on November 4, 2002
I hate to admit it, but this album is excellent. I am not a fan of this artist, but I heard the album because my niece has it. I was shocked at the vocal talent and quality of the songs used. I can't believe this is the Genie in A Bottle Girl! In comparison, the last Britney Spears album isn't half as good as this one. There are several beautiful ballads that I dare anyone with an open mind to listen to...Beautiful is just that Beautiful. Soar is also an excellent song. Give this one a listen and you will not be disappointed.
on June 7, 2003
I didn't know what to say when I first listened to this album. I'm not quite sure what I expected from it, but I am now thouroughly happy that I purchased this CD. Christina has successfully evolved from a catapillar with virtually no visible talent to a beautiful butterfly with an astounding voice and writing ability.Every track on "Stripped" is worth a listen and there are absolutely no fillers on this album. Here is my track-by-track review of Christina Aguilera's "Stripped".
1) STRIPPED INTRO - This is a lovely introduction to a great album. Here, Christina warns us that this is the REAL her. A great cut. ***91/100***
2) CAN'T HOLD US DOWN - In this song about women empowerment, Christina confronts the double-standards that women face today. A great message. Lil' Kim's rap in this upbeat track complete the song. ***90/100***
3) WALK AWAY - This is my favorite on the album. The haunting music and Christina's stunning voice mesh together beautifully to create a sad, and chilling song. You can definetely feel Christina's pain i this one. ***100/100***
4) FIGHTER - This is the third single from "Stripped". With Dave Navarro on guitar, and Christina's brilliant lyrics and powerhouse voice, this is a rocking tune with a powerful message: Be Strong. ***97/100***
5) PRIMER AMOR INTERLUDE - A nice 51-second interlude with Christina talking in spanish to an acoustic guitar melody. ***87/100***
6) INFATUATION - A latin song that sounds a little bit like Christina's 1999 debut; only much, much better. ***88/100***
7) LOVES EMBRACE INTERLUDE - This is a prelude to track 8 and is beautifully done. I think that she should have included this with track 8. But, nevertheless, its nicely done. ***94/100***
8) LOVING ME 4 ME - A very slow-tempo song with calm, soothing vocals that sound almost virginal (ha! we all know that's a lie! lol!). This is another favorite. ***99/100***
9) IMPOSSIBLE - A nice jazzy track with great lyrics and great music. You can't go wrong with Christina on the mic and Alicia Keys in the producer's chair. ***95/100***
10) UNDERAPPRECIATED - A flawless R&B song with a grooving bassline. Christina belts out nicely in this one. Another favorite of mine. ***97/100***
11) BEAUTIFUL - The second single released from "Stripped", this is another faovrite. Inspirational in so many ways, this song makes me feel great. Whenever you're feeling low, listen to this and within the 3 minutes 58 seconds of the song, you'll be smiling. The lyrics are meaningful and just down-right beautiful. ***98/100***
12) MAKE OVER - No, this song isn't a song about giving makeovers. This is an English-hard rock sounding song with lots of screaming and the word "bulls**t" is thrown around a lot. You get a lot of energy coming from this one. ***92/100***
13) CRUZ - A beautiful ballad about leaving everything behind and just driving down the highway toward a new life. Beautifully done. ***86/100***
14) SOAR - Another excellent inspirational song. The song's message is simple: Be Yourself. ***98/100***
15) GET MINE, GET YOURS - Well, well, well. This song is interesting. The song's subject is casual sex. Even though, some might call Chrisitna trashy for doing a song like this, I think it's a nice step forward. Almost all of Americans have casual sex, so why shouldn't Christina express something that we all do through song? This song just makes you feel sexy. With the sensual lyrics and the cool music, this is a favorite. ***97/100***
16) DIRRTY - The first single from "Stripped", this is my 2nd favorite, aside from "Walk Away". Even though this video (quite raunchy; I like!) was an instant hit on MTV, the song absolutely flopped on radio. It peaked at No. 48 in the US. But it spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK. Nevertheless, I love this song. Can anyone say "PARTY ANTHEM!"? I dance wildly to this one in my room. ***100/100***
17) STRIPPED PT.2 - A continuation from the introduction (track 1). In this one, Christina informs us that she's not a virgin, nor a slut. Good for you, Christina! ***96/100***
18) THE VOICE WITHIN - This one gives me chills. A somewhat sad song about...well, I'm not quite sure what it's about! But, you can tell that this song means a lot to Christina. ***93/100***
19) I'M OK - This is a scary, thruthfull, chilling song about Christina's abusive childhood. She confronts her father about his abusing her mother. You can hear Chrisitna cry in this song. I shed a couple of tears after my first listen of this song. ***98/100***
20) KEEP ON SINGING MY SONG - A great way to close an astounding album. A great message to all of her fans that says: No matter what, I will "Keep on singing my song." Christina belts out a really long beautiful note in this one and her vocals are just amazing. ***99/100***
All in all, Christina Aguilera's "Stripped" is a 5-star album that shows the ups and downs of her life. I am looking very forward to Christina's next project. You go get 'em, woman!
