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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Back to Basics

Christina Aguilera

2006

Back to Basics
Album Summary

Back to Basics is the fifth studio album by American singer Christina Aguilera. It was released on August 9, 2006, in the United States by RCA Records as a double album. Serving as executive producer, she enlisted a wide range of producers, including DJ Premier, Rich Harrison, Rob Lewis, Mark Ronson, and Linda Perry. Inspired by Aguilera's 1920s–1950s idols, including Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Etta James, and Ella Fitzgerald, Back to Basics was described by Aguilera herself as a fusion of old-school jazz and soul inspirations with a modernized style. Primarily a pop and R&B record, its first disc juxtaposes rhythm and blues with hip hop and urban elements with most songs employing samples, while the second contains all original tracks with the exception of "Candyman", which samples "Tarzan & Jane Swingin' on a Vine". Lyrically, the album is inspired by Aguilera's previous life events including her marriage with Jordan Bratman in 2005. To portray a new persona, Aguilera adopted her new alter ego Baby Jane and made several changes to her public appearance, inspired by classic Hollywood actresses. Back to Basics received favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented its musical diversity from Aguilera's previous albums while there were others who criticized its length. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album, and its lead single "Ain't No Other Man" won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards (2007). It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 346,000 copies. Back to Basics achieved similar success internationally, reaching the top of the charts in over fifteen countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and United Kingdom. The album has sold 1.7 million copies in the United States, and over 5 million worldwide, as of November 2013.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.73

Votes

10062

Genres

  • Pop

Reviews

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View Author
Tue Aug 15 2023
4

I somehow feel a bit sorry for her here, maybe she’s a victim of her own success? As a teen pop superstar phenomena I’ve never really taken her seriously. She’s devastatingly attractive, has a massive voice, she is writing all her own stuff and working with brilliant producers. But it is still a bit too pop for me. I get the feeling this album will catch some hate on here, but if you can get past the perfect pop packaging she’s a very talented artist and there are some good tunes on here.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
3

Before even looking, I knew the community reviews were going to be a dumpster fire. Not every album is going to be Led Zeppelin II. The whole point of using this site is to broaden your horizons. It's embarrassing seeing people reacting to this album like they're being asked to shoot the family pet. I agree that it's not a great album. It has some of her best songs on it, but the entire album has one specific vibe to it that gets a bit old very quickly. She's a phenomenal singer, but it all feels a bit one-trick after a few songs. The backing tracks all sound a bit samey after a while too. Some of them are very sparse too. And I'm not sure that this album is as deep as she seems to think. Still, it's not horrible. You guys are just babies.

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Mon Oct 30 2023
1

Tried to listen with no prejudice. Disc one is fairly painful; unchallenging dusty beats with Xtina moaning over the top. Disappointed to find out most of it was produced by DJ Premier. 'Thank You' was frankly embarrassing, as was the section naming famous musicians. Saying "Billie Holiday" out loud doesn't musically align you with your hero, it just reminds me that I could be listening to something better than this. The songs on disc two weren't all that, but were a far better use of her voice.

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Mon Aug 14 2023
2

Christina is apparently the queen of releasing bloated, saccharine albums with ironic titles. Multiple tracks on this album have a distracting vinyl crackle that fades in and out constantly. I thought it might be a problem with Spotify, but it turns out this was an intentional production choice, which is baffling. Best track: Without You

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Fri Aug 25 2023
1

I fail to see how a bog standard, basic pop album is something that must be listened to before you die. Genre defining? No. Ground-breaking? Hardly. Paradigm shifting? Not even close.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

Love me some Christina and not ashamed

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Tue Aug 15 2023
4

It’s a long album, but you can choose any song and be blown away by her talent. Definitely changed my view of her, since I always just had her a generic pop star in my head. My bad.

