“I Don’t Even Care What the World Thinks ’bout How I Sound”: Christina Aguilera’s Lotus

After waiting for 2 years, Christina Aguilera has finally released a new album, Lotus. I bought it yesterday and I’ve been listening to it since then. I was very curious to see how she reacted to the post-Bionic, but I had no expectations: I just wanted to take the time to listen to it carefully and to savour each song. In the past few weeks some tracks leaked but I was able to steer clear from them; it was hard to resist, but I’m glad I waited until I had the cd in my hands (you know, my old-school attitude). Besides the tracks (I’ll speak about them at the end of this post), my attention focused on the booklet, featuring pictures by the fashion photographer Enrique Badulescu, and on what she wore in it. Here are some details.

I love these two pictures: Christina looks so heavenly here! Unfortunately, they aren’t included in the booklet.

The outfits sported by the American singer in the pictures are very simple, featuring black leather and chiffon, touches of pink and lots of sparkle. Since I’m a bit obsessed with her hair (I’ve complained about it so much!), let me tell you I’m in love with her hairstyles here: I like the pink curly one, but I prefer her with pink straight hair. The make-up is very natural and light, and no red lipstick in sight! In the picture above she’s wearing a pink ripped tank top, crystal-embellished fishnet stockings and black boots. Jewellery has a central role in the whole photoshoot and somehow echoes the mood of Your Body music video, because she wears some of the pieces seen in the video. Two of them are the brass and crystal heart-shaped ring by Lanvin and the Frostbite crystal bracelet by Erickson Beamon, paired to two spiked cuff bracelets.

Another echo from her music video is this fitted beach dress by Mark Fast, reminiscent of the knitted black number worn in the scene set at a drugstore. Here she’s sporting a curly hairstyle and wears two bracelets and a cuff.

Pink curly hair and a black leather biker jacket are a match made in heaven and are paired to funky jewellery by Glynneth B – spectacular razor-blade spiked earrings and the Loop the Loop ring with central cubic zirconia stone which she also wore in the video.

In this sexy picture Christina is wearing only fishnet stockings and a lace top, plus spiked suede heel-less booties by Giuseppe Zanotti and a spike and chain bracelet by Glynneth B.

In this pink-themed picture she wears the Erickson Beamon bracelet again, along with the dramatic Madame Sin necklace by Glynneth B, featuring multiple chains and spikes.

I love these pictures, where she’s wearing a black chiffon dress and a statement piece of body jewellery by Giuseppe Zanotti, previously worn by Beyoncé in her Rule the World (Girls) music video.

This last picture focuses on lovely crystal-embellished sunglasses by Mercura NYC, paired to the fishnet stockings/lace top combo. You may remember she sported two sunglasses by the same brand in Your Body music video.

I like all the outfits seen in the booklet: they’re sexy but not trashy, nor aggressive, and I think they perfectly mirror the playful atmosphere of the album. I am no music critic and I’m always partial to Christina, but here are my impressions on Lotus. I listened to it this morning while driving to school and on my way back; when I got home, I read some online reviews which expressed mixed feelings. Some said this is a confused record, where lots of different styles and suggestions mixed without any logical order; others said that she released a mainstream dance music record, so as to gather the attention she didn’t get with Bionic. I’m not saying this album is perfect (what’s the point of a perfect album?), but I don’t agree with any of these points of view. It’s true that her voice has changed a lot since her debut, and it’s true she’s surely trying to appeal to younger generations, but I see Lotus as a honest album, full of great, radio and dancefloor-friendly tracks, with a couple of pearls thrown in for good. Furthermore, one of the reasons I like it so much is that it has been heavily influenced by 90s music, or at least this is my idea, and now I’ll explain you why. Here you can find my YES songs, along with NOT BAD BUT… songs and NO songs, and some comments.

YES: Lotus Intro (such a heartfelt introduction, with emotional lyrics), Army of Me (a great dance piece which reminds me of Fighter), Red Hot Kinda Love (awww, I love this one, such a playful track, so unusual for Christina; it reminds me of the Deee-Lite sound), Your Body, Sing for Me (amazing lyrics; Christina sounds smashing here), Blank Page (a track written with Sia), Circles (are we sure Trent Reznor didn’t work on this song? I read lots of harsh words about this track, but it’s actually one of my favourites), Shut Up (I can hear some 50s/90s influences here, like a doo-wop band meeting the Cornershop), Just a Fool (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to this duet with Blake Shelton and I’m glad it has been picked to be the second single; I can hear some echoes from 4 Non Blondes’ anthem What’s Up, even if Linda Perry didn’t work on this album).

NOT BAD BUT…: Make the World Move (the duet with Cee Lo Green is just ok, so much in his style, but kind of out-of-place for Christina), Best of Me (nice ballad but for some reasons it hasn’t impressed me), Empty Words.

NO: Let There Be Love, Cease Fire, Around the World, Light Up the Sky. These tracks seem to come from a dance music nightmare, where the trashiest Eurocontest and Italo dance songs meet. I wouldn’t have included in the album, and I don’t understand how Christina could even record them.

What about you? Have you listened to the album? Please share your comments, because sometimes I feel like the old lady who speaks to herself all the time😉

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