By Ali McCauslin
Christina Aguilera’s latest CD, a 2-disc set titled Back to Basics, is a mix of jazz, R&B, and pop. Taking a beneficial risk, Aguilera revamped her look and sound to make Back to Basics. Not only did she create a unique album, the petite pop dynamo also started a 40s-chic fashion trend! The CD’s booklet is glossy and reminiscent of a pinup girl magazine, with Aguilera in several risquÃ© poses. She shows in those pictures and on this album that though her image has changed, her provocative side is still thriving.
The first of the two discs is more R&B and contains the numerous love songs. Aguilera is plainly happy in love with her new husband and the lyrics show that joy. Some songs are particularly emotional such as “Oh Mother,” which discusses the abuse she went through earlier in life. Even so, most of the songs on the first disc are similar to one another making the CD sound repetitive. “Ain’t No Other Man” is entertaining and “Here to Stay” is decidedly sassy, but some of the songs are a little weak.
The second disc is where Back to Basics regained itself. The first track, “Enter the Circus” has an eerie Tim Burton-esque feel, complete with carnie music and a Ringleader promising, “Witness something you’ve never seen before/heard before, dreamt before/The most amazing show on earth!” Where the first disc was a little monotonous, the second has varying flair and style throughout. The overtly sexual tracks “Candyman” and “Nasty Naughty Boy” are playful, and “The Right Man” is strikingly poignant. Also, the second disc is enhanced with a documentary on making the album.
All in all, Back to Basics is fresh and fun; a much needed reprieve from typical pop.
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