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Thu Nov 02 2023
4

Some excellent ballads with jazz and other influences What a voice, comparable to Adele Favourite song: Mercy on Me

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Sun Sep 10 2023
5

I previously thought Christina Aguilera was a pop artist because of other people's songs that she was featured in. But this album clearly shows she is confident working with a variety of genres, so one of the themes of the album - getting inspired by old-school rap and soul music - works really well. The songs themselves also cover a variety of moods and themes so that anyone can find something to enjoy: the vibe varies from sweet to bold, from heartbreaking to weird and funny. And yet, the album does not feel disjointed, but rather a genuine expression of Aguilera's different sides as a person and interests as an artist.

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Sun Sep 17 2023
5

I liked the first disc well enough, although I felt a bit like an outsider… especially through the Thank You song at the end (seems she and her fans are having a personal moment I didn’t feel entirely comfortable listening to). I wasn’t sure I was up for a second disc. To my surprise that second disc really connected with me! The best Christina I’ve listened to. Fantastic!

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Mon Aug 21 2023
1

Such a long and terrible album....honestly nothing redeeming about it. 1/5

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Mon Sep 18 2023
1

It started of fine and there were some moments i liked, but it went for way to long and there are some really bad moments too. Couldve been tolerable if it was like half as long. But then it still wouldnt be good, i would just not hate listening to it as much.

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Tue Aug 15 2023
5

Can’t believe it’s my first time hearing this. Front to back bangers

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Sun Sep 17 2023
5

When I said that Stripped was a long, epic album, I didn't realize we weren't through. Woah! This did really feel long sometimes, but man it also packs a lot of amazing stuff in it! I'm impressed! I'm blown away! A powerful tribute to the women who inspired her.

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Tue Aug 15 2023
4

This was way better then I expected it! Wow, I did miss it back then I guess. I can’t remember any song. But hey now I know it and can go back to when I want to

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Fri Sep 08 2023
4

Enjoyed this more than I thought I would

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Fri Sep 15 2023
4

For the world of pop, although it leans heavily to R&B, this is a very ambitious album. It experiments in original ways that still keep the album enjoyable. The songs are beautiful and, it goes with saying, so is Christina’s voice. The production is impeccable. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it overstays it’s welcome, however, if one didn’t think the project was becoming repetitive on disc one, than one must have felt it on disc two. For an hour and nineteen minutes, it still makes an incredible effort in that all the songs sound fairly individual. I enjoyed it, great album. 4/5

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Sun Sep 17 2023
4

I really quite enjoyed many tracks on the album…more than I expected. I think that if the album ran shorter I would have liked it more.

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Sat Sep 23 2023
4

Très belle prestation de la part de Christina, malgré une longueur d'album absolument insoutenable, Deux albums 4/5 d'affilé, ce n'était plus arrivé depuis des millénaires

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Sat Sep 23 2023
4

Une Christina Aguilera des grands jours qui samplera les choristes et invitera d'ailleurs Kad Merad en duo sur le morceau en question. En parlant de choristes, j'en profite pour vous partager une anecdote. Quand j'étais en classe de CP, la maîtresse nous annonça un beau matin qu'un monsieur allait nous apprendre des chansons. Ce vieux monsieur arriva bel et bien accompagné de ses mystérieuses intentions (je suppose maintenant qu'il était pédophile). Nous apprîmes donc lesdites chansons, totalement idiotes au passage, et n'entendirent plus parler du vieux pédo pendant plusieurs mois. Vers la fin de l'année, alors que nous étions tranquillement en train de travailler en classe, celui-ci se pointa pour nous annoncer que nous allions nous produire le lendemain soir dans une grande salle de concert devant des milliers de personnes. "Tu te fous de notre gueule ?" répliqua l'ensemble de la classe. Vous vous en doutez, nous avions complètement oublié ses chansons à la con et le concert fut une cacophonie.

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Fri Sep 29 2023
4

Way way better than expected. One I'd never have checked out.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
4

Christina Aguilera does pop to perfection so this album does not disappoint on that front. It has that speakeasy flavour that I remember being popular at the time but it doesn’t date the album too badly. The length was daunting and I think it could have been much shorter but it flows well and keeps hitting highs all the way through.

