Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: Christina Aguilera - Lotus (updated)

Hello there! How are you? Have you listened to Mrs. Aguilera newest album yet? No? Then maybe you will find this review pretty old-school.

The cover is quite interesting: the naked Mrs. Aguilera rising from a lotus blossom. Don't worry, the interesting parts are hidden, so it's still quite safe. The pinkish color used is bit departure from Christina Aguilera image of sexy, mature diva. It's just so girly, like the cover you will find on some girl-band from Japan or Korea.

The Album Cover.

I have the Lotus Deluxe Version which contained 17 tracks below:
  1. Lotus Intro
  2. Army of Me
  3. Red Hot Kinda Love
  4. Make the World Move (feat. CeeLo Green)
  5. Your Body
  6. Let There Be Love
  7. Sing for Me
  8. Blank Page
  9. Cease Fire
  10. Around the World
  11. Circles
  12. Best of Me
  13. Just a Fool (with Blake Shelton)
  14. Light Up the Sky
  15. Empty Words
  16. Shut Up
  17. Your Body (Martin Garrix Remix)
This albums is quite diverse in music style, although generally still dance oriented. I loved the marching drum touch on Cease Fire, Around the World and Best of Me (sometimes I found myself humming the chorus baby cease fire, fire, fire, while walking like an idiot. Yes, it's that infectious).
Throw in Christina's vocal of gymnastic, and you got powerful, energetic, toe tapping album. Although personally I feel Mrs. Aguilera sounded bit strained on some songs, but then, that screaming-like, powerful soprano IS Christina brand-style.

The lyrics is quite standards, you know, for a dance pop albums. You got some interesting lyrics now and then (Use my name as your claim to fame / Got my smell of success on your breath on Circle), but others are the usual stuff. I felt this album lyrics is mainly about how she got herself up and strong after some big break-up. Pardon my ignorance, but I really didn't interested on the artist life, all I interested is their musics.

Not all the songs are dance oriented song with bass pounding, however. There are some track's which quite a keeper. I personally like Sing for Me and Blank Page. Just a Fool is quite likeable actually, if not for how it sounded like a battle contest between Christina Aguilera vs. Blake Shelton. Please Mrs. Aguilera, Mr. Shelton, this is not a battle round of the Voice, play nice!!! Speaking about Blake Shelton, I just always thinking his name spelled backward, Shelton Blake sounded just so much more nicer!!! LOL.
Some grippe: the bonus tracks Light Up the Sky sounded like something out of Ryan Tedder's song book while Empty Words sounded just like the one you got from Leona Lewis old album Echo. Why not include more different tracks?

The production isn't that great, with my DR150 (which is quite detailed), I can hear how the instruments got smashed together: no separation, air, soundstage. The bass is mainly on mid-bass area, with big boomy sound to boot. The treble too, get too piercing sometimes, I need toning down about 3-5db on frequencies of 5 kHz and up on my foobar2000 equalizer. I hate doing equalizer, but this album won't listenable for long time if I don't do that.
On busy tracks, Christina vocals is going laid back, thankfully, reducing the fatigue immensely. On the simpler tracks however, you could hear how glorious Christina Aguilera vocal technique is. Pity she didn't includes more of those kind of songs.
Update: the production is really awful, opening a track on audacity, I can see how the track clipped. The compression is really high!

Verdict? Quite easy, if you like Christina Aguilera, you just had to listen to this album. For dance oriented song, maybe you better go to Rihanna albums. This album is a mix-and-match kind of album. Not quite dance-pop (although most of the songs of dance-pop flavored), but not quite balad-pop either. The result is an album which not too mainstream, but also have it's own flavors.