Christina Aguilera Back to Basics
3.4 Ranking: #161 for 2006
Tracklist

 Full ReviewRatings (171) Give your Rating

3.5 greatDr Dave De Sylvia STAFF | September 2nd 06

What sets Christina Aguilera apart from her girl-pop peers, apart from obvious ability, is her Madonna-like desire to actually be set apart.

She's no more self-absorbed than anyone else in her business, but Back to Basics literally screams "look at me". With good reason- Back to Basics is a damn fine album, combining classic Christina- over the top singing and the odd great song too- with stranger elements- Moulin Rouge-style nods to vaudeville and rap genius DJ Premier.

Premier's addition is a masterstroke- his beats roll perfectly with Aguilera's howls- but even finer comes from Linda Perry. Back to Basics isn't quite the pre-war jazz trip it's been sold as but there's plenty of nostalgia on offer: 'Welcome' and 'Candyman' may be the two best Christina songs ever, but even average fare like 'Mercy on Me' could pass for genius as Christina hits top form.

It's the prevalence of average fare that falls well short that hurts this album.


4 Bumps | Bump

4.0 excellentAmanda Murray STAFF | October 23rd 06


Pretend the first disc doesn't exist save for "Ain't No Other Man" and "Oh, Mother", and this is easily one of the best records of the year, regardless of genre. Since that type of selective exclusion could only have been performed before the release of Aguilera's latest record, we'll have to make do with just a very, very good double album.

Inheriting Madonna's chameleonic tendencies, for the third time in her short career Aguilera has adopted a new image and sound, but ultimately it revolves around the same pop pastiche as always. Where she revisits familiar territory, the album falters (as evidenced by the first disc). Where she steps out of her management- directed comfort zone and explores territory beyond over-singing white bread r&b, she shines. Highlights include the bombastic "Welcome", sultry "Nasty Naughty Boy", emotional "Hurt" and "Oh Mother", and the delightfully subtle "Save Me From Myself". While it's not the pre-war jazz epic her marketing promised listeners, it is a refreshingly different attempt at blending the new and old; it is not rooted in the past, present or future; it is simply captivating music - all gimmicks aside.


1 Bumps | Bump

1.5 very poorskipdog81 | May 9th 07

There is quite a fine line between using vocal ability to one's advantage or disadvantage. Throughout almost the entire double album, Christina is way overdoing the whole "I have great singing skill, so I'm gonna belt out as many syllables and exclamatory sounds as possible" that had made Mariah Carey unlistenable as Christina has now become.
The production on this album is almost as overblown as the singing, and the "new direction" by doing what was done far better by every single previous jazz/lounge/big band singer is a real slap in the face.
If this is truly Christina's idea of getting back to basics, then count me in on looking to the future.
Only saving grace from a 1 is Oh Mother, which is shockingly a really good song.

Bump

5.0 classicazaria | August 19th 06

Christina Aguilera came out at the peak of the Pop Explosion, so she was just another blonde pop star. But, she released "Stripped" and changed her image into Xtina. Now, she is back with a new style based on the 20's 30's and 40's style. She has done something no other artists of this generation could pull off. Both discs are great, and it is hard to pick a favorite. With songs like "Ain't No Other Man" and "Oh Mother" on disc 1 to the songs "Candyman" and "Nasty Naughty Boy" you have so much to listen to. This album can fit to any mood you are in. It's definately worth getting!

Bump

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