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Mon Nov 20 2023
4

My poptimism must be back in full force, for I overlook the distractions of faux-analog to pronounce the first volume of Back to Basics 75% successful. Christina's voice explodes with power and pretty much never lets up, noted length-induced fatigue aside. The sustained performance over 00s RnB is pretty unique, but the second disc is more interesting if a smidge less impressive. The double LP is certainly sprawling, doesn't feel the need to vary overmuch, yet gets away with a very small number of skips.

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Tue Nov 28 2023
4

Production is too busy, mostly over-sung but the talent is undeniable

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Thu Apr 11 2024
4

It's very 2000s if you're into that

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Thu Aug 17 2023
3

Vintage aesthetics are perennially wrung out in pop music, and this album seems-self aware of that fact. As a matter of fact, that’s dang near one of the theses of the album. But I don’t give points for self-awareness. Christina’s vocal delivery is a great match for the album, however. She has an aggressive, over-the-top rendition of a vintage voice, which is absolutely made for a 2000s vintage pop album. Unfortunately however, this album is a rocket ship with no fuel. Christina builds the foundation for unique ideas about vintage promiscuity and womanhood, and reaches farther back for samples than many of her peers, but the ideas hardly ever go anywhere. What makes the album unique, feels almost buried under unremarkable love songs and the excess of 2000s album structures. If the trends had been in Christina’s favor, maybe this album would have aged better with other artists building on it. Alas, the pop zeitgeist would be looking to the future instead of the past for about 5 years following this album, so it stands alone. And this is not an album that benefits from standing alone.

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Sun Oct 01 2023
3

Ahh why do these albums have to be so long? This was two albums smashed together for no reason. In isolation I dind't hate either, but together it's dumb. I liked the 2nd one more. Still because of the excessive length I disliked it. Cut out the fat and make something good.

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Sun Feb 04 2024
3

The title is a misnomer. So over produced with the face 50s sound and other business going on.

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Fri Jul 05 2024
3

Well, today is July 4th and also my 500th album. I was really hoping for Bruce Springsteen's Born In The U.S.A., but, here we are with my second and final Christina Aguilera album. The randomness of the universe does not appear to care about my hopes. As much as I didn't want to see something like this come up today, I'll give it a fair shot. I thought Stripped was very good, so this album might surprise me too. Just like Stripped, this album was full of Christina's excellent vocal talents. As I mentioned on my review for Stripped, this isn't my favorite era of pop music, but man, the singing on this album just blows away its contemporaries. To top it off, this album featured some great production that really bolstered the 'back to basics' theme. However, that theme really held the album back on the first half. I felt like the sound was really repetitive on the first half, and Christina really didn't do a lot with the album's theme. The whole name dropping section of "Back in the Day" is probably the best example of the lackluster nature of the first half of the album. "Ain't No Other Man" was one of the few songs I recognized off of this album, but it's a fun song, worthy of being easily recognizable. "Oh Mother" was also great. I liked that it was similar to "I'm O.K." off of Stripped, but with the focus shifting to Christina's mother. When the second half of the album started with "Enter the Circus," I was afraid that the album was going to take a weird turn. However, as soon as Christina's vocals started, that fear was put to bed. The second half of the album didn't feel as confined by the back to basics theme, and had more exploration of sounds and themes. "Candyman" was the second song off of this album that I recognized, and it instantly evoked a visual of that old LG 2 Chocolate commercial from the aughts. Man, phones have come a long way since then. I enjoyed the sexual energy and lyrics of "Candyman," and it was the most fun song on the second half of the album. "Hurt" was the last song that I recognized, and I enjoyed its lyrics and epic sound. Overall, this album was fine. The biggest downside of this album is that it was restrained by its theme, and a good portion of the tracks felt like filler. It's a long album, especially for something that feels a little one-dimensional for a good portion of its run time. Still, Christina Aguilera is an amazing vocal talent, and there's some solid production work on this album as well. Back To Basics isn't as good as Stripped, and that's okay.

