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June 09, 2010



"Wearing just one wig instead of at least two". Thanks for quoting Jujubee.


Great review, very insightful. My boyfriend has been going through a pop-lady phase recently, and we've been playing a LOT of her debut album. It's really interesting how well Genie and Come on Over have held up. He also really liked Not Myself Tonight, which made me scoff at him.


Thanks for the review, Rich. I think if you removed the first 10 tracks and replaced them with the bonus tracks, the album would have better

Chantal Goya

Shit, downloading this just for the Glass Candy comparison!

Charles Ludeke

The worst part about "Vanity" is when her son says "You do, Mommy!" It's so uncomfortably awkward.


First time I listened through, I felt like I had heard all this before. Snooze.


I've listened to this album a few times and am having a hard time getting into it as well. IMHO, the overall sound of the album is that of a fading pop star with an uninteresting personal life trying too hard to remain relevant. I also agree with your assessment of her voice. She has a fabulous instrument that she still doesn't really know how to use appropriately. Compare this album with, say, Monica's most recent, and the point is clearer; Monica is a singer who is comfortable with her gift and her style and continues making great music without really recording to trend. I also think Christina's voice isn't really that well suited to the kind of electro she's trying to do on the first half of the album.


When my husband saw her latest video, his comment was, "Oh man, she wants to be Lady GaGa so badly!". Which pretty much sums it up. She wants to be hip so bad that it's making her attempts at copycatting the latest crazes that much more painfully obvious.


I don't agree with you Rich. I think that this album is really different because there's a real "electro" sound instead of "electro-dance-pop" that we hear all the time. Yes I think that there's too many songs on this album and "Not myself tonight" was a bad choice for first single (especially after seeing the video..) but I think that this album is really different in terms of music and voice interpretation, not in the lyrics, but since when do we listen to a pop song (electro in this case) for it's lyrics?


I love this album. Her electronica songs in the first half are great songs and real club songs. How can anyone complain about Glam. It flows great with the songs before and after. Not a bad ballad on the CD. And then hits you up with a few more dance songs which I love. But I have the Deluxe and that makes this CD for me. Love Monday Morning, Birds of Prey, Stronger than Ever. I was shocked how much I loved this CD after the jumping on the bandwagon reviews.


But she is.. :)


one major disagreement. GLASS CANDY PISS ALL OVER "MONDAY MORNING" AND THE REST OF THIS ALBUM FROM A GREAT GREAT HEIGHT. whew. glad i got that out of my system.


FINALLY... first review of Bionic that's totally on point. Well done.


And here come the Xtina stans who don't even read this blog (because they're almost as desperate as she is)!

Spot on review as usual. It's unfortunate she's so aimlessly struggling to remain relevant.


I didn't dislike the album, but I wasn't in love with it as I should've been.


She does seem to be trying too hard to stay relevant instead of relying on her talent which is her voice. I was hoping she'd really tone it down and just come out with some songs to spotlight her voice which she does seem to be getting more comfortable with instead of a theme which she seems to be really stuck on doing with each album lately. I'm also wondering if the lukewarm response is the real reason for her postponing her tour until next year as opposed to her movie promotion.


See, the thing I don't understand is people claim that Xtina is bidding to stay relevant with this album, and then site the people she's worked with as proof of that. I'm sorry, but what??? That doesn't make a lick of sense.

Switch, Santigold, MIA, Ladytron, Le Tigre, Peaches, Sia -- Don't get me wrong, all HELLA talented and respected in the industry, but none of them are exactly leading the commercial pack in the mainstream right now. Hell, the closest on that list to reaching any sort of contemporary mainstream success is MIA (and maaaybe Santigold), and even then the general populace really only knows her from "Paper Planes." Maybe "Galang." She's got two songs on the album with Palow, and I think that's the closest she gets to something resembling a plee for relevancy (and fukit - I love "WooHoo").

If you're thinking that her working with these people is a big to stay "hip" and "relavant" I think you're looking at the album from a skewed angle. Maybe if she had filled her album to the brim with tired RedONE and Darkchild tracks, the claim would be more valid.


After I downloaded it and inexplicably loved on it, I knew that I needed to clarify my shit by reading your review of it. So thank you for that.

You're definitely not wrong. And I think what everyone here is saying is true (her son's babytalk amidst the fuckery that is Vanity? No.) and I think her video for Not Myself Tonight was extremely offensive for making us unwilling voyeurs--which is totally against the point of voyeurism yeah? Makes her ever the oppressive exhibitionist.

Yet somehow I couldn't stop listening to it for the last two weeks. I don't know! I think I've honestly gotten to a point where I don't know if my interests come from a legitmate place of pleasure or they are just so post-ironic that I don't even know what "feels good" because it's pleasurable to be a masochist in lieu of being too-cool-for-school.

So basically I like(d) - you drive a hard bargain - Bionic because, for once I don't have to try hard to like something that's technically "good"/indie/whatever--she's doing enough trying for all of us. Recognizing my dormant secondhand embarrassment is an unwelcome sensation...


So what do you think about Janelle Monae then?


I agree with Brandon33, those producers are not exactly mainstream. To people who follow underground music, this might seem like a pathetic attempt at relevancy, but I think its kinda impressive for a mainstream artist to go there. From the vantage point of top 40 radio, many of these tracks are more 'edgy' (though not necessarily as good) than anything gaga has put to record.

However, I don't think its a good album. It is all over the place, and like you said, has no point of view. She wants to have instant pop hits and have an edgier sound, but she doesn't pull it off and instead it has a 'see what sticks' quality to it. Its a shame, because somewhere in that bloated mess of 24 songs I can hear the core of a pretty good 11 track album.


"I consider her the most fraudulently soulful singer of her time."

Surely not more so than Joss Stone?


"If we don't like it, fuck us? No. If we don't like it, you're fucked. You're the one who's trying to make money off this, woman."

Lol. On point.


There is a lovely singer named Eva Cassidy who became quite popular after her death at the age of 33 from cancer. She sang jazz and pop standards, old-school country, anything she could--and she could pull off all of it because she understood how to use her voice in each musical form. Her version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" could make your dog weep.

CA seems to use her voice the same way every time. Belt and warble. To this I issue a challenge--sing a song straight without any melisma. Let's hear it for what it is.


You people are so crazy. You guys are expecting her to be like every other singer that can sing. To sing the same thing album after album. It's called diversity we all do it. So why can't she?? She has probably the most powerful voice on the planet next to Celine Dion (mariah and Whitney are so out) and you guys are saying that she doesn't know how to use her voice?? You guys are free to think what ever you think. But what i see is the same thing that happen when Dirrty came out people didn't like it nor did they want to like it. People in America are so closed minded. Yet when Beautiful came out everything changed. That Album just like the next sold over 4 million units. And trust me that woman is at a place where she doesn't ever have to work again. Ever.


Very accurate review, love it. If she wants to salvage this steadily bombing album (seriously, NMT peaked at #23 and WooHoo at #76), she needs to release Elastic Love straight away, it seems like the only track that she really nailed in terms of the sound/mood she was going for.

Considering she was recording this since 2007, I have to wonder if she abandoned ship or lost her enthusiasm once GaGa took over in 2008. The album almost feels like she stopped making the effort halfway through and just decided to go back to ballads.

Christina has been smart enough in the past to not release anything while her rivals are, but this time she's back with her ~new electro stuff~ when the world is only just getting over The Fame Monster. She should've released this sooner, actually, considering most other pop stars are able to release an album a year, why did she take so damn long?

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