Customer Reviews: Lotus [Explicit]
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on November 21, 2012
I say this as someone who is not a Christina fan: I bought this album on a whim because I thought the single Your Body was catchy, and I love it. I have been playing it over and over. This is one of those albums that was made to be played LOUD and it's a blast. I have discovered my car's actually got sub-woofers! I suspect Christina Aquillera might be able to sing over top of taiko drums, live.

The record is very, very powerful. The Lotus Intro uses imagery more typically associated with the phoenix to declare a fresh start (and let's be serious: she had some personal issues in the last couple years and this album is a major bounce-back). There's a little autotune sfx in that song's background vocals, but it's just used to create an etheral feeling and doesn't detract. Autotune is not used much elsewhere. Army of Me is a self-empowerment rocker that Kelly Clarkson probably would have liked to record.

Once the war is won the party is started with Red Hot Kind of Love, and then Cee-Lo Green drops in for Make the World Move (though his part doesn't stand out too much, it's more of a cameo backing vocal really). Those two songs have what I call a baroque bombastic party feel with drums and horns that make me think of Mardi gras revelry. I guess when you have as big a voice as Christina you have to find material that you don't overpower and these are good examples of that. After that we're up to the single Your Body and then the celebratory Let There Be Love which continues the party vibe.

The album shifts downtempo with power ballad Sing for Me and Blank Page. Those are about the only 2 songs on the album that don't leave a strong impression on me, but more standout material quickly eclipse them. The tempo shifts up with a bit of Rihanna-esque dancey funk with Cease Fire and Around the World. Circles picks up a harder, more rock edge with a little autotuning that gives some of the backing vocals an "over the loudspeaker" quality. The album moves toward a climax with the building Best of Me which extols the virtue of remaining strong. Finally Lotus finishes with a duet with Blake Shelton, Just a Fool. Blake's vocals really stand out and we end up with a classic and very effective "he says/she says" power duet.

Overall, the album is simply amazing. Christina has her signature power vocal style but the material suits her voice and supports her. The style is overall pretty dancey - as in she's going to make you get up and move, not necessarily club style, though there is some of that. There are some great rock influences too. It took a while to move past listening to the first songs over and over and it was great when I found the whole album to be so consistent. Final thought: I should probably have bought the deluxe edition because I want some more of this.
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on November 13, 2012
Xtina is truly back in business with this release. Although many say "Bionic" was a horrible album I disagree. Lotus seems to blend Stripped with Bionic therefore creating a great sound/feel. It is hard to distinguish what is an Album filler and what is not because all of the songs have single potential. Xtina does a lot of vocal acrobatics over techno/sonic beats which gives us an amazing album not fitting into the mold of pop at the moment being that her voice outshines all the other contemporary pop artists.

STANDOUT TRACKS: Red Hot Kinda Love, Let there Be love, Just a Fool, and Army of Me. (The Lotus Intro is amazing as well)
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on November 13, 2012
Christina Aguilera can definitely sing, we all know that. But her studio albums (at least to this point) have been spaced apart and cluttered with filler and interludes that take away from the overall enjoyment of the album.

Back in 2010, she released Bionic, which was largely experimental and certainly a commercial flop, selling about 300,000 copies to date. Part of the problem with that album was the fact that her voice was buried beneath too many layers of electronica, thus nullifying her best instrument. Another problem was the songwriting of Tricky Stewart, who has been unable to re-create the success of "Umbrella" which he wrote for Rihanna half a decade ago. Both those elements are absent here, and Aguilera has taken up much of the songwriting herself with the help of some notable songwriters such as Max Martin.

By and large, "Lotus" works well. It is a step back into the pop she was singing when she was 19, and even though she is now 31 (big difference), she can pull it off because the songs are sensual and sound immediate. They are songs of personal growth and independence. And given the fact that there are a few potential huge hit singles here, this is the appropriate album for Xtina at this point in her career.
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on November 13, 2012
Lotus Intro - I really like this intro for many reasons. The mellowness of the track is intoxication, and the length is very welcome.

Army of Me - A song about being independent, rising up against the disenfranchisement one tried to push on you. She sings about being a fighter, and no longer taking ones crap anymore.

Red Hot Kinda Love - This song is basically about the freshness and infatuation of love in the moment, even if you at first were not looking for it. About not being able to think about anything else but the person you are in love with, and wanting to spend all your time with them.

Make the World Move ft Ceelo Green - Right out the gates of this song I knew this was going to be a song that I liked. This song is about moving forward in the world with positivity. Ceelo Green brings his funkiness to the track, and the collaboration is very crisp and just works. This could make a definite single, and would make a very interesting music video. Very funky and positive track that is too short.

Your Body - First single off Lotus and at first I didn't care for it, but to be fair I did hear the entire track. This track just pulls you in. After listening in the entirety I grew to love. I will say that I have heard only the censored version of this song, and I think it works very well. I heard rumors of a graphic version but haven't seen that anywhere.