Loving Me 4 Me
Get Mine, Get Yours
Keep on Singing My Song
OVERALL GRADE: 99/100
on June 6, 2003
It took me awhile to buy this CD, only because of the cover--but I'm so glad i did!! The more I listen to it the more I LOVE it. Her voice is incredible, and unlike a lot of artists out there now she shows real emotion in her voice- another thing which makes her music so amazing. This is one of the few albums I can listen to from start to finish, over and over, and not get sick of. Even the interludes are beautiful, and really add to the charectar of the album, making more than just a collection of songs. I'm not a huge fan of her new "image" but I appreciate that she is being herself-- her music is mature, and better showcases her talent. A few comments on the songs:
1) Stripped Intro- basically this interlude begins with people talking about Christina, and then she sings about what the album is to her- just a chance to show herself to the world. (9/10)
2) Can't Hold Us Down- nice song, positive message about women in the end, fun sound. (9/10)
3) Walk Away- one of my favorite songs on the album, really showcases her voice, emotional, I can relate to this situation.(10/10)
4) Fighter- one of the songs that made me buy this CD in the first place, love it, real song, great lyrics. (10/10)
5) Primer Amor (interlude)- in spanish, basically talks about the story behind the next song, about her first love and how it all started. (9/10)
6) Infatuation- Latin beat, great lyrics, her voice sounds incredible, light mood, not as heavy lyrically as many of the other songs. (10/10)
7)Loves Embrace- another interlude, Christina talking in a soft voice, some singing. (8/10)
8)Loving Me 4 Me- really pretty song, her voice sounds incredible, really soft, think early Mariah Carey, but still Christina's. Great message, about someone who really deserves you, by loving someone for everything they are, really positive. (8/10)
9)Impossible-R&B flavor, produced by Alicia Keys, her voice is really powerful, again singing about relationships and the need for communication. One of my favorites ever since I saw her sing it live. (10/10)
10) Underappreciated- Love song but with a different twist, about giving a lot into a relationship but not getting back the same. Sounds like there is a chorus singing backup, creates a beautiful sound. (8/10)
11) Beautiful- gorgeous song, really positive, about loving yourself no matter what, basically says that everyone is beautiful and it doesn't matter what other people say. Beautiful voice, simple lyrics but powerful message. (10/10)
12) Make Over- really different direction for Christina, sounds a little like Pink's new song. Fun, kind of summery song, about wanting to be herself, not needing to be like everyone else: " I don't need anybody to make me over" (7/10)
13)Cruz-The beginning is a little a cappella, a beautiful ballad with a great message." I believe in today" (9/10)
14)Soar- her voice sounds incredible, I love this song! (10/10)
15)Get Mine, Get Yours- sexy song about casual *relationships*, a little raunchy, but her voice, as usual, sounds incredible, and the song has a great rhythem. (9/10)
16) Dirty- a little overplayed on the radio, it's not my favorite on the album, but it's a good party song. (7/10)
17)Stripped (Part Two)- again speaking about being herself, and not letting other people bring her down. Positive message about individuality in a personal sense. (9/10)
18) The Voice Within- a great song about trusting yourself, another beautiful ballad with an amazing message. (9/10)
19) I'm Ok- sad song, very personal, I'm glad Christina chose to put this song on the album. Although it's a little hard to listen to, in the end its about surviving through difficult situations.(10/10)
20) Keep on Singing My Song-Wonderful end to a great album, great beat, about not letting what other people say hurt you, or let them change you. A little on the long side... (8/10)
Overall this album is incredible, every song is different, but all incredibly written and sung. I can honestly say no song on this album is filler, there are 17 amazing songs, even the interludes add to this CD. I'm glad Christina took the time to produce a great album. It was worth the wait!
