Release Date: Aug 15, 2006
Record label: RCA
But that's what's good about Back to Basics -- even though she strives hard to be a classic soul singer here, she can't help but sound like herself, and surely there is no other big-budget pop album in 2006 that bears the stamp of its auteur so clearly. As she did on Stripped, she has gotten to indulge herself here, but where she was more concerned with sound than structure last time around, on Back to Basics she spends just as much time on song and structure, often coming up with strong, memorable ballads and dance tunes on both the dance-oriented first disc and the slow-burning second. Of course, she reveals more than she intended through her indulgence.
So, farewell Xtina, the dirrty girl who dressed like a hooker from Star Wars and insisted she was beautiful no matter what you said, and hello Christina, the sophisticated vamp with the Jean Harlow coiffure and the 1940s wardrobe. As the curtain rises on Aguilera's third album, the 25-year-old former Disney Club moppet announces her intention to acknowledge "those before me who laid it down and paved the way" and to follow in their footsteps. Needless to say, she has her work cut out.