Christina Aguilera – Bionic
June 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
The only reason I’m writing about this album is because surprisingly I don’t hate it as much as all the critics had me thinking I would. I’ve heard very few positive things said about the record, so I was expecting to dislike it from start to finish. However, at least a couple of positives can be found amongst all the rubble…
It can’t be denied that there are some AWFUL numbers on this album. The length is a major contributing factor here, it comes in at 79:04!! (Without including the 5 bonus tracks found on the deluxe edition!) That’s over twice the length of some pop albums; many of those contain filler tracks so you can imagine what Bionic is like. ‘All I Need’ is your typical Christina ballad, but lacking any of the punch or passion found in ‘Hurt’ or ‘The Voice Within’. ‘I Am’ and ‘You Lost Me’ fall into the same category; her vocals are impressive as always but placing these three together in the track-listing induces nothing but boredom. ‘Sex For Breakfast’ is nothing short of one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. It’s a slow track that tries to come off as sensual and passionate, but with lyrics like “Soon I’m gonna feel your honey drip, my juices start to flow” it sounds more like something you’d find on a R’n’B ‘Songs To Grind To’ compilation, or as lounge music in a strip club.
The album as a whole reminds me strikingly of Jennifer Lopez’s This Is Me…Then. You remember that right? It had the brilliant pop gems ‘Jenny From The Block’ and ‘All I Have’ but went all creepy and bizarre when she started singing long, drawn out love poems to Ben Affleck (“I love you, you’re perfect, a manifestation of my dreams..” Good god). Bionic does the same thing, it’s like everyone got bored halfway through and stopped putting effort in. Which does mean, however, that there are a few tracks where someone did give a rat’s ass.
Opener ‘Bionic’ has some great elements to it, taking the mechanical theme of the album’s artwork and working it into the production. The beats are rough, the vocals are choppy, it has a weird funk/reggae vibe to it. ‘Woohoo’, featuring Nicki Minaj, brings back some of the attitude Christina displayed back in the day when she teamed up with Lil’ Kim, and whilst the lyrics may be frivolous, it gives off a great vibe. ‘Lift Me Up’ is yet another balled, but this time the attempts at empathy almost work (probably because it was penned by Linda Perry), with Christina’s soaring vocals tugging at your heart strings. In a similar fashion, ‘I Hate Boys’ evokes emotion, although here it’s of the unpleasant kind as you find yourself chanting along before stopping to ponder if you really do hate boys. This one is a grower, on first listen it sounds childish and naive, but give it another chance and the instrumentation will have you hooked (although not for that long). And that’s about it. Tracks such as ‘Prima Donna’ and ‘Desnudate’ have few redeeming qualities, and ‘Elastic Love’ and ‘Glam’ have even fewer.
Overall, Bionic is somewhat a puzzle of an album, which leaves you wondering exactly what Christina was trying to do. The beginning and end of the album have attitude, punch and energy, whilst the (very lengthy) middle does nothing but make time pass very slowly. Having said that, if you don’t pay too much attention it’s a relatively enjoyable album. Play it in the background, don’t listen too closely, and you might even end up liking it.
Listen to Bionic on Spotify HERE.