On June 12, Instant Karma: The Amnesty National Campaign To Save Darfur was released — as an effort to alleviate the crisis in Darfur. The album is partnered with Amnesty National's "Make Some Noise" project. Generously, Yoko Ono donated the rights to John Lennon's songs to be used for the project — as the album is also meant as a tribute to Lennon himself.
Among the talent brought together for the project are: Green Day, U2, Avril Lavigne, Black Eyed Peas, Lenny Kravitz, Los Lonely Boys, Corinne Bailey Rae, R.E.M., Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Jakob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, and others. Surprisingly, Christina Aguilera's cover of John Lennon's heart wrenching tune "Mother" has received rave reviews from critics.
Pioneer Press says: "Christina Aguilera, whose solid version of 'Mother' is just one of many pleasant surprises here." Amazon.com's Scott Holter says: "As with any attempt to cover Beatles-related music, results are hit and miss, with kudos going to Snow Patrol and the Postal Service for capturing the starkness of "Isolation" and "Grow Old with Me," respectively, Mexican rock band Jaguares for uncovering the fear and fury in "Gimme Some Truth," and (surprise!) Christina Aguilera for nailing the complex composition and mood of 'Mother'."
"She certainly has guts. Aguilera fearlessly nailed James Brown's "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World" at the Grammy telecast, and here the former teen-pop star bests all comers with a superb version of one of Lennon's most painfully personal songs. The recovering "Dirrty" girl wisely eschews Lennon's primal-scream approach, instead adding more melisma and soul each time she repeats that heart-wrenching final line, 'Mama don't go/Daddy come home'."
Glenn Gamboa of Newsday gives praise also. "The heavy hitters do not disappoint. U2's "Instant Karma" is a faithful tribute, while Green Day's "Working Class Hero" is a rousing call to arms. R.E.M. makes "#9 Dream" appropriately ethereal, while Christina Aguilera wraps her powerful voice around 'Mother'."
Even the larger news outlets agreed. The Boston Globe wrote, "Green Day's already familiar rough-up of "Working Class Hero" is a peak, as is Christina Aguilera's shockingly unvarnished and
vulnerable 'Mother'." Avril Lavigne however, did not seem to far as well. The Globe went on to say, "Avril Lavigne does not fare as well with her furrow-browed, string-enhanced "serious" version. Whose choice was that?", in reference to her cover of one of John's most beloved songs, "Imagine".
The Philadelphia Daily News chimed in as well, saying that "there are strong performances from U2 ("Instant Karma"), Christina Aguilera ("Mother") and Green Day ("Working Class Hero")." Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly also give Aguilera her props, calling her contribution to the CD, one of the highlights from the 2 Disc album. EW says "U2, Xtina, Green Day, and Michael Stipe are among a myriad of musicians who re-Imagine John Lennon's solo catalog on Instant Karma. Aguilera tames the histrionics, and given her famous parental issues, ''Mother'' is a clever choice."
Lately rumors have been swirling that Ms. Aguilera may be with child, and her representatives are not denying or confirming the rumors. Last week, Aguilera and her husband Jordan Bratman were seen visiting a maternity hospital in New York City. There were rumors from earlier this year about her possibly having a baby because she was spotted shopping for baby clothes, but it was later determined she was buying clothes for her husband's niece.
Some fans were hoping that the rumors weren't true because she has an upcoming worldwide tour that has sold very well, and they didn't want the tour to be cancelled. But Christina and her husband were photographed recently in Japan, which indicates she is embarking on her tour — whether she is or isn't pregnant. After all, Gwen Stefani had no problem going through with her tour during her pregnancy.
Her Australian and New Zealand dates specifically, sold out in a matter of minutes so hopefully Christina does end up making the trip down under to give them her critically acclaimed Back to Basics show, baby or no baby.