Christina Aguilera’s new album proves she’s still “a genie in a bottle”


Erick Mancebo

Pop star Christina Aguilera last month released her latest album Lotus amid a whirlwind promotional tour that showcased the album everywhere from TV shows to radio stations.

Aguilera, who has recently spent some time as one of the four judges on NBC’s successful singing competition show “The Voice,” where the album was also promoted, discussed the album on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

Her first in almost three years, the album was inspired by her new role as a mentor to young talent, and is meant to reintroduce her to the show’s younger generation of viewers who may not know her as a “genie in a bottle.”

“Lotus Intro,” an airily ethereal track, serves as the opening number for the album, setting the tone for the rest of the album’s powerful messages with the lyrics “Songbird, rebirth, unearth creature/ Submerge from hurt pain, broken pieces,” and ending with, “Rise up, lotus, this is the beginning.”

The theme of self-empowerment, which cemented Aguilera’s fame with 2002’s “Beautiful,” continues throughout this album, especially with “Army of Me.” A pleasant progression from the first track, track two, “Army of Me” keeps a sense of airiness to it, but takes on an edgier backbone with strong drums and synthesizers. Throughout the track, however, Aguilera’s voice rises above all the instrumentals, cutting across most clearly at the song’s climax.

The album continues at a good pace with “Red Hot Kinda Love,” a fun disco-esque dance track with an all-too-catchy “La la, lalala, lalala” mini bridge between verses and choruses. But the fun really starts with the first of Aguilera’s two collaborations on the albums, “Make The World Move,” which features Aguilera’s fellow “Voice” mentor Cee- Lo Green. The parts of the song build upon each other and lead to an explosive horn-blaring plateau of sound, upon which Cee-Lo figuratively lands his bedazzled spaceship with his “Spinning faster, round and round/ Let me hear that future sound” refrain.

The other collaboration on the album is with another one of Aguilera’s fellow “Voice” mentors, Blake Shelton. “Just a Fool” is a sad drinking-Jameson-neats-at-the-bar after a break-up kind of song. Literally, the song opens with, “nother shot of whiskey please, bartender/ Keep it coming ‘til I don’t remember at all/ How bad it hurts when you’re gone.”

About halfway through the album, the familiar “Ah-Ahh’s” of the album’s first single “Your Body” introduce the controversial song. The explicit version of the song swaps “love” for “f–k” when Aguilera half-shouts the chorus, “All I want to do is love your body,” which, obviously, is great for the singer’s so-called younger generation of fans to be singing at recess.

Regardless, the skillful production of the album shines throughout, especially with the dance tracks like “Let There Be Love.”

Whether or not the production of the album will translate into commercial success remains to be seen, but it is already a more successful offering than Aguilera’s 2010 offering, Bionic. That album was both a commercial and critical failure, which was bad news for Aguilera, who was reeling from the box office failure that was her big budget musical/movie “Burlesque,” which co-starred Cher.

Overall, however, Lotus proves itself to be a strong offering from a pop singer who has luckily experienced longevity in her career, and will likely continue to be successful thanks to her new role on “The Voice.”