Let There Be Love - Right away this type of beat or production seemed super familiar. It's definitely a Max Martin production, and is something I believe will do well on the dance billboard, clubs and overseas. However, the beat sounds like something I have already heard, but cannot put my finger on. Definite potential to be a single, but I wouldn't release it as single number two.

Sing for Me - First ballad of the album. This is an uplifting, rising from the ashes kind of song. The beat reminds me of the type you would hear near the end of a late 80s-early 90s movie when the protagonist has learned the lesson of the movie, or when everything is in their favor. I know that is a random picture, but I was able to imagine a scenario right away and to me that is a good song.

Blank Page - Sia Furler and Christina Aguilera have a very interesting dynamic when it comes to working together. This is also a ballad about regret and apology. This track is only Christina singing over a piano. Solid vocals all around.

Cease Fire - I did not immediately fall in love with this track. I think it was the ennunciation that did not pull me into it. But there are definite parts that I liked about it. This track is about knowing when to draw your cards, for you do not have to exhaust your energy on every call. It's also about realizing that you are not alone and have allies by you. Basically, just chill out. It's an alright song.

Around the World - This is a very loud track. A mix of a lot when it comes to the beat and production. A lot of drums, etc. I like it a lot.

Circles - Right away the beat caught me. Then Ms. Aguilera's attitude on this song is tough! It's basically an "F You" to the haters. It's so catchy and something that will be on repeat.

Best of Me - Another ballad type song. This song is basically about not sacrificing yourself to the detriment of someone else. Of not lowering yourself to the low level of someone else, and not playing their games anymore by tarnishing yourself. Positive message of not breaking yourself to someone you no longer recognize because of someone else.

Just a Fool ft Blake Shelton - Very interesting collaboration, because I never really listened to a Blake Shelton song before. But neither artists overpowered one another, and this bluesy/country-lite song actually works. If released, I think it would do great in the country market.

Light Up the Sky - Positive uplifting song. Love the song. You just have to listen to it in it's entirely to hear the message and feel the song.

Empty Words - An inspiring and spiritually elevating song. A standout to me. It is a long the same lines as Circles, maybe even it's counterpart - same message, just without the bad or crass words.

Shut Up - I do not know if the beeping was a purposeful aspect of the song, but it can go either way for some people. For me it was distracting and a bit annoying, especially when she does curse in the song. I wish we could get the full experience of the song. Otherwise it's an alright song.

Your Body [Martin Garrix Remix] - A solid dance remix.

There are some very interesting themes in this album, the standouts to me being positivity, love, redemption and confidence in oneself. This is a really great musical effort that I hope redeems Christina Aguilera with the fans that did not come out and support her last effort BIONIC - DELUXE (Explicit), which I actually really liked. She has moved more towards the pop-ish side of the spectrum where as Bionic was very experimental with a lot of electronica and Euro-pop elements, but this album totally works for me as well. But I can always appreciate an artist who can sing as well as write, which she has credits on a majority of this album.
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on November 13, 2012
Christina Aguilera has always been noticed for that voice that no one can sound like. I think this is her best album since Stripped. She is definitely trying to rise above all the pain like a Lotus. Do I think she will get the credit she deserves for this album? Probably not. But, this album is a statement that she is still in the game. My favorite tracks are #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #8, #10 and #12. There is not much filler on this well-produced come back of an album. But the thing is she never went anywhere.... The Burlesque Soundtrack was awesome. Her vocals were amazing. They still are. One of the best singers in the world shows how it should be done once again.
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on December 2, 2012
Christina Aguilera's new album is her most cohesive album in my opinion, though it is her least experimental album probably since her debut. But I understand why she played it safe, given the complaints she always gets about her albums being all over the place and too overwrought.

The standouts in my opinion are Lotus, Army of Me, Make the World Move, Your Body, Let There Be Love, Sing for Me, Blank Page, Just A Fool and Empty Words (on the deluxe). I love the light, ethereal vibe of Lotus (intro). It really sets the mood for the album. Army of Me is such an empowering song and very radio friendly. Make the World Move is a great collabo with Ceelo, though I wish there was more of him on the track. I love the pounding of the beat and it feels as if she brought that Back to Basics vibe to this current era. Your Body should have been a smash single, The beat is sick, fresh and very hard, hip hop sounding with a nice electro vibe, plus her vocals are insane. The bridge is a thumping, declaration of Ms. Aguilera.

Let There Be Love is a sleeper song. When I first heard the album, it sounded like filler to me since it has a generic "club" beat. However, once I saw her perform it live it really began to stand out to me. What stops it from being another generic club track is her voice. Similar to Whitney Houston, Christina knows how to take subpar material and give it new life.

