|All Artists: Christina Aguilera|
Title: BIONIC - DELUXE (Explicit)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 6/8/2010
Genres: Pop, R&B
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
BIONIC - DELUXE (Explicit)
Genres: Pop, R&B
Deluxe edition includes five bonus tracks. 2010 release, the fourth studio album from the Pop/R&B diva. With 30 million albums sold worldwide and the prestigious honor of being the only artist under the age of 30 included ... more »
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Deluxe edition includes five bonus tracks. 2010 release, the fourth studio album from the Pop/R&B diva. With 30 million albums sold worldwide and the prestigious honor of being the only artist under the age of 30 included in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest singers of all time, five time Grammy Award winner Christina Aguilera has already achieved an unprecedented level of success. Bionic features songs co-written by Aguilera along with her much buzzed about collaborations including Sia, Tricky Stewart, Polow Da Don, Le Tigre, Hill & Switch, and Ladytron among others. The album also features a ballad produced and written by Linda Perry titled ;Lift Me Up'. The title Bionic reflects Aguilera's ability to take her range to new levels and use her voice in various ways never heard before.
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Don't Understand What All the Negativity Is About--Another S
Charlie B. | Washington, D.C. | 06/09/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Since this album supposedly leaked weeks ago, the buzz was not so favorable. I waited until the release today to take it in for what it was and, as expected, it just totally wasn't true. I don't know what people were listening to, or if they even know music enough and/or the delivery of the artist behind it, to jump to these conclusions.
The thing that divides Christina from many of her peers is the fact that she knows music--she gets it--and she knows how to craft an actual album. She's an artist, apparent in the way she reinvents her sound with every release. She takes her time, which is evident in the 3-4 year gap in between her projects. She researches her options and isn't afraid to 'go there,' which is why she rarely repeats producers and collaborators. You get that if you know music, you don't if you're more accustomed to what radio feeds you and content with the smoke and mirrors of the industry.
'Bionic' is a departure from 'Back to Basics,' and a slight throw-back to 'Stripped' only in fluidity and brass. Half of the album is a mix of dance-electronica-pop, which is the direction she hinted she was going in after the conclusion of the 'Back to Basics' era. The other, soul-adult-pop.
The set begins with the Switch-assisted 'Bionic,' which sounds like a left-over from a Santigold or M.I.A. album. It's different, probably more effective as just an album intro, but it definitely makes noise and grabs the listener. The lead single, which probably shouldn't have been her reintroduction to music listeners' ears personally, 'Not Myself Tonight,' is heavy on synths and bass, but it gets better if it alone left much to be desired. "Woohoo" featuring Rap's golden girl of the moment Nicki Minaj starts out eerie and stark before gaining momentum with the title on repeat through-out the entire 5 minute plus song. 'Elastic Love,' another Switch track, has an 80s electric-pop vibe and sounds like old Fannypack, but is exceptional nonetheless even if Christina doesn't do much singing. 'Desnudate' is another bold dance track with much Spanish/Latin influence musically as well as lyrically; Tricky Stweart works his magic for what sounds like something better suited for Shakira or a back-in-the-day Gloria Estefan. 'Glam' and 'Prima Donna' follow suit as Tricky continues to deliver a dance/house vibe that does the first half of the album justice.
The mood changes with the 'Morning Dessert' intro that should be in my opinion an entire track. Very R&B and soulful, a definite stand-out among all the other intros. It sets up 'Sex For Breakfast,' a smooth, mellow R&B jam where she channels her inner R. Kelly perfectly. Linda Perry provides her best and allows Christina to shine vocally for the first time on the album with 'Lift Me Up' which is a ballad and definite contender for a future single. 'All I Need' and 'I Am' are both lite, airy pop tracks beautifully concocted with the help of Sia. She provides even more depth to Christina's amazing tone with 'You Lost Me,' which she recently debuted on American Idol's season finale.
'I Hate Boys,' 'My Girls,' and 'Vanity' bring the uptempo/dance vibe back to the album with sassy lyrics and attitude, closing the regular album. The leftovers on the Deluxe Version are notables and should've been included as part of the original project. Santigold and Switch's 2 contributions, 'Monday Morning' and 'Bobblehead' show her versatility, one pop and the other flirting with Baltimore House and New York club music. 'Birds of Prey' is haunting and reminds you of a Bjork track while 'Stronger Than Ever' has a vocal arrangement that seems somewhat similiar to 'You Lost Me' as it was done by Sia/Sam Dixon. 'I Am (Stripped)' is an acoustic version of the original.
'Bionic' is a slightly stronger album than 'Back to Basics' in terms of drive and direction, but not so much vocally. Most of the dance tracks unfortunately are very busy and focus more on the beats as opposed to her voice. It's safe to say that any artist, especially one whose voice doesn't quite match Christina's range, could pull them off. I think this poses a problem to some loyal supporters, fans, and people who just admire her voice. I don't think however this is a waste of her talent and voice just because 50% of the album is not her belting out notes like we're so accustomed to, and just down right 'sangin'. It offers many singles for future promotion and a little something for every ear and every Christina fan. In terms of her revamped, sexed-up image and the comparisons, all I can say is she wasn't the first blonde-haired pop b**** to do this, and she won't be the last, so comparisons can go both ways if it's only on the surface. I just find it odd that she gets pitted against someone else who came out AFTER her.
