|Christina Aguilera's CD art :Burlesque|
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!
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.