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Thu Aug 24 2023
2

The second disc was a lot better than the first. Without wanting to put words into the artists mouth it definitely felt more like what they wanted to make whereas the first disc felt a bit, manufactured, for lack of a better term which made it a bit difficult to get through. Most of the songs on the first disc were written by half-a-dozen people, whereas the second just a couple. Felt a lot more personal and a lot more interesting. Stand out songs: - Welcome - Hurt

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Mon Feb 12 2024
2

Was she that big back then? So much that we need to hear at least 2 of her albums before we die? I don't think so. There are more popular, and better-sounding, and more influential 21st century pop than her, which aren't included in the list.

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Thu Apr 18 2024
2

“This is my back to basics album.” *releases an 80-minute double album with the most excessive mid-00s production possible*

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Sun Jun 02 2024
2

I procrastinated a lot on this one. I was basically like, “what can I do other than listen to a double album by Christina Aguilera that’s been removed from the book?” I’m not saying that this is my personal hell (not even close - that would be having to listen to anything by The Grateful Dead), but there are a lot of other things I would rather listen to than this. Pop music isn’t for me. It’s disposable, often doesn’t transcend the era it was recorded. If that makes me a snobby asshole, so be it. I won’t deny Christina Aguilera’s talent, she’s a great vocalist, but life is too short to try and force yourself to enjoy things you don’t have much interest in.

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Thu Nov 23 2023
1

The intro song is so corny I'm sorry. I think I didn't really like any of the self-referential songs (Still Dirrty) because they were very plainly written and just not every interesting. The "Thank You" interlude was also weird to me? The sampled fan voicemail selections were... interesting. The second half opens... interestingly... with Nasty Naughty Boy, which was. A song. It's incredible how sexual some of these tracks are while also being decidedly not sexy.

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Sun Feb 11 2024
1

She's clearly a very talented singer but this severely did not need to be a double album. It's incredibly bloated. I'm not sure what was more uncomfortable to listen to, the horniness of "Nasty Naughty Boy", which features literal sex moans a la boys goofing off in a middle school classroom, or the 5 straight minutes of ego stroking on "Thank You".

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Thu Feb 29 2024
1

Jesus CHRIST pick a fucking note already! This fucking sucks. And there is a LOT of it. I'm so fucking mad I have to listen to this shit. It's going to ruin my day. Like how fucking vapid do you have to be to play voice mail from fans praising you in the middle of your album?

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View Author
Wed Aug 16 2023
5

I feel like the greatest artists always have a signature style and Aguilera's voice is so unique that it makes me cum instantly. Back to Basics draws back the curtains and stabs a dagger of joy into your back. Faultless.

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Thu Nov 23 2023
5

Of course Christina’s voice is fantastic! There wasn’t a single song that I didn’t enjoy, and most of the album (all but three songs) were new to me. This felt like two completely separate albums, and I honestly feel like the album would’ve benefited by being released as two separate albums. It was almost too much Christina at once. Especially since the two halves of the album are so stylistically different from each other, I think two 30-40 minute albums would’ve been better than one almost 80 minute album. But anyway, this is 4.5 stars for me.

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Sun Dec 24 2023
5

Heel sterk popalbum. De jazz en soul uit de 20s zijn heel sterk te horen. Ook ballades als 'Hurt' zijn prachtig

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Fri Jan 26 2024
5

A tour de force. Is there any better guilty pleasure then Christina cheerfully belting out old timey tunes about sex? Ain't No Other Man and Candyman are just good fun. Hurt is a beautiful counterpoint. A great collection of songs sung by one of the great singers of our generation.