on December 14, 2002
So, here she is again. Now, with a seventy-something minute long album. If there's one word that does not describe this cd at all, then that would be "homogenic". The variety of styles and moods of the cd is astonishing.
Despite this, Christina shows she can handle most of it really well.
1- Stripped intro : This is obviously a introduction to the album, where she states that you would meet the real her.
2- Can't hold us down ( featuring Lil' Kim): Kind of a girl-power anthem mainly about how guys can have many girls and get away with it while the girl gets named. It's a hip-hop song, which I really like, though the lyrics do get a bit repetitive. 8.5/10
3- Walk away :Someone is hurting you and still you can't walk away. It's a piano ballad. Christina's voice sounds great. 10/10
4- Fighter : She gets rockier, with an edgier sound. The guitars on it are excellent. It's got a catchy chorus.
Very likely to be a single. 9.5/10
5- Primer amor ( interlude ): Spoken interlude in Spanish. In English it would be something like: " I will tell you a story of how a Puerto Rican stole my heart. Never again I loved in that way, may be I never will. It's the story of my first love. He was handsome, with deep big brown eyes. A dancer. We lost ourselves in the rhythm of love...and that's how it started... "
6- Infatuation: The previous interlude tell us what this song is about. It's a "La isla Bonita" meets "Mi chico latino". It's in English, but with a great Latin feel and Spanish words here and there. 10/10
7- Love embraces me ( interlude): This is so Mariah! . If I wouldn't known this is a Christina album, then I would think this was taken from "Butterfly".
8- Loving me 4 me: This is as well a Carey's clon. The way she sings and lyrics are identical. 8/10
9- Impossible: This is arranged, written and composed by Alicia keys...so guess what it sounds like? Yep, you guessed!. 8.5/10
10- Underappreciated: The big voices in the chorus give it a gospel feel. It's good, just not the strongest track. 7/10
11- Beautiful: This one is excellent. Simple lyrics, beautiful music and great singing. Simply, a beautiful song. 10/10
12- Make over: Ok, here's the bad apple. Starts off with a flamenco beat and then it's higher than high shouting in the chorus. Kind of a rock feel to it, an experiment that didn't go well...at all. 4/10
13- Cruz: This a good song. It's well sung and doesn't sound as any previous track. 8/10
14- Soar: This starts like Pink's "missundaztood". Not much more than positive lyrics. 7/10
15- Dame lo que te doy / Get mine get yours: The song you get depends on where you live. I got the Spanish song, where she sings to a guy telling him she wants his body, not his heart. 9/10
16- Dirrty (featuring Redman): "Wanna get...roudy"...we all know this one. It's a hip-hop cut with a Britney-like video, 9/10
17- Stripped pt.2 : She claims, she ain't a diva or a virgin. Not much more to say about this.
18- The voice within : Beautiful song. Produced by Glen Ballard. Christina shows such a vocal ability. It's a ballad about believing in yourself when you can't rely on anybody else. 10/10
19- I'm ok: This is Christina's song about the things she had to go through as a child when her parents fought. Quite touching.8.5/10
20- Keep on singing my song: Mid-tempo positive track. Gets a bit long. I like the bit where she lets out a twenty-second-long "Sooonnnngg!". 9/10
On the whole, this is a great album. Pretty different and much more mature than her previous releases. Christina's a gifted singer, and she shows she can sing almost anything!. Give this a try, you won't regret it!.
on November 12, 2002
Christina Aguilera has fooled us all. She wore a top that resembled a napkin to the MTV Video Music Awards. And then she recorded a video full of other scantily clad women and risqué dancing. And to top it all off she posed nude on the cover of Rolling Stone.
