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November 12, 2012

In less than 24 hours, Christina Aguilera will release Lotus - her fifth studio album.  As a five time Grammy Award winner (among many other awards), there's no doubt this lady can sing her face off.  It's been a while since we've heard her though... sure we heard her on that Maroon 5 song and she took it to another level, but she has much more to offer. MUCH more. She gave an in-person sneak peak of the album several days ago (you can find it here) and from what I've heard, it's worth picking up tomorrow.
The deluxe edition has 17 tracks including the first single Your Body.  When I first heard this song, I wasn't sold on the dance/club direction Christina seemed to be going in BUT after listening to it a few times, I was hooked.  With her voice, it really doesn't matter what she sings.  However, what really sold me on the song was when she performed it with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (watch it here) and I prefer this version even with the makeshift office supply instruments.  I liked it so much that I re-tweeted the link days ago...
...Jimmy Fallon is hilarious.  As much as I hate to admit this, many children these days only know Christina as Xtina from The Voice (which makes me feel like a dinosaur since I remember when Genie in a Bottle came out and Christina was stepping all over Britney's toes).  For those kids, they'll be happy to hear that both Cee Lo and Blake Shelton are featured on this album, too.  I'm a huge fan of Cee Lo and so is Madison, especially his last album The Lady Killer (read about it here) so I was excited as I knew it would be great.  And it is.  Make The World Move will literally make you move.  Cee Lo and Christina's vocals are a match made in (studio) heaven, definitely one of the stand out tracks.  I'll admit I was nervous when I heard Christina mention during her publicity rounds that she did a song with Blake to "dabble in country music" as I wasn't quite sure how that would turn out... cast all doubt aside, it's great.  The reason I was hesitant about this collaboration wasn't that I couldn't hear Christina's voice on a country record because I absolutely could -- let me reiterate that with a voice like that, she can sing anything.  I was more concerned with how Blake would match her vocals and that she would outshine him in his own genre.  Boy was I wrong.  There was no cause for concern needed; he held his own and they made a beautiful song.  I would be very surprised if it wasn't released to radio at some point.  Of course, Christina has the standard ballads (Blank Page as an example) that allow her to demonstrate the control and restraint that only she can do. 

Bottom line, get the album if you want to hear some real singing.  We need someone slaying notes these days... radio is filled with auto-tuned fluff and it's past time to bring back the pipes.  Christina's album hits the shelves tomorrow, Mariah will be back in early 2013, we should open the vault to the late-great Whitney collection and give Celine a call.  Please!  (Adele just had a baby and released Skyfall so we should let her rest.)  If you're not familiar with Christina's past work, I recommend Stripped.  The entire album is pop perfection from beginning to end including the interludes.  If you only have time for one song, check out Mercy On Me from Back to Basics -- it's my favorite vocal performance of her entire career thus far.  Flawless.

Image Source:  Lotus, Stripped, Back to Basics

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