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Mon Feb 05 2024
5

Wow. CA can sing. I guess growing up and being anti-pop and having genie in a bottle being rammed into your brain you kinda tune some things out. Really impressed with vocal talents and going away from poppy vibes and going for soul. This album being 2 disc you’re gonna have a couple sleepers but she could have easily put a solid 12-15 tracks for one mega bang. Anyways it was really good.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

Couldn’t find this album on iTunes but I listened to her Essentials. Lots of well-known songs.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

I was fully expecting this to be the lesser known and less good album from an artist whose good album is already gotten but goddamn was I wrong. As a gen zer who only knew Christina Aguilera from moves like jagger and sorta genie in a bottle, I never realized that she has probably the best voice of the 00s maybe the 21st century. She can pull off the most operatic and full throated vocals as well as the slower and quieter tracks. She was going for a tribute/theme of old 50s/60s icons and she actually managed to pull it off without sounding out of her league. Candyman and nasty naughty boy were my favorites but I can’t really think of a track I didn’t like.

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Wed Mar 06 2024
5

Classic album. I still like Stripped overall more. I would put that one over this for this list imo

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

Came into this album sceptical and I bloody loved it! The sample of Genie in a Bottle in Thank You threw me but I really liked it! The whole of Disc 2 in itself is a masterpiece and a joyous listen. The opening 2 tracks were mint, candyman was great in a different way. Nasty Naughty Boy turned me on a little. And the rest of the disc was just mint. Listened to this album twice because it was that good.

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Mon Mar 25 2024
5

Christina Aguilera was one of the performers in the 90s reboot of the Mickey Mouse Club, and she may be the most talented of that very talented bunch. Her dynamic voice has an impressive range, and allows her to create pop songs with the sounds of R&B and soul tracks. Back to Basics is an impressive double disk - 85 minutes with 22 tracks. The content is certainly not "basic." Several tracks are orchestrated and performed like vocal jazz standards from the 40s. The incredible range of the songs is impressive. While the album received mixed reception from critics, it was very well received commercially. This album, and the tour that followed, propelled Aguilera into superstar status - a performer with far more range and creativity than "just" a pop music star.

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Thu May 23 2024
5

Not my style but a good production

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Mon Jun 10 2024
5

Forget Beyonce or Taylor Swift, give me this lady Any day. Beautiful voice. Loved it

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Mon Jul 01 2024
5

I appreciate this. She is an excellent singer and some of the song were well timed for where I am now.

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Sun Aug 27 2023
4

Guilty pleasure alert! that said...no album should be 80 minutes long. holy smokes

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Sat Sep 02 2023
4

This album is a bit like Simply Red - such a powerful voice that gets a little overwhelming after a few tracks.

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Thu Oct 05 2023
4

A lot better than I expected. I remember really hating on Ain't No Other Man & Candyman when they came out. 10-year-old me had particular tastes when it came to music. Anyway, this kind of pop record really shows that Christina is more than whatever the media thought she was. Back to Basics is a great album and almost a "re-branding" of sorts. It seems a bit long, but the songs go by quicker than you think. Sidenote: I really liked "Oh Mother" as a HUGE fan of Bruno Coulais' work on Les Choristes.

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Thu Oct 05 2023
4

I dock one point for the heavy use of tech (samples) when time and money was likely available to pay a few more great session musicians, maybe some that the ladies she is paying tribute to have used, but four stars for the message: "I've waited for some time To get inside the minds Of every legend I've ever wanted to stand beside So here I stand today In tribute I do pay To those before me who laid it down and paved the way" Niiiice.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
4

Allow me to say, I love "Ain't No Other Man", but I'm going to have to pace myself here. The Wall is the same length! Ok, Disc 1 is done, I definitely enjoyed it more than I thought I would, more than other crooners like Britney Spears & Mariah Carey. Disc 2: oh this is a Tom Waits record Alright it isn’t, but she had me fooled It’s melodramatic, and the bloat is real, but I’d still go far as to say that they should’ve kept this in the book. It’s a decent representative of 2006 pop music, and it’s kinda silly only 4 albums make up that year in the new edition of the book HL: “Makes Me Wanna Pray”, “Ain’t No Other Man”, “Slow Down Baby”, “Here to Stay”, “Candyman”, “I Got Trouble”, “The Right Man” Not as crazy about: “Hurt”

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Fri Oct 27 2023
4

Never really listened to Christina Aguilera but this album is pretty solid

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Thu Nov 02 2023
4

The handful of her song I've heard before already let me know she has an incredible voice, but this is the first album of hers I've listened to all the way through. Wow. She is superb at her craft and I really enjoyed this. What a voice, what expression, what soul!