But when Christina declared that her new album Stripped was a reflection of her true self, she didn't mean that she is a promiscuous sex kitten and wants the whole world to know. She meant, as one of her interludes exclaims, that she's not perfect but doesn't care; she's not a diva but she knows what she wants; and finally she's not a virgin, but nor is she a slut.
This is why I maintain that despite the hormonal hype Aguilera's album Stripped is not as dirty as we thought. In fact, it is, in my opinion, a great example of musical artistry and breaks the mold created by today's boy bands and pop princesses.
Now there is one song, "Get Mine Get Yours," that would probably upset your local Christian group because Aguilera sings about having one-night stand with someone she meets at a club. But songs like this are the exception not the rule.
The album as a whole is a melodic blend of hip-hop, soul and rock with heartfelt lyrics mostly written by Christina herself. The album is stripped, but not of class and taste. It's stripped of all of the tiptoe-through-the tulips, lollipop sounds and lyrics that continue to flood radio stations across the country. And, contrary to popular belief, it's not a soundtrack to a porn flick, like many of today's songs tend to be.
Christina tells of the bliss and blues of love with songs like "Loving Me 4 Me" and "Walk Away." On the track "Impossible," a song that bears resemblance to Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way," Aguilera teamed up with the talented Alicia Keys to compose a feel-it-down-your-soul tune about trying to love an emotionally unavailable man.
The song "Beautiful," though slow and solemn, can lift spirits with self-esteem-boosting lyrics like: "You are beautiful no matter what they say... "We're the song inside the tune, full of beautiful mistakes/And everywhere we go, the sun will always shine..."
One of the things that sets this album apart from most is Aguilera's vocal strength which comes through from track to track. But the reason Stripped should be a part of every young woman's CD collection is because of songs like "The Voice Within," "I'm OK" and "Keep Singin' My Song." These songs could be packaged in a first aid kit for surviving everything from crushed dreams to broken homes.
And the song "Can't Hold Us Down," which features bad girl rapper Lil' Kim, speaks to the double standards women must face when it comes to sexuality and the belief that women should be seen and not heard. All together these tunes can strip away a girl's shyness and insecurity and make her want to "take a deep breath and say it loud... can't hold us down!"
on August 8, 2003
Something of this quality, especially from someone labeled as a teenybopper bubblegum pop singer that won't last, doesn't come along often. Well Christina Aguilera is still here and she managed to break away from the pop scene and become her own artist, a true artist I've really become fond of. I'm convinced that this girl has a lot more to offer us in the future. She may even become the next biggest icon up there with Madonna and Janet. Appropriately nickname Xtina, with her wild and sometimes outrageous sense of style, Ms. Christina "Xtina" Aguilera has giving us a real, raw, honest album full of real, raw honest emotions coming straight from her own experiences. She herself penned 14 out of the 16 songs and did quite an impressive job at writing. 5 points on why this is a 5 star album.
* Vocally impressive.
Her voice does not disappoint on any of the songs. She gives it her all, but this time, it's not about hitting every note possible, but using her voice to convey emotions in each song very convincingly. In some parts, she sounds vulnerable, in some she sounds angry, and in some she's sound very peaceful and heavenly. She jumps from a soulful bluesy number (Walk Away) to a rock-tinged vocal fest (Fighter) effortlessly. She has amazing versatility and is able to sing many different types of music genres.
* Lyrically impressive.
As said before, Christina herself penned 14 out of the 16 songs. Her writing skills were never unleashed before, but 'Stripped' has proven she is capable of writing deep material without sounding pretentious or contrived. The lyrics are real and come straight from her heart and from her experieneces. The either tell a convincing story or give strength and hope to others. Very impressive for a first time writer.
* Excellent variety of subject matter.
Each song on this album conveys a feeling or a ventilation of emotions. Each song is about completely different subjects and ranges from many different topics. She talks about double standards in society, inner beauty, inner strength, building of character, domestic violence, love, heartache, change, independence, backstabbing, and even casual sex. She's got almost every answer for all of your questions and problems. There is not one song on here that is filler. Each song has it's own place, has it's own niche.
* Excellent variety of music styles.
