on August 15, 2006
How refreshing to see someone as young as Christina paying respect and tribute to the soul/jazz/blues legends of yesteryear (even though she appears to be confused about the eras. Most of the songs has influences from the 50s, 60s, and 70s and not just the 20s, 30s, and 40s as she claimed). This confusion does not hurt the beauty of this cd. In fact, it allows Christina to offer something to everyone.
On Disc One, Christina joins forces with DJ Premier, Rich Harrison, Kwame, Mark Ronson, Charles Roane, Big Tank and Tony Reyes & Ben H. Allen for an exciting world of R&B, Soul, Hip Hop and some Blues. The songs are either uptempo or midtempo, but Christina commands every lyric and melody. From the churchy "Makes Me Wanna Pray" to the edgy "Here To Stay", Christina holds your attention. Even when she is all about "me" like on interludes F.U.S.S and Intro (Back to Basic), Christina comes across as being true with her emotions. The only song that suffers is "Thank You" which I find rather pointless.
On Disc Two, the show is all about Christina and Linda Perry (who is becoming one of the most important female writers/producers of all time). Songs like the Andrew Sisters-inspired "Candyman", the sexy "Nasty Naughty Boy, and the bluesy "I Got Trouble" are all throwbacks to another era of time. While songs like the pop ballad "Hurt" and the churchy "Mercy On Me" has a modern day twist. Christina really sells these songs but the biggest surprise is the sweet folky "Save Me From Myself" and the 50s pop style "The Right Man". In both songs, you can tell Christina is singing from the heart and to her new husband.
Disc One and Disc Two are actually two seperate albums because they are both very different in styles, but the quality of both cds are high level. The growth from the last cd is clear because the one thing I also noticed is while 'Stripped' concentrated on sound and structure, 'B2B' focus on songs and structures (two totally different concepts). This is also the cd in which Christina leaves behind Britney, Jessica, Lindsey and that crew and join Alicia and Beyonce as the most talented pop female artists of their generation. Wow! She has come a long way from her "Genie" days, let's hope she can continue to grow.
Highlights from the cd:
Back In the Day
Slow Down Baby
Mercy On Me
Save me From Myself
The Right Man
on August 15, 2006
Simply put, "Back To Basics" is an INCREDIBLE album that brings Christina Aguilera's credit as an artist to a whole new dimension. The sounds on this album feel like authentic oldschool classics, but they have a unique modern touch. The songs are so organic and authentic to the point where you forget that its oldschool-inspired and just focus on the songs themselves. Disc one is an impressive funk collection. "Makes Me Wanna Pray" has an up-beat soulful/gospel feeling, reminiscent of Aretha Franklin. Of course, one cannot overlook the song of the summer, "Ain't No Other Man" - with the blaring horn blasts and funky beat. Another highlight of the album is "Slow Down Baby" which is another funky dance groove. On a more emotional note, "Oh Mother" pays tribute to Aguilera's mother and acknowledges that pain of her childhood abuse. Then there's the feisty danceable "Still Dirrty" where she claims that she may be married, but she's still naughty. Lastly on Disc One is "Here to Stay". The horn blasts and funky beats make this song's message clear: Christina Aguilera is definitely "here to stay" in the music world, proving that talent is the key to longevity. On Disc 2, we find a more burlesque feel. The second disk is characterized by burlesque-show tunes and some gorgeous vocal ballads. On the upbeat and peppy "Candyman", Christina goes all out with the burlesque theme by using some big band swing music. Next, she tones it down a bit with a slow and sensual "Nasty Naughty Boy". Aguilera then channels through the old soul icons like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald on "I Got Trouble", which is not a cover, but an organic composiiton that truly sounds like an old classic soul number that Holiday, herself, would sing. Christina shifts gears again and dives into a haunting ballad, titled "Hurt". The ballad is a gut-wrenching emotional piece that simply gives you chills. Then there's the angelic sound on "Save Me From Myself" where Aguilera does not belt one note, making it a very intimate performance. "Back To Basics" proves to be a milestone in Christina Aguilera's career; she's matured a bit, as displayed in her intelligent lyrics and musically, she's matured as well, with this collection of intelliegently composed songs. This album cannot be overlooked; simply, Christina's greatest work so far.
on September 3, 2006
This album is great. It firmly cements Christina Aguilera as the best voice around. Come grammy time Christina will be walkin away a winner. While most people think she has an entirely new sound and is all jazz, thats not true. Some of her songs are INFLUENCED by jazz and blues and its not in a huge way. Its still the same Christina we all love.
