Christina Aguilera Lotus Review: Not Bloomed

Christina Aguilera has a few things going for her that makes her a relevant part of the music industry; good looks and an amazingly powerful voice. However, when paired with the wrong people, that just isn’t enough. Her latest record, ‘Lotus,’ is a sad downplay on her talent, voice and preceding, chart-topping hits that kept this woman on top. For Aguilera, this flower wasn’t watered enough.

The intro, “Lotus,” is an honest tease. With a dubstep/pop tempo which is quite catchy, Christina tries to get you comfortable with the album’s genres, a combination of dance and pop woven into something that’s not her at all. The lyrics, though, deliver a testimony to strength, beauty and femininity as Christina compares herself (and probably other women) to a lotus flower, which in some cultures is a symbol of beauty and spirituality. This certainly ensnares the female fans as a relatable heart to heart, and that makes the intro a success.

A quick jump to the number six track, “Let There Be Love” and Aguilera gets the odds in her favor. This song, a dance track, actually works. A song about nothing else but lovemaking, Aguilera manages to capture attention with a powerful uptempo which gets you psyched and ready to bounce and lyrical repetition using her superior vocals with skillful shifts in tone, range and note. She actually manages to make this song work, makes it stand out as a competitor against other songs by artists who are beginning to jump on the dupstep bandwagon. The result is a lively track that should hit the clubs any day now.

The number seven track, “Sing For Me,” is both a thank you for fans everywhere and the reason Aguilera still sings, apparently. The song, a beautiful ballad, explains how important music is not only to Aguilera, but to the people it touches, her fans, her target audience. Christina’s voice is at its peak as she mercilessly belts out the lyrics, each word full of the promise to be heard. It has a mature, of age type of sound that suggests that Aguilera has found peace in who she is and what she does as well as encourages others to do the same. This song is a favorite and creates a flashback to 2002’s ‘Stripped,’ the album on which it belongs, where Aguilera’s public image was in question, where it seems she had the most struggle. This song may very well be an ode to that time and is the strongest track by far on the record.

The number 13 track, “Just A Fool,” is cute. A country-rock duet featuring fellow ‘The Voice’ judge country superstar Blake Shelton, the song shows two sides of a bad breakup and how bad either party misses the other, and questions the breakup. Other than the fact the song is entirely relatable, the intention of the collaboration was possibly purely innocent (or used to boost The Voice’s ratings), the song itself is unappealing by all counts. Aguilera’s strong, high octave voice leaves Shelton’s country rasp in the dust, coughing and wheezing. At some point, it even sounds like Shelton tries to keep up with Aguilera, with bad results. The progression is very soulful with a country-laden overtone, and while it may display Aguilera’s interest in a crossover should she choose, it doesn’t support Shelton as much as it should. A country singer given a run for his vocals and genre by a pop star only makes the song weaker and more of a joke.

The album was produced by a handful of people including Alex da Kid (Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Dr. Dre), Chris Braide (Aguilera, Lana del Rey, David Guetta) and was written primarily by Aguilera herself (for which she recieves a good amount of credit). It’s no surprise that ‘Lotus’ failed to bloom. Aguilera personally disappoints simply because she downgraded herself, her voice, her writing, hiding behind near-pathetic dubsteps and dance tracks designed for the teeny bops instead of growing with it. The voice of a seasoned singer doesn’t go with beats aimed at teens.

Had the album been more adult more suited to Aguilera now rather than then, the concept would’ve been satisfied, the entire structure would’ve been completely different.

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