Sing for Me reminds my why I became a Christina fan. Again, like Whitney and Etta James, she is a fearless singer. When Christina sings, "when I open my mouth, my whole heart comes out..." I get chills. Blank Page is one of her most sincere ballads. She sings it from such an honest place and it is so soulful without needing to riff from the top of her range to the bottom. I'm impressed.

Just A Fool just might be the best Pop duet I've heard in years. Blake and Christina harmonize so well and again, the vocals are from such a sincere place, they really highlight the lyrics. Empty Words really deserves to be on the actual album, another heartfelt Christina ballad. I love the lyrics to this song and it is also really catchy. Kind of reminds me of a P!nk or Kelly Clarkson ballad.

All in all, I see this album having longevity if Christina and her team play their cards right. Just A Fool is destined to be her biggest hit in a long time!
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on November 25, 2012
I LOVE this album. The best tracks are Just A Fool (Xtina & Blake's voices blend beautifully together), Sing for Me, Best of me, & Army of me. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone who likes music that's fun, inspirational, and sexy.
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on November 13, 2012
Christina Aguilera's interview with Lucky magazine was what first got me interested in checking out her recent work. My curiosity was also heightened when she mentioned that anyone that likes the song "Fighter" is also going to like her new work and when Blake Shelton publicly endorsed her latest cd (via facebook). I consider both Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert naturally good singers. Naturally,I figured that "Lotus" must contain good vocals as well. I am glad that I went by this hunch because Christina Aguilera's voice definitely shines through on this deluxe version. I understand that others may prefer different songs, but these tracks are currently among some of my favorites on "Lotus": "Army Of Me", "Red Hot Kinda Love" "Make The World Move" (featuring Ceelo), "Your Body", "Let There Be Love", "Around The World", "Best Of Me", "Just A Fool" (featuring Blake Shelton), and "Light Up The Sky".
"Lotus" by Christina Aguilera is definitely recommended for those who enjoy "Fighter" and/or at least three songs by Christina Aguilera.
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on November 14, 2012
When Christina said that this album was going to be as personal and diverse as Stripped, I was beyond excited. Christina's lyrics and creativity is what keeps me buying her albums time and time again. When Lotus was coming out I was counting down the days til November 13th. I put on my boyfriend's production headphones, popped the disc in and listened to it from track-to-track. When I was done he asked what I thought.
"Safe." Was the first thing that came out of my mouth. He said, "Do you like it more or less than [Bionic]?" I said, "Lotus makes me appreciate Bionic." He was shocked given I wasn't too fond of Bionic -- until now. (More on that later!)

This album lacks that boundary-pushing, creative, innovative Christina I know and love from Stripped, B2B and Bionic. All three of those albums had amazing tracks and were anything but a safe approach to music. There's really not any stand out tracks on Lotus for me that make me want to play them over and over (see Ain't No Other Man), I skip tracks on this one which I do not have to do with Stripped, and Bionic was loaded with post-production that really challenged the ears in a good way.

**EDITED ON 11/19**
I do like: "Lotus Intro," (despite the unnecessary use of autotune), "Cease Fire," "Blank Page," "Best of Me," "Just A Fool" (my absolute favorite), "Empty Words" and "Shut Up," "Your Body"

OK Tracks: "Army of Me," "Red Hot Kind of Love," "Let There Be Love," "Sing for Me" (although beautiful vocals!)

Scrap it: I may get screamed at but "Make The World Move" (Has good elements to it but overall kind of annoying...), "Around the World", "Circles" (mostly the lyrics is what ruins this. Musically, it is enjoyable.) "Light Up The Sky" (give it to Katy Perry) "Your Body Remix" (waste of track space. Do an original! haha!)

It took me two years to appreciate Bionic. After I took it on my iTunes and got rid of those nonsense songs like "Prima Donna" and "Vanity". To like 16/23 is not bad at all! As for Lotus, it's not very memorable although it has some foot-tapping tracks that definitely fits the Pop Sound of 2012. I think Christina played it too safe on this one. There are hints of that boundary-breaker in "Cease Fire" and "Red Hot Kind of Love" and "Blank Page", but the album as a whole is too safe for me.

Vocally, it is EVERYTHING I love out of my girl, but I like my XTina pushing sound barriers, challenging the ears of her fans and critics alike, and pouring her heart and soul into the lyrics, making you feel her pain, her love, her joy, her angst. While some songs on Lotus do accomplish that, it's too few and far between for me to call this her best.
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on November 28, 2012
I'm a fan of Christina Aguilera and think she is one of the few talented artists out there amongst the young ones. I will admit that at first listen I didn't love the album, but it's really grown on me and I think it's a great change for Christina. "Army of Me," "Let There Be Love," "Just a Fool," "Light Up The Sky" and several other tracks will grow on you, I think. Good album for fans of hers.
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