1. Into (Back to Basics) 6/10 This song has a bunch of sample and adlibs in it. Christina get a little vain in it though!
2. Makes me Wanna Pray 7/10 This song is very bluesy and has a choir in the background, Does not have a very good chorus, but a very feel good song.
3. Back In The Day 8/10 I think would have been a better song to introduce the song than makes me wanna pray. It has some neat lyrics and some adlibs in the begining.
4. Ain't No Other Man 9/10 the First single. For me i havent listened to it once cause its very overplayed, but still a great song.
5.Understand 6/10 one of my least favorite song on the album. It just doesnt hook you in. But still a fairly good song
6.Slow Down Baby 9/10 A pretty r&b hip hop influenced song. really good.
7. Oh Mother 10/10 A good ballad with a great beat. Its about thanking her mother for taking her and her sister away from thier abusive father. A highlight of the Album.
8 F.U.S.S. 9/10 a short song that was written for Scott Storch who produced songs on Stripped. He decided to write for Paris hilton's album instead of this BIG MISTAKE. Has a great beat and she sounds great on it.
9. On OUr Way 9/10 A great song about always being on your way to something better
10.Wihtout You 9/10 a vey good beat song. different from other songs, almost has a latin feel, almost.
11. Still Dirty 10/10 While most people think this is part 2 of Dirrty, it doesnt sound at all like it and isnt about anything Dirrty was. This is about how people arealways critisising her for being sexy. She call people "uncomftorable in your own skin". Very jazz influenced. A gem on this album.
12. Here To Stay 10/10 Another pretty Jazzy song. It about her not goign to fade away like other singer and how she's Here To Stay no matter what people say.
13. Thank You 8/10 A great thank you. It sample a little of Genie in a Bottle at the benging. Taking clips of the song that apply to her now. Its hard to listen to it a lot cause off all the fans in it.
14. Enter The Circus 10/10 An introduction to the second CD. Its (along with welcome) are about being in the publics eye and being a celebrity. The Circus is like Hollywood. Its inspired by a Tim Burton Film. It has no vocals by CHristina.
15. Welcome 10/10 this song allaborates on Enetr the circus. It talks about people who only like her cause shes a singer and what will happen when the linligth fades.
16. Candyman 8/10 This song was originally ment to be the second single but hurt was decided instead. A very sexual song and very jazzy.
17. Nast Naughty Boy 6/10 My least favorite song. it very sexual and doesnt have a great beat.
18. I got trouble 7/10 Probaly the jazziest song on the album. Recorded with a vintage microphone it sounds like it is really from the 40's.
19. Hurt 11/10 The standout of the album. it will be the second single. she preformed it at the VMA's. Its about someone close to you dying and how you have to deal with it. THe best Ballad.
20. Mercy on Me 8/10 not a standout ballad but still very good, has choir wich is a nice touch.
21. Save Me From Myself 9/10 she talks about how her husband saves her from being sad and always puts her in a happy place.
22.The right Man 9/10 She wrot this song about her wedding day and how her dad wasnt there to walk her down the aisle and how she is happy to have found the right man so her children wont have to go throught what she did.
Overall a great album, the second cd is a little betetr but this is AWESOME!
on August 15, 2006
"It is now time for the one and only....There will never be another....Christina Aguilera" - Back to Basics (Intro)
Who knew Christina was capable of actually topping 'Stripped', her audacious sophomore album from 2002, or even capable of making an album of this magnitude. Nobody questioned Christina's talents as a vocalist, but was she up to to the challenge of making this album? I've only listened through it once, but I can already tell this is going into my 'classic album' file.
