We’re not quite sure what to make of Christina Aguilera‘s cover artwork for her upcoming new studio album Lotus. On one hand, her hair, makeup and body are bangin’, albeit highly airbrushed. On the other hand, she’s channeling circa-2002 Stripped-era Xtina with the nude-cover-shot-with-hair-covering-breasts angle, emerging seductively from a pale pink lotus flower like some pastel parody of the Birth of Venus. And it’s hard not to ignore the fact that there’s a subtle glow effect obfuscating her lower half, which gives the disconcerting effect that her, um, Xtina is literally radiating heavenly light.
the 13 campiest moments from xtina’s “your body” video
13 Photos »
Maybe the album art is serving Adam Lambert For Your Entertainment kitsch-glam visual hyperbole, but if this is meant to be satirical, it’s not clear enough. Oh, Christina. You charm us with the tongue-in-cheek, campy “Your Body” video, and then confuse us with the doggedly self-serious Lotus visual campaign. At least your weave looks good.
The long-awaited video for Christina Aguilera‘s “Your Body” premiered today (September 28), and it was a perfect way to start the weekend. The funny, campy clip finds the singer donning several wigs as she seduces and slays various unlucky suitors in a mess of pastel and glitter splatters. The pulsating track’s acid-dream trailer park video had people obsessing equally over the cartoonish violence and Xtina’s garish outfits – but they key, of course, is that it had people talking. Read on for our roundup of reactions to the tongue-in-cheek video.
:: We found the video to be thoroughly entertaining, saying Xtina showed “a genuine and very charming sense of humor…it’s been years since we loved a Christina Aguilera video this much.”
:: MTV was taken by the clip’s over-the-top violence, calling it reminiscent of Natural Born Killers. And, of course, there were the costumes: “…here her costumes aren’t meant to be standalone shock pieces; they all play into the larger feel of the video itself, which, sure, is grisly and garish, but also incredibly clever and visually arresting.”
:: The Huffington Post saw a rainbow of fruit flavors: “We’ve literally never seen so many hair colors on one person in such a short span of time.”
:: Billboard noted the video seemed to be inspired by the unending stream of violence on TV, but felt a “standout of the video is, of course, Aguilera’s wardrobe selection, highlighted by a curve-hugging black dress, low-cut American flag shirt, jean vest covered in her blonde dreadlocks and long-sleeved white tee that reads ‘F*ck the Paparazzi.’”
:: Hitfix called the video “equal parts ‘I Love Lucy’ slapstick, Snooki and Beyonce’s trailer park pin-up ‘Party’ vid” and loved the self-awareness Xtina showed, saying, “she’s roared through the youth of promiscuous folly, and arrived on the other side now winking at herself and winking at us.”
:: Meanwhile, Spin was entertained, but didn’t find it as uproarious as everyone else: “It might take us a few more viewings to get the joke, but at least there’s enough amazing absurdity going on to make that prospect sound entertaining.”
:: Detroit News revved up this declaration: “Rarely has a violent road trip fantasy been this sexy.”
:: Entertainment Weekly warned, “If Christina Aguilera tries to lure you into the bathroom at a seedy bar, don’t do it! It’s a trick. How do we know? Because all of Xtina’s dirty little tricks are on display in her new ‘Your Body’ video…”
:: Rolling Stone added, “With a confident smile, Aguilera embarks on a series of seductions, reeling in men before killing them for corporeal pleasure. Be careful the next time someone tells you he or she wants your body: you might end up like this.
What’s your reaction to the over-the-top video? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter!
Christina Aguilera‘s Lotus is coming our way mid-November, so it’s finally time to let go of the past – forgive, forget, and move on from prior missteps, right? Wrong! We were just about to stop ragging on Bionic and let Xtina’s new (and, presumably, improved) music speak for itself, but then she had to go rub salt in the wound again by making some pretty extreme claims about the LP in her Billboard cover story. Amongst other gems, The Voice judge says you have to “really be a music lover” to appreciate her 2010 flop, which will “forever live on.” Say what?
Aguilera’s full quote: “I can proudly say [Bionic] was ahead of its time, to be honest. It wasn’t so commercialized. You had to really be a music lover, be a true fan of music and the love of being open to really appreciate that record. It’s just a special piece in my body of work that will forever live on. The older the record gets the more people will come to appreciate it actually and check it out.”
christina aguilera flaunts her curves at alma awards
10 Photos »
Okay. So let’s dust this off one more time. Sure, there are a handful of solid tracks on Bionic. The Sia collaborations hold up against Xtina’s ballads from other albums, and there are a couple interesting, innovative tracks (like “Elastic Love,” if you can ignore the lyrics). But overall, Bionic has a major identity crisis, veering wildly between different sounds and ideas in a jarring, messy way.
One minute, on tracks like “I Hate Boys” and “Vanity,” Christina is a bratty teenager (a role she’s a bit old for, frankly); the next, she’s a futuristic sex-bot (“Elastic Love” and the title track); then she’s just totally grossing us out (the ode to cunnilingus that is “Woohoo” and “Sex For Breakfast,” which makes two things that are normally wonderful in the morning sound completely unappealing). And then, a bunch of Sia ballads, all lumped awkwardly together. A lot of the lyrics are, quite honestly, embarrassing, and several bonus tracks are actually better than the ones that made the cut on the standard album.
But that’s our opinion, and clearly Christina has a different take. We were under the impression that she was aware of Bionic‘s flaws, but apparently, she stands by it! Who knew?
The biggest head-scratcher is that Christina thinks Bionic “wasn’t so commercialized.” If by that she means it was unable to spawn any hit singles, she is correct. But we doubt that’s for lack of trying, since Bionic throws just about everything but the kitchen sink at us, trying to get something (anything!) to stick. (Any album with a Nicki Minaj feature has got to be pretty “commercialized.”) Compared to Aguilera’s other albums, like Stripped and Back To Basics, which had such clear direction and vision, Bionic feels like a lot of tracks randomly slapped together with no care as to how they cohere as a whole.
So according to Xtina’s definition, we can no longer be considered “music lovers.” (Now it’s our fault?) We can agree on one point, at least – certain tracks will “forever live on,” because we still occasionally play “Vanity” and “Bobblehead” when we need a good chuckle at Christina’s expense.
But okay. We’ve said our piece, and now we’re done. Let’s just hope we find a little more to love in Lotus, so we can be considered “true fans of music” again.
Do you accept Aguilera’s defense of her last album? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!