Wednesday 15 December 2010

Christina Aguilera and Cher: Burlesque soundtrack review

 burlesque christina Aguilera review
Christina Aguilera's CD art :Burlesque
I’m a little in love with Christina Aguilera at the moment. Not only has Bionic had resurgence in my affection, but Christina's- it’s actually a soundtrack which also features Cher- new release, Burlesque is pretty darn good. If you initially fell in love with Christina because of the Back to Basics album, you’ll fall in love with her all over again when you hear this.

burlesque Christina aguilera
Christina and her Burlesque troupe.
Song run down

The Etta James song Something's Got a Hold On Mefits Christina voice perfectly as its a style of music that actually utilises and benefits from her grunts and growls, as well as its rough texture. Having all the tools already in her arsenal its not surprising she gives a convincing delivery that effortlessly channels Etta James' sass, passion and fire.

On the flip side the Mae West song Guy what takes his time, as well as But I Am a Good Girl, have Christina toning it all down. Instead, relying on her charm and a softer, sweeter voice to communicate the song. The result is two saucy and teasing tracks that scream Burlesque.

Express attempts, and succeeds, in meshing the 50’s sound with the contemporary. It brings burlesque straight to the club with a modern bump and a percussive breakdown that practically writes the accompanying, provocative, dance routine itself. I could see this being on any Christina Aguilera album.

The Beautiful People isn’t really suited to the film, if compared to the other songs, and the use of the word Burlesque in its lyrics is pretty much the only connection it has. It feels more like a High school musical type production that they’ve attempted to give an edge to by using a sample of the Marilyn Manson's song of the same name. Surprisingly the song was penned with the help of Nicole Scherzinger!

christina Aguilera And cher
Christina and Cher on the set of
There is a problem with the album though. Its not limp songs, or poor production but a voice, that belongs to one MS Aguilera, that is not being reigned in enough. For example, the beginning a cappella vocal on Tough love is a self indulgent, and clich├ęd mess that is everything I despise about singing. The coarse texture as well as the volume of the voice is just terrible. Thankfully the songs jaunty production kicks in and by the end you've forgotten the beginning and are left thinking its actually a nice jazzy song.

Infinitivally worse than that is Christina's only ballad on the album called Bound to you. The voice is initially controlled, measured and pleasant to listen to but once the song moves into its death throws Christina lets the voice out of the cage and just shouts into the microphone. The harshness of her voice is raw, but not in an emotional or good way, inflamed and pushed. It gets so bad I had to stop myself from reaching for the stop button; instead, controlling my instincts, I managed to lower the volume to take the edge off of it. (Realising this might be a wee bit harsh of an assessment for a first listen, I gave the song a few more listens and now have a headache. Needless to say, since the review remains unchanged, neither has my opinion.)

Overall, a good album that keeps Christina Aguilera in my good books- I'm not sure why she ever left them- with strong (sometimes painfully so) vocals, brilliant production and evocative songs. Anyone not a fan of Christina should definitely think about purchasing the two Cher songs, which are both an understated, master class in the school of less is more.

NB:Cher is a lot more talented than I ever gave her credit for-Damn you Believe and your autotune!… check back soon, as I may have to make a separate review for Cher's input on the album.


  1. Hiya, I thought you might do a post about Christina's Superbowl Star Mangled Banner? It's up on youtube if you haven't seen/heard it yet. xx

  2. Not sure if the song name was changed for this movie but the original name was "A Guy What Takes His Time" and Mae West is the spelling of the actresses name

  3. @anon 15 march: Thanks for those edits! Much appreciated!

  4. Bound To You is definitely full of emotion! Her technique towards the end isn't great I agree, but you can't say it had no emotion...