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Tue Nov 07 2023
4

El comienzo de Oh mother es como la canción principal de Los Chicos Del Coro. Está bastante bien el disco.

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Tue Nov 07 2023
4

Ugh - I braced myself when this album turned up - but but but - it turns to be a pretty half decent record. First half is a strong showing of R&B, Soul and Gospel influences that are actually tasteful, then this second is split between some decent pop ballads and had it ended at the ‘Thank You’ track it would been an actually great record. But then it kind of descends into this gaudy cartoonish cabaret that gets old very very quickly. But if you skip that - this is a good record. I would never have guessed.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
4

Très bon album de pop, j'aime beaucoup l'influence des années 40/50 et sa voix surpuissante supporte bien les paroles. Malheureusement, en faire un double album, c'est quand même chaud, la deuxième partie semble de trop.

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Tue Nov 28 2023
4

Once she gets away from the Mtv inspired pop songs, her true range comes out and you can really see what an amazing artist she is.

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Tue Dec 05 2023
4

I was often surprised by this record and I enjoyed it much more than I expected to. It has soul and style.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
4

Great, powerful voice! Tracks are often similar.

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Sun Dec 10 2023
4

Not my go-to genre, but her vocals are impressive, and these tracks draw from her 1920-1950's inspiration in an interesting modern soulful R&B style.

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Wed Dec 20 2023
4

Love me some Christina, though very long and some songs I'm not so sure about.

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Thu Dec 21 2023
4

I don’t have a lot to say for this one. Nice catchy songs and cool production. It loses me a bit as it goes on and it’s a bit bloated though.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
4

Christina is a true diva of the 90s (and early 2000s) - not Brittney or Pink or Arianna. She has such a unique, powerful, soulful voice - which is a good thing because most of these songs aren't that good on their own. She makes them interesting to listen to. A true talent, even if you aren't a fan. I'm guessing this will be the only album of hers on the list, which is why it's getting a one-star bump. Everyone should listen to and appreciate Christina in their lifetime. This is the album to listen to (granted it's too long).

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Thu Jan 11 2024
4

I literally listened to this album on repeat all day. It did not get old. She has amazing vocal range and diversity in the music she makes. Honestly really good.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
4

Christina Aguilera's 2006 album "Back to Basics" holds a special place in many hearts, acting as a nostalgic soundscape for those who grew up with it. I, too, have fond memories of listening to this iconic album on repeat in my mum's car during my childhood. The track "Thank You (Dedication to Fans...)" not only carries the weight of gratitude but also echoes the reminiscent vibes of her debut hit "Genie In A Bottle," a song that propelled her to international stardom. The second half of the album takes a bold leap into the realms of old-school jazz, blues, and soul, showcasing Aguilera's versatility. The burlesque vamp "Nasty Naughty Boy" stands out with its trumpets and audience cheers, creating a vivid late-night showgirl atmosphere that feels reminiscent of Moulin Rouge. However, the decision to release a double album raises questions about its cohesion, and while the material is strong, the segregation of certain throwback tracks onto the second disc creates a noticeable imbalance. Nevertheless, gems like "Mercy on Me" showcase Aguilera's staggering famous belted vocals, making it worth revisiting this album to fully appreciate its intricacies.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

J: chu chu chuuli N: temas icónicos

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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

Surprisingly, I really liked this album. It had a diverse sound, ranging from soul to blues to jazz. I should listen to more of her music. I give this 4.5 stars.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

Surprisingly enjoyable. Pop is not my style usually.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
4

Pretty classic C.A., hard to not love.