If 'Stripped' was her dirrty, angst album, this one is pure joy and class and she pulls it all off with vigor. As you might have heard, this is Christina's foray into old blues/jazz/hiphop/20s/30s/40s sounds she's been so influenced by. This album is more of an homage to those who inspired her and those with keen musical ears will be able to pick out those samples that she and super producers DJ Premier and Linda Perry (among others) have thoughtfully put together in stunning and creative ways. Songs like the fast paced catchy first single "Ain't No Other Man", the touching mid-tempo ballad "Understand", the ultra sassy "Slow Down Baby", and the explosive soul rhythms of "Makes Me Wanna Pray" blends perfectly the elements of old soul/r&b with modern day sounds. Other songs bring back to mind old hip/hop vibes of the late 80s and 90s. The bump and grind of "Back in the Day" gives praise and tribute to early artists who paved the way for her. The chorus to this song is one of the catchiest I've ever heard. There's a chill energy on the track "Thank You", a thoughtful exchange of thank yous between Christina and her fans with clips lifted from actual fan voicemail. "On Our Way" and "Without You" finds Christina using her voice in her upper register is some beautiful ways especially in that of the latter. And a haunting piano loops in the background of the endearing "Oh Mother" that gives appreciation to her mother for getting her out of a domestic violence situation when she was younger. Overall, Disc 1 is a solid album even if it was released by itself. However, it's not like Christina to completely stop there. If you're looking for something more adventurous, check out Disc 2.
If you want to go further back into time, venture into her second disc and there you'll find those sounds that hearken back the sounds of the 20s, 30s, and 40s. The insanely infectious "Candyman" is an ode to the Andrew Sister's "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" only with much more tongue and cheek sexuality in the lyrics and music. "I Got Trouble" sounds the most authentic to the era and sounds like it's coming straight out of an old, ratty radio in a dingy, dark bar. The torchy, burlesque stylings of "Nasty Naughty Boy" will send you off in hot sweats while the hush stunner "Save Me From Myself" leads us into a very intimate conversation with her as she sweetly explains to us how her husband has changed her life. No reverbs, no nothing. Just Christina's voice at her most vulnerable. This is a vocal performance like you've never heard from her. Treading back to Disc 1, even the track "Still Dirrty" has a 1920s flapper-esque sensibility with it's repeating triple horn blast. "Mercy On Me" is a vocal tour de force with Christina infused with deep down blues giving a heart wrenching confession to God for committing a wrongful sin towards a lover. This is probably my favorite song out of the two disc set. Her vocals on this song is a feast to the ears. The rock ballad "Hurt" sends an emotional chill up the spine as she pleas for forgiveness from a lost loved one. And as if the second disc wasn't off the wall enough, Christina sends us to the circus with "Enter the Circus/Welcome" acting as a combo. "Enter the Circus" feels like something lifted straight out of a Tim Burton movie with what seems to be Linda Perry playing the MC for the opening act of a circus. It's somewhat creepy, but it's a very effective intro and it leads straight into "Welcome". This is an amazing (albeit short) little song giving us a satirical view of the music business. She sings over a cavalcade of beautiful strings and the combo sounds epic in scope. I just wished it was a little longer. Christina ends the set with "The Right Man" written in response to the emotion she felt when she realized she had no father to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. A very emotional, almost classical song with dramatic strings. This ends with a very touching line and optimistic view to her future.
There are no fillers on this album (save for FUSS, but it's actually an interlude). The two discs could've been meshed into one, but her decision to divide it into two sets was more a creative reason - to separate the two completely different sounds. This album has something for everyone.
Standout Tracks :
Makes Me Wanna Pray
Back in the Day
Ain't No Other Man
Slow Down Baby
Nasty Naughty Boy
Mercy On Me
Save Me From Myself
There you have it. It's quite possibly the best album to come out in 2006. This will surely be a major contender in the upcoming Grammy season. If you have any reservations on whether you should go out and buy this album, don't hesitate - BUY IT! You can't go wrong when the music is this good.
on November 28, 2006
Christina is undoubtedly one of the absolute best (if not the best) vocalists to come along in recent years. She's never failed to awe audiences with her incredible range and provocative wardrobe. She's cosistently been outspoken and confident, regardless of her style.