"Stripped" runs the gauntlet with music styles and surprisingly this doesn't make the album fall apart, but instead keeps it tightly together with each song. She has rock, r&b, blues, hip/hop, country rock, neo-soul, pop, and even a little funk, gospel and alternative. If you have eclectic musical taste, this album is sure to tickle your fancy.
* Just great, real, raw, honest music.
You can tell this album is all Christina and her experiences has lent us some great songs. "Beautiful" is sure to be a classic" You can honestly call this "her music" instead of the manufactured pop songs she was forced to sing before. She wrote it, this is from her, this is what really happened to her and you can't deny that from her and she won't let you deny it either. "Stripped" is definitely stripped of all the things that make manufactured pop so hated. In the end, I felt like I've actually listened to an album instead of just 1 or 2 songs that are good and the rest are fillers. She is baring her soul quite heavily. She's speaking her mind, but at the same time giving inspiration, love and hope to others as well. Now that's what I call true music and a true artist.
Standout tracks : Walk Away, Fighter, Cruz, Loving Me 4 Me, Beautiful, Soar, The Voice Within, I'm OK, Make Over, Keep On Singing My Song
Some people have a lot of issues about the way she dresses. If you don't like the way she dresses or they way she portrays herself, then don't look at her. It's the music she puts out that matters and that alone has it's own merits. We all know Christina Aguilera can do just as fine without her sex-driven image, but that is her. You can't deny her sexuality or the freedom to express herself. You can't deny that from her. It's called self expression. Without her outrageous nature and boldness to speak her mind, she wouldn't be the huge superstar she is today. She's a woman, she's grown, and she's liberated. She can do whatever she wants. When you sit down and listen to her music, all the superficial nonsense fades away and you're left with awe as she takes you into her world.
on November 4, 2002
I feel I should start by saying that I am NOT a Christina fan, nor am I too keen on the pop music scene. This review is written from the point of view of a music lover who loves all kinds of TRUE music. As i listened to this album, I realized something that with pop star albums you don't tend to see...artistic vision. Ms. Aguilera may receive flack as being a naked teen queen, but she does truly shine with this album. you get the sense that every song is actually not just a song, but a direct ventilation of a feeling. Not many pop stars can pull off a vision as this, and Ms. Aguilera apparently has learned well, to be compared to that of Janet Jackson's "Janet (1993)" album, that was a declaration of femininity and growth. It is not a ground breaking album, but rather an expression of what is inside this particular 21 year old woman's mind..not the vision of a producer/manager/record label or anyone else that tends to fabricate pop star albums. the vibe of this album seems melancholic but fierce..and it is rather difficult to point out certain tracks or also to point out songs that are disposable..every song is a thought, not a track. My personal favorite is a rather cheesy predictable pop confection called "Infatuation", i simply find it interesting that the words "i am full blood boricua!" are coming out of this girl, but I am aware that the song is NOT talking about her, but rather are the words of her supposed man in that song. Another song that particularly amazed me was a song called "Walk Away". if there was any doubt Ms. A. was a talented singer, this track shall definitely quell those sensations. She showcased such emotion, not ever seen before on a Christina track.
So in the end, all I can say is that this album is definitely worth picking up, If you can appreciate a woman's point of view and also particular and unapologetic vocalizations. She offers no apologies nor should she. Do what you will, Christina. My props to you.
on December 18, 2002
Can't Hold Us Down - A song with a good beat. 7/10
Walk Away - Shows the kind of voice Christina really has. Good song. 10/10
Fighter - I like this song. It has a powerful message. 10/10
Infatuation - Also a very good song. It flows together well. 8/10
Loving me 4 me - an okay song, not a particularly great one. 6/10
Impossible - a great duet with alicia keys at the piano. shows Christina's jazzy style a bit. very nice! 10/10
Underappreciated - i found i had to turn it to the next song after hearing most of it. didn't care much for it. 5/10
Beautiful - like the title, an absolutely beautiful, gorgeous song. a very high self-esteem booster. 10/10
Make Over - I like this song. it has a very distinct and unique style. 9/10
Cruz - Pretty song. Reminds me of traveling in your car for a couple hours, just sitting back and relaxing. Very nice. 9/10
Soar - Good song. 8/10
Get Mine, Get Yours - This song has a good beat, and it's not bad to listen to. Catchy. 9/10
Dirrty - Not as good as the one above, but good to dance to. 7/10
The Voice Within - Pretty song. 10/10
I'm Okay - now this is the song that made me cry. not because i can relate to it, because my family life has been pretty stable throughout my life. but one of my best friends lives a life like this, and just thinking about it makes me go up in tears. my favorite song on the album besides beautiful. 10/10
Keep on Singin' My Song - an okay song. 7/10
All in all, this is a VERY good cd. i highly recommend that you buy it. you won't regret your purchase. it's very different from her previous albums, and with many singers, change is good.
