“Not Myself Tonight,” Christina Aguilera’s first single from Bionic, indicates exactly what to expect from the pop singer’s newest album. “If you really knew me/ You’d know it’s not the norm,” Aguilera declares. In the music video, Aguilera puts forth a Lady GaGa-esque performance, and as we learned with Miley Cyrus’s attempt (“Can’t Be Tamed”), no one should expect to imitate the Haus of GaGa with outstanding results.
The album as a whole is a good mix of dance and electro-pop music. However, in each track, one can more easily hear an imitation of other artists than Ms. Aguilera herself. In opener, “Bionic,” the beat and singing resemble that of Santigold. And while Santigold is certainly not the worst of inspirations, songs like “Woohoo” and “Bobblehead” sound a bit too much like Ke$ha. Even the topic of “Bobblehead” is glaringly similar to “Blah Blah Blah” with an opening line of, “When you talk all I hear is wah, wah, wah, wah” that transitions to a Ke$ha-esque talk sing for the remainder of the song.
In “Prima Donna” and the slow (and not too exciting) “Sex For Breakfast,” there are instances when Aguilera’s voice shines through. However in songs like “Elastic Love,” electronic beats overpower her voice.
In her career, Aguilera has transformed from a sugary sweet pop star (“Genie in a Bottle”) to a dirrty girl (“Can’t Hold Us Down”) and now to a singer who seems to be an amalgamation of this generation’s pop stars. There’s never been a question that Aguilera has a powerful voice, but in Bionic her talent is lost in her inability to settle on a musical style.
—Christina Warner, Managing Editor