Christina Aguilera is all about reinvention, so she says, and on Bionic, she's moved on from the 1920's-inspired artist she was on Back to Basics and has reverted back to the naughty girl everyone remembers from her "Dirrty" days and juxtaposed it with a sweet and innocent motherly figure. It's as if Aguilera is taking on a split personality on the album, where she bounces back and forth between skanky and angelic--probably a vision she's OK with, since people are entitled to have different parts to their personalities and moms can be sexy and all, but it creates a disjointedness that makes listeners wonder just who they're listening to.
While it's great when albums have a little something for everyone, as in upbeat songs and ballads, on Bionic, Aguilera's lyrics are such polar opposites on certain songs, that her sincerity on any of the songs is completely lost.
On the most vulgar track of the album, "Vanity," Aguilera calls herself and her fellow ladies "bitch" several times, and says that compared to guys, she "makes herself so much wetter." Knowing that Aguilera's supposedly in a loving marriage, it's really hard to buy and seems unclassy. The worst part of the song is, when Aguilera compares herself to a queen and says, "Who owns the throne?", her son Max is featured on the track saying, "You do, Mommy." After hearing the word bitch so much, listening to her son on the same song is really bizarre.
Then there are the two stand-out tracks on the disc, both ballads--"You Lost Me," a gorgeous breakup ballad about being cheated on that Aguilera's performed on American Idol, and "I Am," a stunning piano-driven song that could be her next "Beautiful."
She collaborated with the same person for both of the tracks, as well as the very pretty Ingrid Michaelson-esque "All I Need": Sia, the Australian singer-songwriter who had a hit in "Breathe Me." Aguilera really should have worked with Sia on all the tracks, because these are the best on the album. Her emotions shine through on all the songs, and her voice also sounds the prettiest it's ever sounded--vulnerable, not overpowering and not warbly like it can tend to sound.
It's just so disappointing that these get lost in the shuffle with such trash as "Bobblehead," a song that seems straight off of Ke$ha's album, in which Aguilera doesn't even sing. She just raps about ditzy girls while coming off as a ditz herself.
And then there's "I Hate Boys," a sassy track in which she declares, "All men are dogs." Um, then why did you marry one, honey? And there are more songs about getting drunk in clubs ("Prima Donna"), just like her new single, "Woohoo," along with some pointless spoken intros.
It's as if Aguilera is trying to push away responsibility and doesn't realize you can still be sexy without being slutty. In an effort to push the envelope, Aguilera loses herself in smuttiness by promoting alcohol-induced hook-ups, by bashing males, by admitting that she's extremely cocky and by inviting people to chow down on her woohoo. Bionic isn't as electronically-minded as Aguilera wants people to think it is, and she should have just made the most gorgeous album that she was capable of. Hopefully next time she reinvents herself, she'll learn piano and go in the singer-songwriter direction that Sia tried to push her in.
Now, she just comes off as a little too desperate in trying to stay relevant by trying to lure people in with shock and her body. She needs to stick with what she's good at, and that's by showing off her voice and not distracting with nonsense.