on November 27, 2002
Okay, her self titled debut album was great. She showcased her beatiful vocals. But on the 2nd album Stripped she dives deep into pitfalls of stardom, her maturity,her past, her sexuality, and her overall womanhood.
1)Stripped Intro -a nice way to start off the album , letting everyone know,that finally this is the real Christina. 8/10
2)Can't Hold Us Down - I like this track, it is one of the few uptempo songs on the album. I wish we could have heard more from the guest-starring lil' kim, but its a good song and expresses women empowerment. 8.5/10
3)Walk Away- my favorite song on the entire CD. You feel C.A.'s pain on this one. And the thing that makes it great, is that the message in the song is something we can all relate to, leaving something that we love, but we need to leave.10/10
4)Fighter - It took a while for this track to grow on me but it eventually did. I love the different type of style Christina took on this one and her vocals standout over the rocking guitar. 9/10
5) Orimer Amor Intelude- I like, becuase I know some Spanish so its nice to her. She sounds beautiful. 8/10
6)Infatuation - this track probably most resembles music from her debut. It's still real catchy, and she goes back to her roots with this latin beat. 8.5/10
7)This is a beatiful interlude, the smoothness of it is captivationg. 9/10
8)One of my favorite songs on the album. I love the soulfulness of the song. This song could have easily been done by soul divas, Erykah Bady, Jill Scott, or India Arie. Christina flawlesy flows over the music. 10/10
9)Impossible - Alicia Keyes wrote this song. It definitely sounds like her even with Christina singing. I love it though, very bluesy Christina sounds powerful. 9/10
10)Underappreciated - I like it . probably the only song on the c.d. that could be classified as filler. It's aight, an uptempo. 8/10
11) Beautiful - Is what it is called...BEAUTIFUL!! I'm so glad that her management company and her have decided this to ber her second single, she has never sounded better, but the only problem I have with this song is that ...It wasn't the first single! 10/10
12)Make Over - even though I'm not much of a rocker, Xtina pulls it off and I really enjoy it. She sounds like a mix between Gwen Stefani,Shirley Manson and Alanis Morisette. 8.5/10
13)Cruz- another beatiful song on the album. The first song that first captivated me. I really enjoy it. A wonderful ballad. A journey song, xtina is on her own and loving it. 9/10
14)Soar - Another beautiful ballad (all the ballads are beautiful) very inspirational. Very uplifting, could have easily been done by Celine Dion.
15)Get Mine Get Yours- very r &b and I love it. It took a while for it to grow on me, but it did. Its just about casual sex and no strings attached. Its aight,Xtina can get her freak on too. 9/10
16)Dirrty - everyone knows this controversial song and video. I really enjoy it but after hearing the c.d., it relly doesnt fit in. I like the vibe her and Redman have, but i'm really upset that she released this as her first single, There were abot 5 songs that would have represented the album better and have been more succesful. But I dont care what no one else thinks...the video is HOT!! 8.5/10
17)Stripped part 2 - I like this interlude more than the first one. She proclaims what she likes dislikes and that she's not a ......., well you'll have to find that one out for yourself. 9/10
18)The Voice Within - Another one of the best songs on the album. Very inspirational, but better than "Soar", listen to yourself and no one else. 9.5/10
19) I'm Okay- probably the most revealing ad powerful songs on the album, equivalent to Pink's "Family Portrait" It's wonderful it mixes the pain and talent of Christina Aguilera. She is actually crying on the record. It's great, it would be wonderful if she released this one. 10/10
20) Keep on Singing My Song - Most albums tend to end the c.d. with any old song, but the this one keeps on the message of "Stripped" beleive in yourself and never give up. 9/10
Overall "stripped" is a 10/10!!!! ITs wonderful if u love Pink's "Misundaztood", you'll love this one. She is so true and sexy and smart, and confident, and strong. She has grown as an artist as a woman and person. She is beautiful and I hope this cd continues to propel her into the limelight that she continues to deserve. And don't let "Dirrty" fool you, the cd is great.
