Amanda B. (daymoth) from FORT SMITH, AR Reviewed on 9/3/2009...
Great album! As usual Ms. Aquilera's vocals are stellar and I'm loving the throwback beats she has going on here. This one's on repeat!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Johnathan S. from JACKSONVILLE, FL Reviewed on 2/23/2009...
ship this item
0 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Xtina's retro odyssey
rmcrae | Houston, Texas | 04/26/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You've gotta hand it to the girl. She never half steps when it comes to an image change. She started out as the bubbly blonde teen who proved she wasn't just another weak voiced pop starlet and then shifted gears into the 20 something bad girl who flashed her body to anybody who looked. Where to go from there? Back to the Roaring 20s of course.
While also listening to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston as a little girl, Christina's influences reach even further back in time. She sang along to her grandmother's old records of jazz/blues artists like Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Otis Redding and even performed B.B. King's classic The Thrill Is Gone at a local talent show. She wanted to show her appreciation to those performers by creating Back To Basics. Everything from the packaging to her donning red lipstick and a retro hairstyle makes that clear. Does she deliver? Yes and no.
The self absorbed intro is annoying ("There will never be another Christina Aguilera"), but all is forgiven on the high octane Makes Me Wanna Pray. Backed by a feverish choir, Christina praises the Lord for bringing her hubby into her life and takes "gettin' down" to a higher level. Marital love gets the spotlight, but it's never overboard. She name checks her influences on Back In The Day and assures her guy that he's the only one she needs on Ain't No Other Man. The doo wop shuffler Understand uses a great sample of an old blues singer, but I can't place the name. The blazing Slow Down Baby finds Christina telling an arrogant guy to back off because she's taken. I'm Ok on the Stripped album confronted the abuse Christina and her mom suffered from her dad, but Oh Mother is a piano driven dedication to her mother's strength and courage. We all know what the F really stands for in FUSS, a short brush off to Chrissy's former collaborator Scott Storch. Immature? Yes, but it sounds excellent! The scratchy On Our Way and sublime Without You offer more hubby love, but Xtina lets everybody know that marriage hasn't put her skankiness to rest on the cleverly arranged Still Dirrty. "Still got that freak in me!" The storm ridin' Here To Stay is a declaration that Ms. Dirrty is looking to stay in the game for the long haul. The Dedication to the Fans interlude starts out sweet with phone messages thanking Christina for helping them through tough times, but then turns into a "you're the best artist ever" worship service. Chrissy, no more ego trips!
Disc 2 opens with a circus theme and the Broadway-esque Welcome. The 40s swinger Candyman walks a fine line between campy and raunchy ("He's a one stop shop that makes the panties drop") and the cheeky Nasty Naughty Boy teases men to "sip upon my champagne" and "give you a little taste of the sugar below my waist". I Got Trouble authentically replicates 20s blues, sounding like a song Shug Avery from The Color Purple would belt out. Hurt is a BIG ballad lamenting the death of an estranged loved one and Mercy On Me is a merciful plead to be forgiven by God. I definitely agree Christina was channeling Fiona Apple on that one. Christina's powerhouse vocals are brought down to just above a murmur on Save Me From Myself, a song thanking her husband for sticking with her through thick and thin. Less really is more. The Tim Burton sounding The Right Man isn't bad, but I don't care for all the dramatics.
Good things first, this album is a winner. The first disc does a great job of mixing vintage soul with a modern twist and the second is more organic with live instrumentation. Now to the not so good things, the double disc should've been cut down to one. The first intro was pointless, but Enter the Circus would've been perfect in it's place. Christina's knack for oversinging pops up on a few songs, but she's come a long way since Stripped. Check it out!"
I love it
Phyllis Martin | Jasper, TX. USA | 08/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love that Christina paid homage to the stars of the 20-40's era. I love the music and each song tells a different story. I think she could of toned-down her vocals on some of the tracks. I love the outfits and colors in the booklet. I still think her Stripped album was better."
This is one of my personal favorite CD's
Ginger Blue Green | Green Bay, WI USA | 01/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD off of Amazon when it 1st came out (yes, a while ago) but some how managed to lose it when I moved (or maybe the ex stole it) anyways, I am going to order another copy because I miss it! It's a rare occasion when I do actually like every song on an album especially a two disc CD but this one I love. Who would have thought looking back to the "Genie in a bottle" days of the poppy turn on the radio & all you heard was Christina singing that horrible song & "Come on Over" that she would turn out to be such a terrific artist? Hey if you liked her back then sorry but I didn't. Some of the more upbeat songs I love on this CD are: Makes me wanna pray, Ain't no other man, & Still dirty. The three most heart filled & kind of sad are: Oh Mother, Hurt, & The right man. Bottom line even if you were never a Christina Aguilera fan before well, this album is a lot different than her other stuff. It combines pop, jazz, & dance together for a 5 star album!"
Christina Takes Us Back In The Day!!
Magali | 08/10/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love 1930's/1940's Christina!! Once again I daresay that there is nothing in this world that this woman can't sing! She actually made me want to be born in the 1930's or 1940's to enjoy this music. Who knew that someone born in 1981 would adore this music? I have never met anyone my age who listens to this genre of music, but I love it, and like I said before, Christina makes it even better. I listen to this album at least once a week because I don't want my CD to get damage and I always enjoy it from beginning to end, never skipping a track. Obviously all these songs are 10/10, and although I didn't suffer abuse from my father or any other father figure, because my father died when I was 6 and only my grandma raised me, Oh Mother makes me cry. Mrs. Kearns and Christina did not deserve that. They were always great people. I love Christina."