10 Years Of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Bionic’
Time has been exceptionally kind to Christina Aguilera’s Bionic. Both in regards to the way the music has held up and how the album is perceived. Today, on its 10th anniversary, Bionic is synonymous with a misunderstood era that was radically ahead of its time. Which is quite a turn-around from 2010. The album’s venomous reception is pop canon at this point. Critics were confused by her transition from R&B to club beats, the general public was semi-appalled by the S&M-themed styling and Fighters were entrenched in a bitter online battle with Little Monsters.
It was a recipe for disaster, and Bionic was largely dead on arrival. Which is insanity in retrospect. Christina’s sixth album is the gift that keeps on giving. Few albums have as many layers. Xtina blessed us with pitch-perfect bangers, beautiful ballads, quirky experiments and sexy slow jams. There is literally a bop for every mood. The general disregard for genre can be a little jarring at times, but I think that’s the point. As the cover art so adeptly displays, Bionic is about the juxtaposition of human vulnerability and machine-like strength.
That is also reflected in the tracklist, which is essentially split in half. The first seven songs are uptempo and club-inspired, while the rest of Bionic is ballad heavy. (They all explore similar themes of sex positivity and female empowerment, however). Let’s start with the bangers because Legend X really delivered. “Not Myself Tonight” is now deemed an electro-pop classic, “Woohoo” is arguably the most iconic bop ever recorded about female genitalia and “Desnudate” deserved what “Despacito” got.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “Vanity” is the kind of sassy bop that gay dreams are made of, “I Hate Boys” would have been a smash hit at any other time in Christina’s career and “Birds Of Prey” is breathtakingly original. The ballads and mid-tempo jams are equally impressive. “Sex For Breakfast” is an X-rated delight, “You Lost Me” and “Lift Me Up” rank as two of Christina’s best ballads and the iTunes bonus track, “Little Dreamer,” is an electro-lullaby of the highest caliber.
Bionic has come full circle since 2010. Who knows? In another decade, it might just be acknowledged as a classic. The quality and ambition is certainly there.