Friday, May 7, 2010

What we're listening to: Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits by Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera rose to fame in the summer of 1999 when her hit "Genie in a Bottle" joined other pop songs' domination of radio. In 2000 she won the Grammy for Best New Artist and since then has taken more creative control over her albums and worked with a variety of collaborators. The songs on this greatest hits CD are arranged by album, in the order they were released as singles. As you listen to the CD you hear the changes occurring to Christina's sound. You hear the pop songstress the record company was trying to mold her into on songs like "What a Girl Wants" and Come on Over Baby" from Christina Aguilera (1999). Then you hear Christina let loose ("Dirrty," "Fighter") while still reserving an emotional side to belt out ballads ("Beautiful") on songs from Stripped (2002), an album that found Christina battling demons and also finding her voice as a songwriter. As the CD advances to songs from the double album Back to Basics (2006), you hear a mature, retro-soul vibe on "Ain't No Other Man" and "Candy Man," where I think Christina is absolutely in her element. Two new songs written by Christina and Linda Perry, "Keeps Gettin' Better" and "Dynamite," and new re-recorded versions of previously released singles ("Genie 2.0" and "You Are What You Are [Beautiful]") are also included. Christina melds "Genie in a Bottle" with 1980s electronica on "Genie 2.0," phrasing the lyrics so they are filled with both longing and seduction: "I feel like I've been locked up tight a century of lonely nights / Just waiting / Waiting for someone." I have seen Christina change up her hits in concert, and I am glad she put a couple new versions on an album. As a fan of Christina's for over a decade (yes, I watched her on The Mickey Mouse Club), I already have the singles on this compilation but I still think the CD is worth picking up.

Find it in the catalog!