With over a decade in the game to her name, I think it's pretty safe to say that Christina knows what she's doing, even if her harshest critics fail to realize it. The music speaks for itself."
A 79-minute identity crisis
Braden Pickering | Maricopa, AZ | 06/10/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While I've never considered myself a huge Christina Aguilera fan, I've always admired her ability to reinvent her image and her sound with each new record she puts out. From trashy bubblegum girly girl to classy burlesque babe, her voice and songwriting skills have proven she can successfully pull off just about anything. And that's why her latest album, Bionic has me scratching my head, because while it's obvious she's still very much a creative soul, I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what her mission is this time around. She throws a lot at you and none of it makes much sense when taken all together.
My main concern is why a mature woman (or so she seems in interviews and live footage I've seen) would intentionally dumb herself down with low-class garbage like "Woo Hoo," "Vanity," "Bobblehead" and a handful of other tracks that would better suit one of the other numerous young girls trying to break into the music industry (or the never-evolving Britney Spears). I'm all for strong women and speaking your mind, but find it ironic how she feels the need to whore herself out to get the message across. There's also a good amount of electronic voice effects, rapper guest spots, and crude lyrics, which isn't necessarily terrible, but in 2010 that approach has a very "been there, done that" connotation and is actually quite embarrassing coming from an artist like Christina Aguilera who generally is considered a visionary, not a follower. Even some of the better dance tracks, like "Desnudate" and "Not Myself Tonight" never fully amount to a distinctive, catchy melody and will probably require repeat listening to appreciate, though prove to be a lot of fun if you don't think too hard.
Where this CD really shines is the ballads, which Christina has always excelled at. On tracks such as "I Am" and "You Lost Me" we finally get to see the mother, wife, and HUMAN sides of Christina. She still knows how to put her voice on display in all its raw and powerful glory, thank goodness. The only downfall is that she puts all these slow songs together in the middle of the album and it can be rather sleep-inducing if listened to straight through. I'm sure others will disagree with me on this, but the TRUE highlight of the album is the bonus track "Birds of Prey." An ambient, haunting track with Arabic undertones, I would like to see a full-length album with this sort of influence in the future.
Anyway, I guess that just goes to show one advantage of having a 79-minute identity crisis - everyone should be able to find at least a song or two to really connect with. Variety is always a good thing. But unlike her previous releases, listening to the whole CD from start to finish is quite a struggle. Heck, even trying to write a halfway decent review of it has given me a headache, lol. In the end we'll have to assume that Bionic is the result of some inner need of the artist that we as listeners will probably never fully comprehend. The truth is, it's either a brilliantly ironic artistic statement that's flying right over most of our heads, or she just had no sense of direction whatsoever for this project. It's a thin line and I really can't say which might be more true. Go ahead and give it a try for yourself, because as polarizing as all the reviews are, that's probably going to be the only way to gain any real insight."
So When She Said "Futuristic," She Meant No Hooks or Melodie
Rudy Palma | NJ | 07/05/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
Christina Aguilera has a voice, but on "Bionic" the emotions never reach the surface. The album is also too long, with the vocals overprocessed in the mix.
Aguilera told producers she wanted a "futuristic" sound, but this collection of songs hardly sounds ready for George Jetson's iPod. What it is ready for is the bargain bin.
All who heard Aguilera perform Leon Russell's graceful, elegant "A Song For You" on the 2006 Grammy Awards and have worthwhile ears are aware that she can be a maddening pain to listen to. If a song is a delicate piece of crystal stemware, she too often takes it and smashes it to pieces, hammering the lyrics home by shouting and howling like a cat in heat.
Lead single "Not Myself Tonight" got the album off to a poor start for a simple reason - it was painfully clear to listeners that its suggestive theme and lyrics were contrived for shock value. A song that tries to be sexy or edgy cannot be sexy or edgy. The album is full of such hollow moments.
She undersells the breezy soft core porn songs such as "Sex for Breakfast" with tired, listless vocals. Listening to them is like sitting in the back of a theater and not being able to hear the actors on stage - you get restless and your mind wanders. She also thunderstorms her way through the few big ballads without an emotion in sight.
One exception is third single, "You Lost Me," which, despite Aguilera's invested, heartfelt vocal, is poorly constructed. Where she summons up the right mood to carry the song home, it falls apart in her hands because the melody is anonymous and boring. The song only lights up halfway through its playing time.
"Vanity" distills all the ugly truths about the generation that spawned "The Hills" into one (tuneless) pop song. It has to set a record of some sort. The Guiness people should look into it.
The title track best demonstrates why the album is a creative misfire. Aguilera's voice is buried heavily in a mix of swirling, angry, un-danceable beats and ridiculous lyrics. This CD is about heavy-handed production and texture, not about melodies, hooks, rhythm or even singing. Even the better tunes like "Elastic Love" and the Spanglish "Desnudate" drift by in any icy, chilly wash of sound. The hooks are barely there, so the songs rarely catch hold.
"Bionic" is musical Starbucks. It is packaged very well and looks great from the outside looking in. Then when you take a sip you realize there is nothing unique or personal to be found, and the stimulation comes and goes quickly. It is also too expensive for what you're getting.
Aguilera comes off as pretentious and out of her league here. She either wanders disinterestedly or howls with the cloying abandon of a fading burlesque star. Where she should sound confident and in control she sounds tentative and unsure, resulting in an album that tries very hard but seldom delivers."