Love her or hate her, one thing is for certain: this album is spectacular. The introduction, "Intro (Back To Basics)", reels the listener in as the beat winds up and a classic male voice announces the entertainer of the evening, that being the lovely X-tina... er... Baby Jane, as she is now referred to.
Right off the bat, Christina's new image fits her beautifully. She pulls off that glamorous ruby lips and big blonde curls look with flying colors.
On to the music. All the music on this two-disc set is tinged with classic horn arrangements, sexy and bold lyrics, and the occasional gospel choir. Altogether, there are 22 tracks, though several of them are shortened for a more dramatic effect. Initially, I was entirely in love with the second disc, which is a little more ballad-heavy and includes my favorite song from the album, "Candyman". The track is a throwback to ladies groups of the 20's and 30's, with tight three-part harmonies and of course many of Christina's trademark melodic runs and vocal flips thrown in. But after repeated listens, the first disc, which is a little more modern and contemporary with its hip-hop beats, is winning me over.
"Understand", the fifth track of disc one, is a personal favorite of mine. Christina successfully merges class, sensitivity, old-fashioned vocals and beats that make you want to doll yourself up like Marilyn Monroe. Another standout is "Without You", which is probably the best vocal track of the entire album. Christina performs so well on this track, my jaw dropped many times as I listened. "Still Dirrty" reaffirms Christina's fans that she'll always have a little bit of X-tina in her, but she reminds with class and not trash. "Thank You (Dedication To Fans...)" is impressively produced, with voicemail recordings of fans wishes and thanks, cleverly set to the beat of the song. However, this track seems a tad self-indulgent, and while it's enjoyable, a little goes a long way. But that is the only questionable moment on the album.
"Nasty Naughty Boy" is another highlight, done big-band style with sexiness to spare. Christina continues to have fun seducing the listener with her sensual analogies. "I Got Trouble" is a fantastic number recorded with a classic microphone, giving Christina's voice a scratchy quality reminiscent of old records. "Save Me From Myself" is the quietest of all the tunes, but one of the most moving and sensitive. It's nice to hear a softer side of Christina.
The album art is beautiful and playful, and contains many shots of Christina in various settings, often with intense makeup while posing in dramatic positions.
I would love to see our new Baby Jane continue to make music like this. But this is Christina, and she'll surely venture down another avenue in the future. In the meantime, get this musical candy while you can from a young lady who finally knows herself and has embraced her sweetness (while still holding onto that inner 'dirrt').
on August 31, 2006
First off, I'm not a kid, I just didn't want to make an Amazon account. Back to Basics by Christina Aguilera is in my opinion the best album of her career so far. Mixing modernity with an old 30', 40's, 50's sound it has far more hits then misses.
Although the record is far more modern sounding then it is anything else(what else would you expect by a modern day pop artist?) there still is a lot of throwback sounds in many of the songs, especially on the second disc, which in my opinion is much better then the first disc.
The 30's throwbacks and blazing horns of songs like waiting-to-be a-single Candyman, and first single Aint No Other Man are very catchy, and clever pop songs. I Got Trouble makes use of an old muffled mic effect, and one of the only songs that really does sound like a total 30's throwback. The soft ballad Save Me From Myself, which is dedicated to her husband(like many of the songs on the album are) is very different from anything else on the album, with Christina almost whispering the words, and really is one of the highlights of the album. Christina gives her best vocal performance to date in my opinion on the spiritual ballad Mercy On Me, which is another highlight. However the title of best ballad on Back to Basics has to go to the incredible Hurt, which has recently been chosen as the second single off the album. And a great choice at that, since this is in the top tier of Christina ballads, and probably only Beautiful from previous record Stripped is in the same league as this one. And there's even something here for those who preferred her last CD Stripped, with the immediately catchy Slow Down Baby(hopefully this one becomes a future single) and Still Dirrty are very modern and "Stripped" sounding tracks.
The album does have it's faults though, which mainly rely in the editing department. There really was absolutly no reason for this to be a double disc album. There are a few songs that easily could have been cut( Intro, Enter the Circus, thank You, The Right Man, Welcome), which would have gave the album a much better overall flow and been easier to listen to(without swhitching back and forth between discs, and skipping over some of the filler type songs). Another thing that should have been cut as well is the pointless interlude F.U.S.S.
