspired in part by her new wedding life with husband, Jordan Bratman, and Stripped before it was inspired by her new-found opportunity to write and express herself away from her squeaky clean popstar image of her debut, Christina's fourth album, dubbed Bionic due to the use of several more "futuristic" sounds (lightyears -- bad joke? -- better than original surmised title Light and Darkness, in my humble opinion), is inspired in part by being a new mother to little Max. Christina also has recently stated that overall, the album will be much lighter, something she struggled with as a musician, as she "get[s] a little weird about it being too cliché". She also gives off a vibe of stating how she will not be relying as much on riffing (no more Melisma? boo!), because she has paid her dues and proved herself to be more than just a pretty face since her days as a post-Mouseketeer when she first debuted over ten years ago.

The album also sees experimentation with the heavy-hitters of the electronic-pop world, including Sia, Goldfrapp, Ladytron and Santigold, with production by some of pop's bigget names like Claude Kelly, Dr. Luke, Steve Morales and Tricky Stewart. The album will also see collaboration with a repeat offender in Christina's career -- Linda Perry -- who arguably is one of the few producers Christina has worked with consistently, and is very capable of pulling out some of her her most organic and emotional work (same goes with her work with P!NK).

I want to just state one thing quickly regarding the expected comparisons to Lady Gaga. Christina has been working on this record since 2006. It's been in the works for a long time. She has called to arms some of the very best in the business. This alone should give off the feeling that this project will be distinctly different that what almost any other contemporary mainstream artist has attempted to do in a mainstream way. Obviously, my love for Lady Gaga is very obvious on this blog and in my personal music listening -- I'm just hoping that Bionic puts the Gaga comparisons/rivalry to bed.

Now, aside from the Perry co-writes, I'm most interested in hearing the collaborations with Sia, and artist I've only recently (and far too belatedly) discovered and begun to appreciate. Four songs created by the pair are slated to be featured on Bionic, including a noteworthy (and according to Christina's upcoming interview with magazine Marie Claire, see above picture) and down-right tear-inducing work called "Lullaby", which was written by Sia, Christina and Perry. The first single is slated to be the Tricky Stewart-produced "Glam", which apparently harkens back to Madonna's "Vogue". While some hints to the project are not quite to my liking (the purported Flo Rida feature worries me, but considering I like so many of the songs in which he features by female artists, I'm not quite sure why), overall, this project is shaping up to be my most psyched for album of 2010.

Can you taste my salivation for this project yet? I sure can. (This should serve as a mild warning -- I am going to go slightly fangirly for this project as the promotion wheels begin to finally turn. Just saying.) Christina is unarguably one of the most consistent musical loves in my life -- I have loved all of her projects, from Christina Aguilera to Keeps Gettin' Better from beginning to end, and they fit like soundtrack pieces into my life. Considering my current foray into more electropop and electronic indie sounds, sounds like Christina will once again fit right in to my personal makeup. Promotion is expected to vamp up once Christina wraps shooting for her first main film role in Burlesque alongside Cher (which still kind of sounds like a gay dream I once had, but...oh well), and with the album expected to be in stores in March, that should be very soon indeed.

Are you psyched to go Bionic?


rcLoy said...

I am kinda pissed when she takes a dig at Gaga last year, but heck, I still love her songs. Faves: The Voice Within. Anyway, collaborating with Sia, Santigold and Goldfrapp really gets my attention. It's so diverse and eclectic mix of musicians, Bionic better be amazing or else! LOL.

BTW I just want to say Sia's Breathe Me is just breathtaking :)

J.Mensah said...

Ahh Mel you're gushing! You must be so excited.

Wow! We've never been so on the oppospite sides of the spectrum before. I guess were musical enemies until July! Lol... I mean hmph!

Mel said...

Loy - Word, but that was a different time really because in America, no one KNEW who Gaga was, and here was this girl with a pop sound that looked just like Christina Aguilera. I vividly remembering seeing promo pics of Gaga during that "Beautiful Dirty Rich" phase and was so confused because I wasn't sure if it WAS Christina or another girl. Haha! I'm hoping she isn't a bit too overeager with this project, but then again, I usually like everything she comes up with anyway. ;) Oh, and I saw that video you DMed me -- yeah, I've seen it. I think the general consensus is its Goldfrapp -- or a nobody trying to confuse us. Haha!

J - Haha! Imagine how happy you get when a new Britney record comes out and double it, seeing as Britney releases records far more often than Xtina does. ;) We may be frenemies in this regard, but I won't hold that against you. ;)

Myfizzypop said...

i quite enjoy Christina, didn't mind her pops at Lady Cuckoo and am generally quite excited for her new project. That says it all really :)

Aaron said...

Can't wait for it!

I'm rather looking forward to this year, but this one is one I'll definitely have to pay some extra attention too!

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