Pop Perspective: Christina Aguilera’s “Change” Rated & Reviewed
At Idolator, the editors share a passion for high-quality pop. Occasionally, our tastes align. Other times, not so much. So, in the spirit of debate (and online drama), we’ve developed a recurring feature called Pop Perspective. In a nutshell, our editors dissect a particularly noteworthy pop-happening, and give it a rating out of 10.
That way you’re getting a full spectrum of views and we can all vent. (It’s cheaper than therapy!) The latest event to be dragged under the Idolator microscope is Christina Aguilera’s “Change,” which arrived on iTunes last night. Is the piano ballad another signature song like “Say Something” or has enduring hitmaker slightly missed the mark? Read our thoughts below.
Robbie Daw — 8/10
I’m a big fan of “Dirrty” Xtina and “Not Myself Tonight” Xtina and — oh, hell yes — “Your Body” Xtina. So basically, I dig Sextina Xtina. All of that said, I’ve played “Change” at least 12 times since midnight last night, and I haven’t wanted to jump out a window. So things are looking good here!
But in all seriousness, I’ll just restate what I wrote when the song dropped at midnight: “Change,” released in the wake of the horrifying Orlando shooting last weekend, is a lovely anthem about tolerance that never teeters toward the overly dramatic. Instead, it touts subtlety and atmosphere over slick production or vocal acrobatics. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, and thankfully Christina is back from a musical hiatus to deliver with a beautiful and classy new ballad.
Rachel Sonis — 5/10
As Robbie said in his earlier post, the song’s winning quality is its restraint. Christina’s silky vocals glide over the airy chime-laden melody, which makes the track clearly a poignant one.
But in the grand scheme of emotional power ballads, does “Change” hold up against Xtina’s 2002 smash “Beautiful?” Or even Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song?” Doubtful. It’s a valiant attempt, for sure. But it feels a little lukewarm just the same.
Carl Williott — 8/10
My party line for the last year or so has been that the world doesn’t need any more piano ballads. Adele’s got it covered. But the world does need more protest songs, and that overrides my ballad hangup.
That said, “Change” holds up strictly on the ballad level, with nice little production flourishes like that omnipresent chiming that give it some depth. Aguilera sounds like she’s still at the top of her game, but rather than go out of her way to prove it she lets the song speak for itself.
“Change” probably won’t lead to change, but at the very least it provides three minutes of optimism amidst this nightmarish hellscape. We can only hope we keep getting more and more songs like this that lead to a more woke mainstream.
Mike Wass — 10/10
Pop stars don’t need a 401(k) when they have an LGBT following. When radio loses interest and the kids have moved on to The Next Big Thing, we’ll still pre-order your 10th consecutive flop album and buy outrageously-priced tickets to your show. (See Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Cher, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga as major benefactors of LGBT generosity). Naively, most of us thought that loyalty was reciprocated.
And yet nearly a week has passed since 49 people were murdered in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida without a peep from many a diva who has lined her purse with pink dollars. (Nicki Minaj went as far as blocking fans for questioning her silence). That’s why it’s important to support and cheer on allies like Christina Aguilera, who disrupted her album rollout to rush-release a charity single that raises money for victims.
So, even though “Change” is a little undercooked by Xtina’s lofty standards, I’m giving it a perfect 10. Because sometimes you can’t separate the music from the intention behind it.
AVERAGE SCORE: 7.75/10