Friday, June 7, 2013

W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Post 4: Christina Aguilera

This is a series dedicated to women who despite success in the U.S. Music Industry, have est. a very complicated image for themselves.

Round 4 of this post goes to Genie in A Bottle turned Mangler of the National Anthem after a bottle, The Voice U.S. coach and Fashion Police bulls-eye Christina Aguilera.

In her Behind The Music, it was revealed Christina had seen the absolute worst at a young age. She was a military brat to an abusive father figure. Eventually her mother took her and her sister away to Pennsylvania where Christina's life would be screwed with more. When her singing talent was being developed, her critics and other forms of haters were developing as well. After appearing on Star Search [but losing like every successful musician that came from that show] word is from BTM, when she was in a school talent show a competitor had unplugged the amp she was using. Even worse was when peers had slashed the tires on the family car. O_O (PSA moment: Remember; condoms cost less than a minivan and a life for some budding brat w/ your genetic makeup.)

Cut to her initial breakout after being one of the Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers [With other soon to be famous people such as Keri Russell {"Felicity", "The Americans"}, Ryan Gosling {Some stupid chick flick}, Justin Timberlake {SNL loiterer, "Rock Your Body", "Wardrobe Malfunction"}, Britney Spears {"I'm A Slave 4 U", X Factor U.S. judge for a season} and eventual Voice S2 contestant and "Dad With Dreams", Tony Lucca.] She eventually sings the CD exclusive Version of "Reflections" for the Mulan soundtrack. That landed her with RCA Records and non-team player, Ron Fair (Refer back to Nicole's post in this series).

Her solo breakout occurred with her musical earworm contribution, "Genie In A Bottle". Christina had debuted alongside Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson. Retrospective pieces over that 1999 pop music face off pretty much determined Christina had the best vocal talents. In BTM, she admits that GIB was a very limiting song, vocally and creatively (Wow, what a shock -_-). However, her follow up singles "What A Girl Wants" and "Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)" helped her solo career take off in the right direction as her eponymous debut effort went to #1 and sold a shitload of copies.

Cut to after her 1st Spanish language CD and 1st Christmas CD were read the house down into the cement critically and commercially. The 2002 album Stripped, would unleash the "X-Tina" era of her career. By then, she had said [to some effect] "suck it!" to Ron Fair as she paired with Howard Kurtz to manage her. Her debut single from that album, "Dirrty", would certainly declare that not only was the genie out of the bottle, but that if you pause the music video for "Dirrty", you swear you could see it on display O_O.
However, after that release one of her most acclaimed songs would emerge. Written by Linda Perry, who had found a new mainstream success [courtesy of her rival, P!nk] as the "go-to" songwriter of the moment, "Beautiful" would prove that Christina really is one of the best singers in the industry. However, due to some flack from "Dirrty" the album would only peak at #2.
Then after pimping herself alongside Justin Timberlake for a joint tour venture, she caught a teency bit more flack for something Britney would become famous for (Making out with Madonna and living to tell about the encounter).

Years later, c. 2006 after having a bit of a tiff with Britney for a quote from Blender Magazine [that Christina said], a hair dye change and being told about retro 50s glamour, she'd release Back To Basics. Her best album in terms of creativity [even if some critics bitched at the fact it was 2 discs long.] would be kicked off by the song "Ain't No Other Man" which she dedicated to now ex-husband, Jordan Bratman. "Candyman" while a tad catchier didn't do as well on the radio as "Ain't No Other Man"; admittedly "Candyman" is the better video (Because it doesn't end while going into another song. > : ( That trend really pisses me off.)
Then her greatest hits album released in 2008, Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits, and the track "Keeps Gettin' Better" revealed a recent flaw she hasn't dealt with properly; her trying way too hard to compete with the likes of Lady Gaga. That problem would manifest in the worst way possible 2 years later...

Bionic looked to be Aguilera's most artistically daring album yet. However, chances are everything from the cover art of the album to the atrocious song "Not Myself Tonight" was created in some misguided response to something Aguilera said to the effect of "I don't know who Lady Gaga is..." Cut to "Not Myself Tonight" being released and frankly...O_O what. the. hell. was. that. video? Black paint being smeared around pointlessly? Check. Needlessly slutty lingerie shots involving writhing on some poor video models? Check. An ironic acknowledgement of her misguided attempts at avante-garde style pop music?

"I'm not a character; I'm in 'rare form'...'cause I'm doing things that I normally won't do."

That and remembering the song is titled "Not Myself Tonight" makes that a "Check".
Cut to her 2011 persona and things only looked worse from there. She had become the gift that kept on giving for the E! show Fashion Police. She had also become infamous for botching the National Anthem at the Superbowl; compound that with an unfortunate divorce, and Aguilera would be in limbo.

That would've been the case had it not been for the NBC version of The Voice. Aguilera became a coach and her career would get a much needed kick to the ass from a collaborative effort from Maroon 5. They featured her on the deliciously tacky jam, "Moves Like Jagger". Cut to her other 2 seasons as a judge before wanting to capitalize on the show's success and Aguilera was back in business. She had debuted snippets of her soon to be album Lotus. "Your Body" was debuted as a teaser, and she performed the song "Let There Be Love" with her contestants at the time Sylvia Yacoub and Dez Duron.

Yet even with the success of the show, Christina's overall image was still being read for filth. S2 saw the worst of her outfits (Her ode to Dish Network hat in the Battle Rounds and her sequined diaper looking panties in the finale) and S3 saw some really fucked up looking wigs. O_O That and before S3 she and Adam had a bit of tension which came to a head in S2 when Tony Lucca performed "99 Problems" by Jay-Z and sang it with the word bitch. Christina took offense to him not censoring the word; Adam tried to defend the choice of not censoring "bitch"; she had the balls to say Chris Mann was a bigger man than Tony and Chris ended up in 4th place.
Even worse, Lotus would be wilted in sales despite help from other Voice coaches Cee-Lo and Blake on 2 separate tracks from the album.

Christina's place as one of many W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. stems from despite her making a name for herself among so many big names at the time, she's slipped in quality after Back To Basics. While using The Voice as a much needed re-connection mechanism, she left the show to a more positively received Shakira for S4. Someone in Christina's mirror needs to straighten her ass out. To remind her that pre-Bionic she was regarded as one of the best singers in U.S. Recording Artist history.

Next up; the A-Bey-Cs aren't quite as easy as 1,2,3 ; do-re-mi, etc.

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