There is also another song, called "I Will Be" if it was on the cd it would have the strongest vocals. "I Will Be" has the strongest vocals from any singer in the world, I have heard recently. "Stripped" is very mellowed out, but you'll find it theraputic to let her songs touch your heart and speak to your mind. Look out for "Beautiful" its the epitomy of beautiful. AAGHHH...just go buy it!!! Support an artist that has grown and actually has talent. Christina I love you.
on October 30, 2002
Every Christina Aguilera record has become an event worth anticipating, if only for the reason that shes one of the few young women in the business at the moment who can actually sing. While 'Stripped' technically is her fifth album (counting her debut 'Christina Aguilera', 'My Kind of Christmas', 'Mi Reflejo', and the unauthorized 'Just be Free'), its clearly the most polished, most slick and decidedly the best solo female record since Madonna's 'Music' a few years ago. However, while that record was criticized for being too short, this one excels in that department. Clocking in at 80 minutes, 'Stripped' is one of the longest single-disc-CDs ever released, and makes its mark by giving us one quality track after another.
Christina's strength has always been her voice and its clear that she respects this talent. The songs all showcase her breathtaking vocals, and save for the single 'Dirrty', this is probably an album you could gift your aunt or grandmother who has a fondness for Aretha Franklin. Yes, its THAT good and that diverse. I'm especially picky about pop music these days and tend to steer clear of 'teen-pop' as the entire genre reeks of Occidental marketing at its' worst, but when a quality product such as 'Stripped' hits the shelves, you can't help but notice.
The range the singer displays on this record is amazing. It bears mentioning that after the release of this album, any comparisons to moppet Spears will prove nonsensical. In places, the songstress reminded my of Gladys Knight and the Pips, and some of the melodies hark back to the era of the Supremes. Like I said earlier, the fact that this is a very varied record gives it that much more credibility. If you liked Alicia Keyes' 'Songs' album, you will undoubtedly fall in love with this one. Its much better that Keyes' effort simply because it bears no signs of confusion or directionlessness. Each track flows into the next with ease, and the result is a sparkling pop masterpiece that is well worth anyone's time.
Lead single 'Dirrty' turns out to be the weak spot on the album. While it is certainly a mediocre tune, it sounds much better on CD that one would image. The track is multilayered with instrumentation that is completely lost in the music video. The album has its fair share of ballads (especially the soaring 'Beautiful', and the poignant 'Walk Away'). There are Pink-tinged tunes such as 'Underappreciated' and 'Make Over' and even a collaboration with L'il Kim that isn't as bad as one would think. While Christina has collaborated with a multitude of performers, at no stage is it a case of 'took many cooks spoil the broth'. And I cannot remember the last time an album had no 'fillers'. At the end of it, I felt I had listened to an ALBUM, which is more than I can say for other new artists such as Avril Lavigne or Jessica Simpson.
'Stripped' could get five stars, but I'm holding out on one star due to the image that Christina has chosen to portray. Granted that a beautiful young woman has every right to flaunt it, but this may serve to alienate listeners who would, for example, also listen to Norah Jones 'Come Away with Me' (my personal favorite of the year so far). If the image wasn't so tarty, 'Stripped' could well been the musical story of the year.
There are a few albums that share the same qualities and vibe that 'Stripped' does : 'Janet' by Janet Jackson, 'Come Away with me' by Norah Jones, 'Misunderstood' by Pink, and 'Eli and the Thirteenth Confession' by Laura Nyro. It also has the same spirit that Courtney Love's band Hole sported on their last album. This is a very urban and contemporary record, yet it has its own classic, almost jazz-like flavor.
If you are looking for one album this year that covers all musical genres and delivers on the vocal front, let it be this one. And in case you were always somewhat interested in what young people these days were listening to, give this one a listen. It may open doors to areas of new musical interest for you.