You guys, I give up. I just can’t handle Christina Aguilera’s music anymore. She hasn’t released a truly great song since “Candyman,” and with each new release, she just keeps getting more and more boring. And formulaic. And forgettable. And she shouldn’t be any of those things! She has one of pop music’s most amazing voices! But her inexplicable song choices waste her talents on “Not Myself Tonight” and that stupid Blake Shelton duet is and that one song that was basically just her screaming “touch your body” over the sound of a Prius smashing into a pile of aluminum siding.
And yes: She did record a killer duet with Tony Bennett a few months ago, but that’s not enough. It’s almost hateful, actually, for her to make a throwaway record that highlights her skill in a way her mediocre electro-pop has stubbornly refused to do. (I’ll also give a pass to “Moves Like Jagger,” which is a great record. But she’s barely on it, so it hardly counts in her win column.)
I’ve been minding Christina’s altar for far too long, vainly hoping she’ll deliver another “Ain’t No Other Man” or “Dirrty” or “Beautiful.” But enough! I can’t burn another offering at her shrine! Not after she went and recorded a song with Pitbull. Pitbull!!!! Can you think of any artist who is more devoid of artistic vision than Pitbull? As I’ve said before, he doesn’t even try to disguise his superficial greed.. He listlessly growls over generic beats and uninspired samples, mentions Kodak, then waits for his check. And sure, sometimes his corporate music is enjoyable, but it ought to be beneath someone as talented as Christina Aguilera.
But nooooooooo. She’s right there on “Feel this Moment,” singing the hook and getting swallowed by the sample of a-ha’s “Take on Me.” This song is worse than bad. It’s boring. It’s not even trying to be interesting It’s just coloring by numbers with the most predictable colors.
God, this song. I’m forgetting it as soon as I hear it. This is what Xtina has become. Inessential. Vapid. Unoriginal. I’m not saying pop music isn’t a business and that pop stars don’t have to make money-minded decisions. I’m not that naive. But when artists like Bruno Mars and Pink and Adele and even freaking One Direction can make commercially accessible music that also has a bit of flair, then you’d think Christina could pull it off.
I’d say I could escape my disappointment by hiding out in the remote wilderness of Alaska, but Pitbull’s ass will just show up there, too.
Mark Blankenship worries that Christina’s descent into mediocrity will retroactively taint the glory of “What a Girl Wants.” He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.