Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Christina Aguilera - Lotus (Deluxe)

The long anticipated return of Christina Aguilera is officially upon us. Rumors began circulating in mid-January about her comeback single being titled "Love Your Body." Turns out, rumors were almost correct when she unveiled her lead single "Your Body" in September. The single did anything but take off. With it's opening week sales, it saw its peak at #34 on the Billboard charts. From there it sunk on the charts. It only received mediocre reviews. Let's hope Lotus can live up to its name and endure these hard times. It is predicted to only sell 75k in its first week. Could these be the end times for Xtina?

Aside from the sales and airplay issues she's finding, the content of this album is actually great. The album is far more cohesive than Bionic was in 2010. A lot of the tracks are dismissible after a couple listens, but there are some that will surely become fan favorites for ages to come. Let's break down the track listing:
1. Lotus Intro - This intro really should have been considered a song, considering it has a run length of 3:17. It gets a bit repetitive, but I love the Lotus theme and imagery. All in all, it serves as a great intro, but is a bit unnecessarily long to be considered an intro. 7/10
2. Army of Me - Proclaimed as Fighter 2.0 by Christina herself, I had high hopes for this track and it definitely delivers. I love belting along to this track in the car and really can identify with it. Is it as good as Fighter? Hell no, but still a good song. 9/10
3. Red Hot Kinda Love - One of the dismissible tracks I referenced earlier. It's got a great beat and a real 80s pop feel. However, I feel the way she says "co-o-o-o-l" in the chorus kills the flow and breaks up the vibe. If she had done it in a smooth manner, this song could have been epic. Unfortunately, it comes across as simply mediocre. 5/10
4. Make the World Move (feat. Cee-Lo Green) - I did not anticipate liking this song at all. I have never been a fan of Cee-Lo Green. Thankfully, he doesn't have that big of a part. I love the message of this song and the overall feel of it. My favorite lines are "The time is now / No time to wait / Turn up the love / Turn down the hate." This song should definitely serve as a single. 9/10
5. Your Body - While I like this track, the first thing I have to say is what in the world was she thinking releasing this as the lead single? The song is good, but very reminiscent to me of Not Myself Tonight....and we see where that got Bionic. The video was cute, however, this album would be doing so much better if a different lead single had been chosen (and if she had promo-ed more). Overall, 6/10
6. Let There Be Love - The ideal choice for the second single. It's a good song that showcases her vocals, but not one of my favorites. The reason it should be the second single is that it is enough of the generic pop-dance garbage that the radio is eating alive right now. It would get her name back out there and rack up the airplay. 7/10
7. Sing for Me - I was absolutely FLOORED by this song. It brought me to tears on the first listen. This is the Xtina I know and love. Her vocals are killer and totally flawless. You cannot miss this one! 10/10
8. Blank Page - A nice ballad but has some issues. I feel there is no flow or rhythm to it. The lyrics are great and so are Xtina's usual. I just can't get into this song, but I respect it. 6/10
9. Cease Fire - When the snippets came out, I thought this would be one of my favorites, but now that I hear the full thing, it feels so forced. She seems to struggle to make the lyrics fit to the beat and the track itself falls flat. 4/10
10. All Around the World - I like this song and it definitely has a chance to smash the club. As much as I want to not like it because it feels generic, I catch myself jamming to it in the car. So, I have to give props where they are do. This falls a lot into the vein of Let There Be Love. 6/10
11. Circles - If you cannot get into this song, someone has obviously never pissed you off. This is an anthem to certain people in my life. I love how different the sound of it is too. The filter on her voice in the chorus does remind me of the Speak-era Lindsay Lohan in songs like Anything But Me. It's probably the most catchy song on the album. 8/10
12. Best of Me  - I like this track a lot for its lyrical content. However, as an English teacher, I have a problem with the line "you won't get the best of me no more." Every time I hear it, I mentally correct it to "anymore." I don't find myself listening to it all too much. It's a nice ballad but has nothing on Sing for Me. 6/10
13. Just a Fool (feat. Blake Shelton) - I would have loved for her to collaborate with someone who isn't on The Voice. It's tacky to only feature the two judges she hadn't previously worked with. However, this song delivers. It could easily become a country smash. 7/10
14. Light Up the Sky - A decent anthem and I respect the effort....but, by this point in the album, she's gone over the same thing at least three times. This one is a little flat. 5/10
15. Empty Words - There are no words for this song other than FLAWLESS. I am in love. Easily my second favorite on the album. I can't even point out the best parts of the song. The lyrics are phenomenal. Check this out! 10/10
16. Shut Up - It's campy, but, after some time, can grow to be amusing. I would have preferred they didn't do a tacky censor job on it. Maybe that was the point to make it campy. It's not like the album wasn't already explicit because of Circles though..... 5/10

I would like to personally thank Christina for leaving off the million little interludes she normally utilizes. The album is empowering and probably Christina's second best album, only second to Stripped. Make sure to check it out!

Overall average - 6.5/10


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