Six albums already under her belt (yes, that includes the questionable Bionic) Christina Aguilera is back on the scene to do what she does best, sing her
throat heart out. With a strong force of musically gifted producers and songwriters behind her, Christina is set to reclaim the top of the charts with her seventh studio album, Lotus. Like the album's title, the singer rises above her setbacks. Now, she's challenging herself to experiment with different sounds, including country. Well, let's see where this new found path leads her.
I did a double take the moment Lotus started playing just to make sure I wasn’t listening to Enya instead. Somewhat earthy and naturesque (in a good way), but once that soporific beat kicked in Christina had me bouncing along. I love a good intro but I feel this track went on too long without a rising action. The spoken words should’ve been from start to finish. This track is reminiscent of Stripped interludes but a bit more restrained. And why is Christina using auto-tune? She CAN sing.
For some reason or the other I’ve never imagined this creative artist to ever perform a europop fused dance track. Army of Me has strengthening vocals, uplifting lyrics, and a catchy hook. Its great for the album’s concept and an obvious continuation of Fighter’s defiance, but I wouldn’t pitch it to be a single.
Red Hot Kinda Love has a sexy urban feel. The lyrics are playful and entertaining; Christina gets seductive in trying to get the guy, while tapping into her Spanish roots to conjure up that sass. A far more vibrant track than the previous.
The singer invites her Voice co-host Cee Lo on the catchy number, Make the World Move. The track’s creatively produced with a mixture of old school sounds mashing up to modern pop. Her musical influences are often incorporated in her records and Christina is definitely carrying on that style. Back to the track, its solid enough for promotion.
Your Body was never a strong lead single, in my opinion. I felt that it wasn’t as firm when looking back at her streams of firsts.Your Body is a mix between r&b and pop, depicting the singer’s boldness when it comes to her sexuality. Its the right song to demonstrate her confidence and liberation. Love the graffiti in the video.
Once again, dance was never expected but then again Ms. Aguilera is unpredictable when it comes to her music. She’s a risk taker. And seeing as the current addiction is with dance sounds, its no wonder the singer would make an attempt. Hence, the existence of the peace anthem, Let There Be Love. What makes this album badass is Christina’s soaring vocals. Her harmonies intensify the more the beat pumps up. This is the strongest she’s sounded so far on the album.
The beautiful and raw Sing for Me is the first slow paced track, toning things down and setting an emotional mood. The ballad flows passionately, with the artist getting deep and explaining rather poetically why it is that she sings. Very self explanatory words for a well produced track, fusing sweet piano melodies and 80s drum beats.
Blank Page literally made me shut up and listen without hesitation. Those haunting keys are far from subtle and drives on emotion resounding in Christina’s voice. Prepare to get chills from the heartfelt words, co-penned by Sia Furley. You know that name by now.
Immediately my heart starts racing along with those raging drums in Cease Fire. I love the military concept of the music, and the words are as dominating in the air as her singing. There’s this feeling of surrender to love, which is evident of the track’s purpose. Like this number, Around the World draws inspiration from hip hop rudiments. However, Around the World increases the pace and the adventure. The artist makes me want to get on the dance floor with this catchy number, and one can’t ignore that salute to her sexy hit, Lady Marmalade.
Circles flows melodically on one subtle beat but takes off during the hook, adding some rock and electro in the midst. A bit noisy in some parts, and if you’re modest, it does get tentatively raunchy with the curse word. But you can always get the version. Either edition, I still won’t warm up to this one. It falls short of the wow factor. If anything its actually a little off balanced for my taste.
The third ballad, Best of Me, blends rock with pop and carries on Christina’s endless battle to “rise undefeated”. I just love her spoken word in any song. She has a sultry voice that fills with power when singing or even when talking. Her presence demands attention.
Blake Shelton guests on the bluesy country pop number, Just a Fool. He does a great job coming from the male perspective and both singers sail soothingly along side each others voices. The instruments are just as perfectly organized. The best part of the song is that bridge. Intense isn’t the word, more like unearthly.
To think I almost ended my listening on the standard version but once I heard the powerful Light Up the Sky I just had to keep going. Those intriguing keys and intense harmonies had me flip flopping all over the place. The raving drums pounded on my heart from start to finish. I just can’t get over how good this song is. She convinced me I could light up the sky.
Empty Words keeps the sensuality going. Once more the song is filled with ascending piano melodies but this time accompanied by evocative strings. Christina holds tight to being unbreakable. Her message of being a fighter is represented in her music and in her life.
The old 50s vibe in Shut Up adds to the feisty and sassy feel of the track. The artist doesn’t sugarcoat or hold back her opinion. She’s very outspoken on the track and concludes the album in her unapologetic self with a big laugh to seal the deal.
My final opinion of this record is much favorable than that of her previous. Lotus delivers meaningful ballads, playful bangers, and lukewarm additions. Overall, the effort is remarkable. It’s evident Christina pushed harder than ever to create music that is new and reinvigorating to her listeners. I can justly say this time that it is a job well done.
Track Listing: 01. Lotus intro 02. Army of Me 03. Red Hot Kinda Love 04. Make the World Move (ft. Cee Lo Green) 05. Your Body 06. Let There Be Love 07. Sing for Me 08. Blank Page 09. Cease Fire 10. Around the World 11. Circles 12. Best of Me 13. Just a Fool (ft. Blake Shelton) Deluxe version 14. Light Up the Sky 15. Empty Words 16. Shut Up 17. Your Body (Martin Garrix Remix)
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What do you think about Lotus?
Credits: christinaguilera.com + CAguileraVeVo