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Mon Feb 12 2024
4

Solid album, lots of variety and good sounds but wouldn't listen every day

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Wed Feb 14 2024
4

I was a big Christina Aguilera fan as a kid. Looking forward to this. This album is such a product of the 2000s with all of the disc scratching sounds every few seconds lol. I love it. Oof. Track 7 hurts. I have a feeling that I'm going to like the second disc of this album better than the first. The opening track to the second disc is freaking me out in the best way. 4/5 Dang she's got a great voice.

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Thu Feb 15 2024
4

Schöner Pop. Stimme noch nicht ganz so nervig.

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Fri Feb 16 2024
4

Didn’t expect to see Christina Aguilera on this list, not my favorite album but not bad either!

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Sun Feb 18 2024
4

Another big name female pop star to surprise me. 4

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Mon Feb 19 2024
4

Favorites are "Makes Me Wanna Pray" and "Here to Stay"

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Tue Feb 27 2024
4

back to basics acts as a beautiful tribute to all the artists that came before christina aguilera! she pays homage to all kinds of artists, whose contributions created music to what it is today. she is mostly influenced by r&b and jazz, and she throws a lot of names around. honoring these musicians is done so respectfully and creatively. "back in the day" has aguilera reminiscing of the old days, and it's a delightful way to kick off the album. however, the second half of the album goes in another direction. aguilera still uses the same r&b of the first half, but doesn't reference the tributes and frequently uses a circus theme. i don't think it's an accident linda perry produced the entire second half--and the two of them wrote each song together. the sampling of traffic's "glad" in "makes me wanna pray" was outstanding. in fact, the sampling is so well done that aguilera changed the song completely! the touch of the gospel choir was brilliant, too. but to use a jazz rock song as a sample shows me aguilera's fearlessness and creativity. it's not a sampling choice you'd expect. i can appreciate that aguilera included her own personality in her songs. the lyrical themes are right in her wheelhouse. "still dirrty" is undeniably a xtina song, and it's a continuation from her previous hit, not a carbon copy. it fits in extremely well with the stylings of this album, too. like, those trumpets?! not to mention, she includes short snippets of her previous songs. aguilera has always had one of the most beautiful voices in all of music. what set her apart in the pop craze of the late nineties was her voice! throughout the album, she uses her vocal talents but they might stand out the most toward the end of the album with the slower, emotional songs. this album does a lot of things right! i found myself impressed. to be honest, i am reminded of prince's 2003 musicology album. but all artists are inspired by previous music, and there's no rule aguilera couldn't do her own album like that. an apologetic 3.5, rounded up to a 4.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
4

After her fourth album, Stripped, appeared on this illustrious list I assumed no further Aguilera albums would be included; and if there was to be only one I was surprised it wasn't Back To Basics. Well, here that album also is, which, whilst unnecessarily long, is, nevertheless an excellent pop record and likely her best. On Side A Aguilera brings street cred from the likes of DJ Premier - whose beat on Ain't No Other Man gets even the usually snobby B-Boys and Girls up on their feet - whilst Side B is the souldful ballad-heavy second side, produced entirely by Linda Perry, which helps give this a sold, cohesive identity and and includes the track Hurt, another excellent pop record in the vein of Beautiful, also written by Perry.

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Wed Mar 13 2024
4

Pretty good. More soul/r&b than I remember from her popular more pop tunes. Not really my thing, but the music and her voice are infinitely better than someone like britney spears. Good mix of songs, well produced. 3.7.

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Fri Mar 22 2024
4

Fun concept, well executed, and lets Christina belt for an hour

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Sun Mar 24 2024
4

Very fun album. I can see how she has influenced many singers, she has a very unique and powerful voice and is clearly a really technically good singer. I enjoyed listening.

