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ONTD Original: Reopening the Case for Christina Aguilera’s “Bionic”



Seven years ago, the 2010 Bionic Massacre was a merciless pop era in the media and in stan culture. Some considered it the beginning of the end of Xtina’s career. For true FANS of music, some consider it criminally underrated. Let’s take a look back on the events leading up to it and after and think: was it justified?




Beginnings
2007: Christina Aguilera was just finishing off her album campaign for “Back to Basics” and teased a new album in the works. She hinted it would be a 180 from B2B with a ‘futuristic style’. Towards 2008 it was a decade of her solo career, and she celebrated it with a greatest hits album. This introduced her 2008 VMA performance and new tracks to hint her next move.


A furturistic rework of her single “Genie in a Bottle” and Marlene Detrich’s “Falling in Love Again”


Other inspirations for her new album consisted of electronic music with the likes of Goldfrapp, The Prodigy, and Zero 7. Searching for that new sound, she later on she revealed working with indie artists Santigold, M.I.A., Peaches, Ladytron, and Zero 7’s member Sia Furler.

The New It Girl

2008: After showcasing a new *superhero look, people came across ALLEGED similarities to a newcomer: Lady Gaga. This was all due to common platinum blonde hair and bangs (wow what a biter!). With Gaga's sound and look, she had somewhat futuristic vibes in which Xtina was already attempting.
Gaga’s then-bff P*r*z H*lton with then-relevant celebrity gossip blog, this was the catalyst of the Xtina smearing campaign of comparing the two in any opportunity (where was Gaga during this bullying? #BeKind). But everyone was goo-goo for Gaga as she was rising on the charts. Xtina was the old, Gaga was the new.


The Bionic Massacre
2010: With fans hungry for new material and even convincing themselves Jonna Lee's viral marketing was a teaser, Christina finally released the lead single “Not Myself Tonight”.



Gaga, the supposed innovator of all fashion (in 2010)


Dare I say it was a bold song amidst the accusations of copying the “G.U.Y.” hitmaker. The music video release only fueled the fire in stan world with comparisons to "Bad Romance" and Xtina literally wearing an outfit Gaga had once wore






There was a direct reference to Madonna’s video “Express Yourself”. Guess who was later accused of plagiarizing this very song? Hmmm…


Confronted with this comparison and responding with possible shade, it eventually got to the point where Mrs. Aguilera had to address this in a [now deleted] post on her official website.

“I have absolutely nothing against Lady Gaga or any other female artist in this business. I think she is great, and I appreciate any woman fearless enough to go against the norm. She has earned her success with hard work and a clear focus and I have nothing but respect for that. There is room for all of us on everyone’s iPods.” - Christina Aguilera


The Album


Xtina goes dark-pop: "Birds of Prey” produced by Ladytron


After “Not Myself Tonight” flopped hard and the pvssy-poppin promo single “Woohoo” featuring then upcoming rapper Nicki Minaj, it seemed to the public that Aguilera had nothing up to par with her previous musical efforts like “Stripped”. Loaded with dated (give or take) dance tracks on the standard tracklist, there was a confusion as to where the “experimental” and “electronica” sound would be. Some noted out how she ALLEGEDLY used autotune for the song “Elastic Love”. Where was the soulful music?


”I Am” co-written with singer/songwriter Sia.


Dubbed the ‘heart of the record’, there were ballads with longtime collaborator Linda Perry and then fairly unknown singer Sia. These were the luscious and meaningful songs we know Christina for.

The indie collaborations were unfortunately pushed to the deluxe version of the album. Ladytron member Daniel Hunt had something to say about what happened with Christina’s initial vision:

"The way she played the album to me was her original vision. She was on the right track but the record label f**ked up everything, to be honest. All the good stuff got pumped into disc two. I think that if she would have done what she had in mind it would have been better. I also think that with what she had in mind she could have [sidestepped] all the kind of potential comparison with Lady GaGa which, you know, at the time it was that nightmare for her."
He added: "She would have done it in the smart way and she would have been renowned now, but her record label instead wanted to put her against [GaGa]."


The final single “You Lost Me” was released and was not able to save the era.



2011: It did not stop then. With an underperforming album came along with the lukewarm reviews of her debut lead acting role in the now cult-classic “Burlesque”, a divorce with her husband of 5 years, the infamous National Anthem flub at the Superbowl, bad press regarding to questionable spray tan oil leaking between her legs whilst performing a tribute at Etta James’ funeral, and weight gain... Christina hit rock bottom.



The Aftermath
2012: Failing to sell enough tickets for her Bionic tour, Xtina needed to try new endeavors. This lead to her now being sitting comfortably as singing coach on The Voice. She also released another album “Lotus”, which again is not up to par with the quality we know her for. #JusticeForYourBody

During this time she also did a few collaborations including Maroon 5 for “Moves Like Jagger”, earning a #1 spot, and A Great Big World for “Say Something", which earned her a sixth Grammy.



2013: Soon enough, Gaga hit up Xtina burying the hatchet calling for truce and #pop prosperity with a remix of “Do What U Want”. #promoteonlinekindness #bornthisway




The Verdict



^^It may have sounded silly but lbr, not a lot knew who Sia was aside from possibly knowing "Breathe Me". No denying Sia has raw talent that has sustained a modest career up until that point, but it seemed as though Xtina had lent a helping hand in bringing Sia into the mainstream world, who is now penning for popstars with the likes of Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Canadian songstress Carly Rae Jepsen.

Bionic in pop culture


Gaga sporting the #iconic #Bionic hairstyle as the role of The Countess on American Horror Story.


From one messy era to another: Katy Perry’s recent album cover ‘Witness’ has drawn comparisons to Bionic’s album cover.


Madonna called up M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj for MDNA (2012).


After Xtina's dumb AF copying accusations, poor execution, and personal hardships, music listeners have taken a chance on the album and admit Bionic is an underrated piece of work, especially looking at songs like "Monday Morning" and "I Am".

We are now awaiting Xtina's forthcoming album, will she #riseLotusrise?



Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13

Let's talk about Bionic

Tags: christina aguilera, katy perry, lady gaga, m.i.a., madonna, music / musician (electronic), music / musician (pop), nicki minaj, ontd original
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