Deconstructing Christina Aguilera

15427__ca_lOverheard at PopWatch HQ this afternoon:

writer1: what should we write to commemorate today’s
release of Back to Basics? how about something like: ”Xtina, congrats on escaping skank-dom!”
writer2: who says she isn’t a skank anymore? don’t make her come to the 29th floor and prove it!
writer1: got a better angle?
writer2: i haven’t heard the new xtina, alas. so it’s quite possible she’s not a skank. but I still think there’s a skank within. or i hope there is!
writer1: that sounds like a good title for a post-feminist self-help book: the skank within"
writer2: LOL. and she had that song "the voice within"
writer1: i like that side of her too, but what i really like about her, as opposed to all the other pop tarts she came of age with, is that she can actually, you know, SING
writer2: yeah, that’s a pretty novel hook for a singer nowadays
writer2: but she’s also the xtina who not too long ago sang the words "What to do when the music starts to drop/that’s when we take it to the parking lot/And I bet you somebody’s gonna call the cops"
writer2: that’s skank!
writer1: the woman contains multitudes
writer2: ha!
writer1: i smell a doctoral dissertation: ”Genre in a Bottle: Dialectic and Discourse in the Works of Christina Aguilera”
writer2: sign me up
writer1: extra credit for defending your dissertation wearing a red pleather bustier
writer2: or a pair of chaps with your alter ego’s name spelled across the backside of your underpants
writer1: and double extra credit if you’re a guy

addCredit(“Christina Aguilera: Karwai Tang/Alpha/Globe Photos”)

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  • Tinah

    Disc one is totally forgettable, but D2 is a stunner! She can sing better than anyone that anyone has ever known. She hits impossible notes and sounds frankly un-human at times. What a talent. Christina is the only young person who could persevere on her talent alone, with no looks, clothing/perfume line, acting gigs, dancing or anything to pad her career. She would have the same amount of fans and luster if she was a big, fat nasty slob b/c her all of her appeal is in that hefty voice of hers anyways. My goodness, she sounds more like Mahalia Jackson. She’s certifiably more gifted than any of the other extention-twirling, hip-gyrating tarts on the charts right now. Their efforts are all simply beneath the sheer power of Christina’s voice. People can like/dislike whoever they want, but the whole world needs to concede that the best singing on the planet lies within the diaphram of this lil’ blonde vixen.

  • Scott

    Yawn. What a disappointment. I, for one, liked the “Dirrty” Xtina and find almost all the songs on her new album pretty uninteresting. I’ll admit I really don’t have a taste for jazz so that probably has a lot to do with it. But, since Ain’t No Other Man is one of the best songs on the album and I don’t even really like that, I’ll just wait to see if she goes back to pop on her next album.

  • Jesse

    I’ll always luv the dirrty days, the black hair was hot too but like everyone we change all the time and christina will always be a favorite of mine. The new album i think is great. its funny alot of what ive read some love disc one and some love disc 2, i side with disc one but like both in reality. the horns and hip hop vibe of disc 1 are awesome and not the cheesy forced hiphop i felt on cant hold us down. I LOVE slow down baby, it should be the next single unless shes gonna go with one of the balads if so i actually really like welcome which im surprised no one has called out in any reviews yet. other stand outs for me: make me wanna pray, bring it back, here to stay, the right man. i feel like this album has the hits and critical weight to it that it could turn out to be her “miseducation of Lauryn hill”

  • Jasper

    Okay so I’m glad she doesn’t go around look AS foolish as she used to but her hair is still waaaay too blonde. Also, if one more person says she can sing I’m going to blow a gasket. LOTS of people can sing. I wish that people would stop telling her that so maybe she’d actually sing instead of assaulting us with her voice. Ain’t No Other Man is a decent track but I’d have liked it better if it were done by Monica or Kelly Clarkson who in my opinion are better less ‘agressive’ singers. I don’t want to hate on Christina. I like a lot of her songs and I think she has a good ear for hits I just wish she didn’t try so hard. She is sometimes compared to Mariah (who is vocally in a whole ‘nother league!), but the real thing they have in common is trying too hard and looking desperate to be taken seriously. I’m glad she toned it down but she needs to take it down one more notch before I can call myself a fan.