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Sat Mar 30 2024
4

She’s so full of herself. Standouts: Ain't no other man, Oh Mother, Hurt 3.75

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Wed Apr 03 2024
4

Enjoyed this album much more than I thought I would. Try it out!

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Fri Apr 05 2024
4

As good as she's ever sounded musically. No hits but a good album.

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Tue Apr 23 2024
4

7/10 actually super solid production but, I’m not a fan of this genre

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Fri Apr 26 2024
4

I’ll admit, I wasn’t very excited when this was my album of the day. This came out my sophomore year of college, and I certainly had no interest in it at the time. I remember the singles, and while I can’t say I hated them I largely ignored them. This was a very fun album to listen to. It has sort of an almost Motown mixed with delta blues and modern R&B. I did not find it to sound firmly rooted in mid 2000’s pop - I can’t believe how well this record has held up 18 years later. As expected the singing is performed with incredible talent and technical prowess, but I expected to react to the songs like “whoa that’s a bit much” ; but it never happened. It’s not over the top, even when she hits 20 notes in half a second. I was also surprised to see she’s credited as a writer for all the songs. It’s raunchy at times, heartfelt at times, and fun throughout. It’s a really good pop record.

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Thu May 02 2024
4

There are some pretty excellent vocal performances on here. A bit too much but I'm feeling generous.

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Thu May 09 2024
4

Oh my god what did I do to deserve two Christina Aguilera Albums within days of eachother? Wait what? A double album? You're taking the fucking piss mate. Strap in then. If I didn't know some of the singles on the last one it's possible I've not heard any of these songs at all. First proper track Pray is alright, mainly for the gospel because gospel is good and has good energy. Next song harks back to when originators and innovators were alive. Erm, Chris mate, there's still people innovating now. Oh ok, the single. Yeah I've obviously heard this. Didn't know it was her because I didn't pay that much attention to it. But obviously the sample is great and it's used effectively. No name recognition because the enormous hook is the sample, the lyrics are kinda incidental by comparison. Decent pop song though, undeniably. And I have to say, by a million miles the best song of hers I've ever heard. Fair do's Christina, you get a a tick. Apparently another couple of singles slipped by without me noticing, in fact I was thinking it was a lull in quality if anything, so I definitely never heard Slow Down or Oh Mother. Still Dirty is better than Dirty (which was simply annoying) but that could be because I've not heard this before whereas the latter was fucking UNAVOIDABLE. Also, brass. Brass is cool. So alright, this has been better than expected so far, the use of samples is largely done and with intelligence. The second disc appears to have turned the album into the soundtrack from The Greatest Showman or something (which, well, hey, I'm not against). Candyman. Yeah ok I've heard this too. On Strictly or something. It's fun. Obviously again heavily leaning on that great sample. Ok couple more tracks - alright so we're somewhere between vaudeville, swing and roaring twenties for this part. You know I'm really down for this. This is a genuinely good time. Absolutely not my thing of course, and it goes without saying it's much too long, but to be fair it's basically two separate albums, a little like that Outkast one. If we'd stopped after disc 1 it might even have sneaked a low 3 to my shock but after the abrupt left turn I'm even contemplating a genuine 4 for basically a surprisingly good time overall. It's much, much better and far more interesting than Stripped.

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Fri May 10 2024
4

I'm not familiar with her music. She has a nice voice.

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Wed May 22 2024
4

Large variety, catchy stuff. Good stuff as far as pop goes.

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Wed May 22 2024
4

I was pleasantly surprised by this album. I'm not normally one who enjoys a big vocal performance as the main factor of music, but Christina Aguilera just has a fantastic voice and it really drew me in. Lovely album and I thought Thank You (Dedication to Fans...) was a touching song. P.S. Nasty Naughty Boy had me bricked up.

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Thu May 23 2024
4

Damn does this woman have PIPES. I've only known Xtina through her singles and such. This is a fun album, beautifully produced. It's cotton candy for the ears. Not overly deep, but that's not what you're listening to Ms. Aguilera for. Much better than I expected.

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