Which brings me to my next complaint about the CD. Aguilera obviously has a big ego, and if that's the kind of person she is that's fine, I'm not gonna critsize her music because of that. However, I am gonna critisize her music when she starts injecting her ego into her albums, like she has on parts of this album.
One prime example of this is on the above mentioned interlude F.U.S.S(F*** U Scott Storch) where she more or less just feeds her ego by trying to throw it in the face of her former producer Scott Storch taht she made this record without him. Even if she dislikes Storch or he caused problems for her, etc, Aguilera should be professional enough to know that you don't put a "ha ha, look at me now" letter to your former producer on your MUSIC album.
Another example comes with the track called Thank You, where a remix of Genie in the Bottle plays in the background while fans of Christina THANK HER. Now if Christina wanted to just put a quick thanks to the fans, she could have easily just wrote a little section in the booklet of her album dedicated to them, but instead she makes a whole song of fans thanking her! The fans buy her records and make her big(not the other way around) and she puts a track about fans thanking her for "saving their life" and other ridiculos things. Yes she also sings a little song thanking the fans, but it's still far more about them thanking her. Even though these may seem like small things they do bring down the record, and again Aguilera should be far more professional then to put a track like this on her album.
Overall though this is a very good record, Aguilera's voice is top notch here, and she undoubtably has the best voice in pop musci today. Most of the songs on here have good lyrics, and are genuinly catchy and good songs to listen to. I give Back to Basics a 4/5, and here's how I would rate the songs:
Makes Me Wanna Pray-6/10
Back in the Day-7.5/10
Ain't No Other Man-9.5/10
Slow Down Baby-10/10
On Our Way-6.5/10
Here to Stay-8.5/10
Enter the Circus-5.5/10
Nasty Naughty Boy-9/10
I Got Trouble-9.5/10
Mercy on Me-10/10
Save Me From Myself-10/10
The Right Man-6.5/10
3.Save Me From Myself
4.Slow Down Baby
5.Mercy On Me
6.Aint No Other Man
7.I Got Trouble
9.Nasty Naughty Boy
on August 22, 2006
After four years of anticipation, Christina's third album has arrived. Back To Basics is "a throwback to the 20's, 30's, and 40's with a modern twist". The first disc is the `modern disc' which features a homage to jazz, blues, and soul, and the second disc is produced entirely by Linda Perry and has the 20's and 30's vibe. Overall, Back To Basics is a solid album that oozes soul and clearly has elements of jazz, blues, and classic R&B.
I have been a fan of Christina from the beginning, but around the `Stripped' era I became tired of her strained vocals and her `dirrty' antics. I was a lesser fan than I had been before and I didn't pay so much attention to Christina. When I heard about the direction she was going in for this new album, it caught my interest again, especially the part about it being 20's, 30's, and 40's influenced. This album has recaptured my attention and renewed a bit of my faith in Christina.
As a fan or the 20's, 30's, and 40's era, I wish Christina would have made more of her album sound authentic to that era instead of just a couple songs. But nevertheless, I believe that her album will become one of the classics of our time.
Intro (Back To Basics) - Christina introduces the album and what it is about. She sings about paying homage to the legends before her time.
Makes Me Wanna Pray - This is a gospel, praise song that makes you feel like you're in church and the whole crowd is up on their feet moving and singing along.
Back In The Day - A very soulful track. There is the sound of a record crackling all throughout, and the beat is awesome. Christina names and sings about some of the legends like Etta James, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, and a few others.
Ain't No Other Man - A song about her husband Jordan "Jordy" Bratman. It has distinctive horns and a modern beat. Christina belts most of the song and her vocals are clear and razor sharp.
Understand - Contains a sample Betty Harris' "Nearer To You" and has an old school vibe. Another song that is about her relationship with Jordy.
Slow Down Baby - One of the catchiest tracks in my opinion, and R&B at its best. The melody and the horns in it are great.
Oh Mother - About her father's abuse towards her mother and her and how they made it through. It is like a continuation of "I'm Okay" from her `Stripped' CD, only this song is more of a dedication to her mother. The lyrics are very touching. Musically, my favorite part is the bridge because it contains a great vocal.