  • Tinah

    Mariah is in a whole other league than Xtina: a lesser one! I won’t take people saying she can sing better than X b/c she can’t! She even lip synched a lot of her award performances. People who want Christina to tone down her vocals aren’t used to REAL singing or the classic artists Christina is paralleling with her latest cd. And Monica could not handle ANOM! Her voice is well tuned for that plain R and B groove stuff, but not a song made for a raspy, pyrotechnic vocal like Chris’ song. And Kelly is a worshiper of Christina-one of her minions-even she would tell you she couldn’t handle the vocal bravado Chris employed to pull off ANOM.

  • Me

    How about this Christina lyric: “The guy gets all the glory the more he can score/The girl can do the same and yet you call her a whore.” Thanks, writer1 and writer2 for encouraging the statute that females can’t discuss sex in their own music without earning a place in “Skankdom.” No one would berate any male in the entire rock, R&B, rap or hip-hop genres for being ten times more sexual than Christina has ever been. But it’s OK I guess: I’m perfectly comfortable listening to Hilary Duff and Carrie Underwood sing about Jesus all day.

  • jenna Von Oy

    “Me”…you act as if the writers are criticizing Miss Aguileria’s skankdom. It seems more like they’re celebrating it…As should we all.

  • exiene

    As a 38 yr old, which is ancient by pop standards, I find it hard to find new act or recent pop listenable, I suppose that was meant to happen at my age, I however agree with Tinah that disc 2 or Cristina’s album is some of the best work I’ve heard in years from anyone…period. I knew a lot of people freaked out over her last album and looks, but she was only 21 and all of us tried new looks and phases to find ourselves and I knew that when all was said and done, her talent was the one thing she wouldn’t sacrifice. She made this album to pay tribute to those that influenced her. Disc 2 of Back to Basics will be an album that will be looked to as an influence to young singers for quite a few decades, and I’m glad I’m old enough to see that!

  • Ed

    First of all Gary no offense but when doing an X-Tina article, as Valerie Charish said, “gotta get a gay Micky, gotta get a gay”.
    Where’s Sleazak?

  • jason

    disc 1 will grow on me, but disc 2 is a masterpiece. the last four songs alone are “album of the year” caliber songs. they are haunting and beautiful. a great experience.

  • Chris Richards

    The new album is great. Disc 1 is full of solid if not spectacuar songs that are mellow and fun, songs you can write to or enjoy with friends. But disc 2 will make yur friends go quiet and the keys stop typing. Excellent stuff from X-Tina, proving that Stripped wasn’t a fluke.

  • Blah

    Why is it empowering to be skanky? I don’t understand this whole “well, women can finally do what men can do!” mode of thinking. They can have meaningless sex and get STDs, too? AWESOME!
    I don’t see men wearing next to nothing and calling it empowering.

  • jon

    Whenever I see Christina Aguilera, I see an artist desperately trying to carve an identity for herself, with one never really sticking for too long. Teen Queen and Skankified Xtina worked for a little while but paled in comparison to Mariah, Madonna and when she was making music not babies, Britney.
    I don’t know if I can get on board with Jazztina. Something about it feels false, like, we get it, it’s kinda retro, you don’t have to beat us over the head with it. Plus, I’m not a fan of the blonde Christina putting herself alongside classic black artists like Ella Fitzgerald or Etta James, whom I don’t believe ever wore backless chaps (tho I could be wrong). I think the closest Christina’s been to finding an identity that works is “Beautiful” but that didn’t last long either. I may not like it but I just hope she stays with this image in respect to the musicians she “admires” and doesn’t dump this sound for something new.

  • Ned

    Sorry, I can’t stop looking at that picture long enough to read the article. Good God that woman is stunningly beautiful!!!

  • fagqua

    Hey Joh, you should be Christina’s new manager – Jazztina – LOVE IT!

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