It's been It's been three and a half years since Christina Aguilera's well-received four-times platinum Grammy-winning sophomore album Stripped. It's a much longer gap in records than most fans of pop music are used to. But as Christina's been saying for quite a while - the album is worth the wait.
So often, in popular music, the records are single-driven. There are four to five good songs at most, and the rest, though decent maybe, are mere filler material. Double-disc Back to Basics is one of those albums where even if certain songs may not necessarily tickle your fancy - there is something for everyone. And even the ones that aren't for you, you must still admit, are great.
For this album, Christina drafted hip-hop producer DJ Premier who did most of the first disc, and former 4 Non-Blondes member Linda Perry, who produced a lot of Aguilera's second CD. It's hard to say which of the two discs is better; they both have a different feel. The first is sample-heavy - yet it's hard to know it. Premier does such an excellent job of blending the old sounds with the new songs and Christina's instincts and newfound maturity both lyrically and vocally are flawless.
One problem with the album however — though it's not really the album's fault, more Christina's — is that it was said to be a throwback to the 20s, 30s, and 40s. If you listen to the record, there are at most four songs that really accomplish that: the authentic-sounding "I Got Trouble" (recorded with a cloth over the mic and Christina's whiskey-layered voice), the super-fast and funky "Ain't No Other Man", the fun "Candyman" (confirmed second single), and the racy "Nasty Naughty Boy". The rest of the tracks, though many may be throwbacks - are not throwbacks to the 20s, 30s and 40s.
Maybe she's confused about the musical eras, who knows. But what's more important is that people shouldn't hold this against the album. Because despite the misinformation Christina's given about the tracks, it does not detract from the fact that this album is golden. There are points in this CD where I get chills from just how good the songs are. The 90s Hip-Hop/R&B vibes are all over this CD and it makes tracks like "Slow Down Baby", "Back in the Day", and "Still Dirrty" so incredibly listenable while nostalgic all the same.