F.U.S.S. - An interlude, directed toward producer Scott Storch. It's a shame it's not an actual full length song, because I love the beat and sound of this. It's very bluesy and laid back.
On Our Way - There is a piano throughout most of the song, and it builds nicely from the bridge on.
Without You - Christina sings softly and smoothly on this track, with more lush, pop like vocals. The track is reminiscent of something Mariah would do, and it sounds similar to Christina's "Loving Me For Me" on her `Stripped' CD.
Still Dirrty - Christina expressing her views on being, well, `dirrty'. An ode to her "Dirrty" song of off `Stripped.' It's R&B with a taste of funk and it's got a great beat.
Here To Stay - A jazz/R&B fused track. The lyrics have an inspirational message. "I'm gonna keep on, I'm gonna do my own thing. We've all got a song that we're meant to sing."
Thank You - A dedication to her fans. Christina thanks them, and the song has excerpts from "Genie In A Bottle", the song that started her career. There are fans voices throughout the song thanking Christina and telling how she's inspired them.
Enter The Circus - The music sounds like what you would hear at a carnival. Christina isn't present in this short interlude, but a person talks throughout, 'advertising' the circus: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up, step right up."
Welcome - A song about fame and how it's not all that it appears to be. "Always taking a bow, always working the crowd...who'll be staying around when the lights go down?" It's sort of a ballad towards the middle, and Christina belts it out quite nicely. My favorite part is when she sings "You're riding on a shooting star". Then the song dies down and the circus music starts again, and someone whistles along with the music.
Candyman - Love it!! It's the most 30's/40's sounding song on the entire album - very swing, very jazzy, very big band. It is slightly reminiscent of The Andrews Sisters "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". The lyrics are a little naughty in places. My favorite parts are the men singing in cadence at the beginning and end of the song, and when Christina whispers "sweet, sugar, candyman."
Nasty Naughty Boy - You guessed it - this song has some naughty lyrics also. I'm not much of a fan for sexually suggestive lyrics, but this song is so nicely put together that it works. It was made to sound like a live track with the audience clapping and whistling. Christina sounds like she is in a 20's burlesque club, singing this to entertain the men in the crowd. It's slow and jazzy at the beginning, and then it builds nicely at the end. Christina's vocals sound great on this track.
I Got Trouble - Very reminiscent of an old blues record. When Christina was in the studio, she covered the microphone with a rag to create a muffled effect. She even scats a bit in the middle of the song.
Hurt - This is a heart-wrenching ballad about losing someone and having regret about things that were said and done. "I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I just couldn't do. And I've hurt myself by hurting you." Christina actually sings straight throughout most of this track, and employs more vibrato than her usual adlibs and runs. The lyrics are haunting, and they made me cry. "Are you looking down upon me? Are you proud of who I am?" Very powerful song, lyrically and vocally.
Mercy On Me - A confessional song about how she has sinned. She is asking the Lord to have mercy on her soul. Musically, it's very blues inspired.
Save Me From Myself - Vocally, it's a different side of Christina that we don't see too often. She recorded the song up close to the microphone with no adlibs or belting at all. She sings in a soft voice and there is very minimal music. It's the kind of song that makes you want to be still when you listen to it. Dedicated to her husband Jordy.
The Right Man - I love the music on this song. It sounds like a classical song. It has a huge orchestra with no drum or beat of any kind. The vocals are clear and the whole song has a very dramatic feel. It's about Christina's wedding, and the lyrics are very touching. It makes you feel happy for her.
