Should Have Been Bigger: Christina Aguilera & Nile Rodgers’ “Telepathy”
In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.
Let’s be honest. The vast majority of Christina Aguilera’s post-Back To Basics output should have been bigger. Bionic is now widely regarded as a misunderstood classic, Lotus has its fair share of underrated gems and the commercial fate of Liberation beggars belief. However, there’s one chart injustice that irritates me more. And that’s the fact that “Telepathy” wasn’t a massive worldwide smash. Don’t know it? Well, let me introduce you to one of the diva’s best releases of the 2010s.
Co-written by Sia and Stargate, “Telepathy” was recorded for the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s bizarrely-forgotten The Get Down — a Netflix series about black culture in the ’70s. That album was stacked with A-listers including Janelle Monáe, ZAYN, Jaden Smith, Miguel, Leon Bridges, 6LACK and Legend X. She teamed up with Nile Rodgers (of Chic fame) for a disco delight that pre-dated Doja Cat’s similar-sounding “Say So” by at least four years. “You know how to read my mind, I’m lost and it’s you I find,” Christina begins the song. “Rushin’ to my side, you hold me tight.”
The adoration is mutual. “I know when to take your hand, I know when you’re feelin’ bad,” she purrs over Nile’s funky guitar and disco strings. “Make you feel you can feel like a man.” That leads us to the kind of chorus that gets lodged in your brain from the first listen: “I know you and you know me, we’ve got telepathy.” The blissful collaboration didn’t crack the Billboard Hot 100, but it did reach number one on the Club Chart. An achievement that Xtina celebrated by filming a mini-video for fans. Revisit “Telepathy” below.
The full song:
Christina’s “Fan Video”: