Christina Aguilera began her prolific career on “Mickey Mouse Club,” a hit television show on the Disney Channel in the early 1990s. Later in the decade, she would launch a pop music career that would gain her international fame and the nickname “voice of a generation.” From bubblegum pop to urban influenced tracks, to jazz all the way to futuristic bangers, let’s take a look at her albums from worst to best.
After the commercial backfire of Christina’s 4th studio album, “Bionic,” fans expected a major comeback for the vocalist of our generation. What they got, however, was far from that. Preceded by lead single “Your Body,” Christina opted for a Max Martin produced banger that would, unfortunately, be one of the few tracks actually worth listening to more than once. At times, the record sounds like it’s trying to emulate “Stripped” (even the album cover seems to borrow from the latter’s cover), but it instead falls flat and drags on for too long. It seems Xtina just didn’t care about the record, and nowadays fans pretend it never even happened. At least we got the beautiful “Lotus Intro.”
4. Christina Aguilera
Don’t let this one’s low position fool you, it’s actually rather good. Christina first jumped onto the scene with her version of “Reflection” from the hit Disney movie “Mulan,” which was also included on this record. Christina made quite a few waves with this album aside from “Reflection,” particularly with the smash hit “Genie in a Bottle,” which still stands as one of her many classics today. “What a Girl Wants” also still gets many well deserved spins today, ringing loud and true with that signature 90s pop sound so many have come to cherish.
While technically Christina’s 4th studio album, this is her 2nd official non-Christmas English album. No matter what place you give it in her discography, there’s no doubt that this is one of the greatest albums to debut in the 2000s. Christina opted for a more raw lyrical experience while flaunting extremely liberated, sexually empowered looks that left people everywhere in shock that this was once the girl who sung “Reflection.” “Can’t Hold Us Down,” a collaboration with Lil’ Kim, is a feminist anthem that’s surely still played today among the women liberating themselves from societal standards today. “Beautiful,” an empowering ballad about loving yourself and being who you truly are, is one of the biggest hits to come out of the 2000s, still garnering plays across multiple formats and becoming a staple on televised talent shows. All in all, “Stripped” shaped the Xtina we all know and love today, and we couldn’t be happier.
When Christina released 2010’s “Bionic,” it had been 4 years since her previous studio album “Back to Basics.” Whether it was the long wait, or the lack of promotion, “Bionic” undeservedly performed worse than her past records, becoming a monumental flop that still has legends told of its disastrous era across pop music websites. All of that aside, “Bionic” is actually quite a fantastic record. The album was preceded by the electronic banger “Not Myself Tonight,” which finds Xtina singing of her night out liberating herself and having a fun time living it up, and even “kissing all the boys and the girls.” The album itself opens with the title track, which happens to be one of her most interesting songs as far as her more uptempo tracks go, where her chopped vocals take sex to the next level, or in her own words, “supersonic.” The first half of the album is littered with fantastic bangers such as the two aforementioned songs as well songs such as the sexual romp “WooHoo,” which features Nicki Minaj, and “Desnudate.” The second half of the album, however, is filled to the brim with the ballads we all know Xtina for. “All I Need” is a heartwarming track that sings the joys of motherhood, while “I Am” is an uplifting song in which Xtina sings about who she truly is, even with her imperfections. “Bionic” is a well balanced album that was unfortunately ignored by the general public, but to this day, it still holds up as one of her best records.
1. Back to Basics
And here we are, Christina’s magnum opus. “Back to Basics” came after the hit album “Stripped,” yet both records are very different from each other. “Back to Basics” is a jazz and lounge infused album that sounds perfect for a night about at a laid back jazz club, or even just a night relaxing at home. Don’t think that this means the record is filled with slow tunes, however, because that’s far from the truth. “Still Dirrty,” for example, does the original “Dirrty” justice with Xtina’s powerhouse vocals and sexually free lyrics is a brilliantly satisfying track that demands us to get to our feet. “Makes Me Wanna Pray” brings that lounge feel along with a belting choir of beautiful voices, making it one of the standouts on this record. The second part of the album is separated from the rest by the interlude “Welcome to the Circus,” letting us know it’s time to get our dancing shoes on. One song everyone is sure to know from this section is “Candyman,” a track with a large, in your face sound that wouldn’t feel out of place in a 1950s era film. Perhaps the best song here, however, is the heartbreaking “Hurt,” a song in which Xtina finds herself singing of lamenting the death of her father and not realizing the relationship they could’ve had while he was alive. The song, however, is more from the point of view of co-writer Linda Perry, whom Xtina fans know well. “Back to Basics” is overall a very rewarding experience, bringing us Xtina’s most exciting productions, most heartwarming lyrics, and greatest vocals, and is sure to continue to stand the test of time.