That's all. I definitely recommend this album to anyone who enjoys music.
on January 8, 2007
Christina has been robbed/snuffed for not getting nominated for Album of the Year. What a slap in the face and dishoner that this masterpiece was not recognized for this most prestigous award. This is an absolutely phenominal album. What is so amazing about it is that she pays homage to the sounds and artists most popular in the 40's, 50's, 60's era's, and at the same time she brilliantly managed to fuse them with a yummy smorgasbord of today's modern day pop/r&b style that is appealing to listeners of all ages. This achievement is uncommon in today's music scene. What makes Christina unparalleled to her counterparts is her ability to be different and step out of the box by creating music that is unique, passionate, mature, authentic, intellectual, fun/upbeat, emotional, and overall brilliant. Every track is authentic music created with actual instruments - not a manufactured sound created in a studio with sophisticated computer and studio equipment. This album is REAL music. I also cannot forget to mention her voice, which in itself is unparalleled. It soars to the Heavens. She is an amazing talent and artist, and although I am happy that she was at least recognized for 2 nominations - it's a real shame that she was snubbed when you consider that some of her counterparts were nominated for several categories, but their albums are simply manufactured by advanced studio equipment and don't contain an ounce of authenticity. Really pathetic. What's up with that Grammy's. It's an injustice.
on August 15, 2006
I have to give Christina props for taking such a huge risk with making such a big departure from the cookie-cutter sound of what pop music is "suppose" to sound like today. Judging by reading newspaper and magazine reviews along with online fan reviews it sounds like it will be a success for her.
When I heard months ago that she was going to take on a whole new sound not to mention a whole new era with the 1920's, 30's and 40's......I did not think it could be pulled off. But, Christina not only pulls it off but, she pulls it off very well. She takes elements and sounds from that time and mixes them with todays sound and it comes out brilliant.
Before listening to this CD, I would have been happy with another Stripped like CD - I thought that CD was amazing. But, if artists' continued to re-create themselves in that fashion there would be no evolution in music and there would be no difference in sounds between artists', which happens too frequently as it is. But, the true creative artists' venture out and do things outside of the box and show just what makes them talented and more than just a voice.
There is quite a diversity of songs on Back To Basics. Yes, there is a lot of horns and a lot of references to the pioneers of yester-year (Billie Holiday, Nina Simone etc...), loud cymbals and muffled singing, like that of the 1920's, 30's and 40's. Yet, Christina, can still belt out a true, gut wrenching ballad like that of "Beautiful" or "The Voice Within". This is apprent on the VERY exquisite: "Hurt" - one of my favorite songs on this multi-track set. "Oh Mother" is another great example of this as well. It's a song speaking of how strong Christina's Mother was through all the abuse of her Father while growing up. The CD starts out with a real feel good song that just makes you want to dance: "Makes Me Wanna Pray" - backed with a full choir and an infectious beat, this song is a great start to this great 2 disc set! "Still Dirrty" - is another great dancey song with a nod to 2002's original "Dirrty", for sure a hit made for the radio...just a reminder that she can still get down! :) Another brilliant song on here is: "Candyman" - this is a fun song that cannot help but to make you smile. It reminds me a big of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by Bette Midler. Actually I could see Bette singing this song, it is right up her alley. It's jazzy, dancey and all around fun! "I Got Trouble" is another real bluesy, throwback-type song complete with the rag thrown over the mic with the crackle sound for effect for the genuine sound from that era. FANTASTIC!!
There is too many songs to critique and to review. They are all great! It's a must have for anyone's collection. IF you are a fan of Christina or a fan of jazz/blues, pop, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone - This CD will please ALL!
on December 15, 2006
First off, I am a 46-white Southern male who is as nerdy as a doorknob. I am in the least demographical market that would be an Aguilera fan.
That said, I bought this album based on the song "Hurt' and reviews on Amazon that likened her work to Fiona Apple and other bluesy, jazzy singers. I wasn't disappointed. Christina's vocals are unbelievable. Her control is more fine than the pre-druggy Whitney Houston. She also has firmly planted herself in first place among the other kid singers, i.e. Britney and that ilk.
Christina is still a kid, but she has shown a maturity on this album, I think. I love the look of the album is that of an old RCA record and there's even the vinyl groove scratches on some of the songs. I've played the second disc more since I bought Back to Basics and I've been pleased. The opening song, Enter the Circus, is beautiful. Candyman is fun (even as an old stodgy, I smile at her "Panty dropping" line. Of course, Hurt is the highlight. It showcases her talent with a minimal amount of music. She carries the tune by herself.
I am somewhat surprised that I like this album so much. But she conveys an earlier era of music and it's fun. Sounds like something from the 1930s Harlem clubs. This album really propels Christina Aguilera into the higher echelon of all singers.