Artist: Christina Aguilera
Label: RCA Records/Sony
Welcome back Christina Aguilera! The disappointing 2010 release of Bionic seemed to be a henpecking mechanical soundscape serve petulance like the screeching of Freddy Kruger’s glove consisting of sharp knives touching the surface of a chalkboard.Aguilera goes Back 2 Basics, Stripped from anxieties, laxity, and acute heartbreak that companions #LIFE. This blossomed her into the elegance of a desirable Lotus as the album’s radiant intro suggest: “Songbird, rebirth, unearth creature/Submerge from hurt pain, broken pieces…To the sky I rise/ Spread my wings and fly/ I leave the past behind/ And say goodbye to the scarred child inside/ I sing for freedom and love/ I look at my reflection, embrace the woman I’ve become/ The unbreakable lotus in me, I now set freedom.”
The implied adage to Aguilera’s life on the album after her failed marriage and record sales and box office disappointments is “losing it all to victoriously win.” Aguilera has always been known to be a “Fighter” and “Beautiful” words and criticism from critics and haters won’t bring her down. Instead, she tells them to spin around in “Circles” on her middle finger. Be advised that this lotus, if threatened, can look deceiving despite it’s lush, subtle, and dandyish textured petals. She packs windpipes that towers the atmosphere and her lyrics deeply inscribed with complexity and devise.
The death sentence for provoking this strong woman would be an “Army Of Me” villainously citing, “I found my second wind/ I’ve found my second skin…You thought you watch me fade away/ When you broke me into pieces/ But I gave each piece a name/ One of me is wiser/ One of me is stronger/ One of me is a fighter.” Aguilera incorporates jazz and hip-hop as she did with Back 2 Basics and also masters country music with The Voice featured guest Ceelo Green (“Make The World Move”) and Blake Shelton (“Just A Fool”).
Traditional ballads that made this songbird an invigorating sensation in pop music make the heart of Lotus. The ballad “Sing For Me” is euphonious for luscious lyrics that detail her love for music and her refusal to conformity to current trends, “I stand in believing who I am/ Take shots at my heart but who am I to give up/ Everybody needs a melody to get their souls free/ My stage is the greatest in the world…Cause when I open my mouth my whole heart comes out/ Every tear I wanna cry is satisfied/ I’m sitting ‘til I’m winning, I’ma sing for me.”
Separation is like a torn “Blank Page” from a wedding couple’s scrapbook where love’s pulse no longer beats life- it’s that blank page that can never be patched together. The hurt in her voice and lyrics exacerbates, “And in my own way, regret choices I made/ How do I say I’m sorry/ I was scared, I was unprepared/ Oh, for the things you said/ If I can undo that I hurt you…Draw me a smile/And save me tonight/ I am a blank page, waiting for you to bring me to life/ Paint me a smile/ Let me be your art.”
Lotus is Christina Aguilera’s best masterpiece since 2002s Stripped, a concoction of electro pop funky rhythms and smoothed out soulful ballads. She proves that while all other flowers in the garden of pop music grow frost and depart the spring and summer life due to blistery cold December nights, her petals glitter #LIFE.
-Hector De La Rosa