I can't wait for this album!! :-) So excited!
It's been ages since I've started a Christina thread, but with a new album on the horizon (10 more days for U.S. fans), I can hardly contain myself. Christina slays me so many times with her powerhouse vocals, melisma, rasp etc.
Anyhow, here's a couple videos. The first one, Blank Page, was just uploaded on her Vevo account today so folks are guessing this ballad is probably the second single.
Second video is the first performance of her lead single, Your Body, that Christina, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots slapped together on the fly. It's being called the "Office" version but it's not official or anything. hehe
If you hunt around on YouTube, there's probably a "megamix" preview of all the tracks on the album. (Cease Fire is giving me life), but they're constantly getting pulled so I won't post that.
1. Lotus Intro
2. Army Of Me
3. Red Hot Kinda Love
4. Make The World Move feat. CeeLo Green
5. Your Body
6. Let There Be Love
7. Sing For Me
8. Blank Page
9. Cease Fire
10. Around The World
12. Best Of Me
13. Just A Fool with Blake Shelton
14. Light Up The Sky
15. Empty Words
16. Shut Up
17. Your Body Martin Garrix Remix
I can't wait for this album!! :-) So excited!
In no particular order.
ARMY OF ME
JUST A FOOL feat. Blake Shelton
SING FOR ME
RED HOT KINDA LOVE
MAKE THE WORLD MOVE feat. Cee-Lo Green
LET THERE BE LOVE
LIGHT UP THE SKY
BEST OF ME
AROUND THE WORLD
CIRCLES & SHUT UP are probably too much for this board, but they're easily found.
This has nothing to do with her new album but last week I was at KFC and they had a promotional poster for a charity organization the company was working with. On the poster was an image of a blonde female sitting with a group of small children. I kept looking at the female, trying to figure out who she was until my wife pointed out that it was Christina Aguilera. She had on no makeup, her hair was not done stylish at all, and she looked beautiful! It was really neat to see her not made up- she looked so different.
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Gah, the snippets I posted earlier aren't working any more. Oh well. The entire album leaked in full. Some of my favorite tracks (please let me know if these work)...
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JUST A FOOL feating Blake Shelton
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RED HOT KINDA LOVE
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SING FOR ME
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ARMY OF ME
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Not really a country fan but I'm loving the Blake duet!
I have really enjoyed the album. Much better than the Bionic album. This one feels much more like her style, and I feel it's consistently good throughout the album. Unfortunately, I just read an article on ew.com that said the album is predicted to way underperform and only sell between 75-80k in its first week. I admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Christina's personality, but is that what is really driving people away? I'm surprised it's not doing better since she's had a lot of exposure being on "The Voice".
Lotus is one of Christina's most interesting bodies of work, up there with Stripped and Back To Basics imo, so I am disappointed about the 75-80K prediction but not surprised considering that radio once again wasn't fully here for Christina and her lead single, Your Body, despite having gotten mostly positive feedback online. (The video also quickly surpassed one of the most played songs on radio, P!nk's "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)", in both views and likes. Radio sucks...lol)
At the same time I am keeping the hope alive that Hits Daily Double is way off the mark.
There have been several instances where their estimates (based on opening day sales) were significantly different than the final number...in both directions. Hoping it doesn't go any lower.
Christina is going to be promoting the album on Dateline tonight and performing on the AMAs this Sunday. Perhaps that will help her a bit.
Anyhow, I briefly touched on this on Facebook, but I think there's a variety of issues working against Christina that are impacting her sales.
1. Christina is a very polarizing artist.
Of course I'm speaking in general terms here, but with Christina people either really love her or really hate her. There's less of the in-between when compared to her contemporaries. So far as the the latter is concerned, I think this comes from the fact that there's this widespread perception that Christina is a certified beeyotch and many of those people just enjoy seeing her fail.
I'm not saying there hasn't ever been some *****iness on her part, as is the case with most artists, but most of the time it's just a bunch of misconceptions and falsities being spread by the media and other fandoms that reach fever pitch and become so ingrained and accepted as truth.
The littlest comment, facial expression, etc. sets the public off.
I guess it's easier to believe the negative about Christina than most because she doesn't always play by the rules, has aggressive vocals, etc.
Speaking specifically about The Voice, I think it didn't help her as much as Adam Levine because, in addition to the aforementioned, a large portion of the viewers are older females who dislike that Christina "shows too much skin", "doesn't dress appropriately" etc.
2. Failure by a huge segment of the public to accept that Christina is, and always will be, an eclectic artist.
Having been involved in the fandom for years, I read about it all the time.
Fans and haters alike who expect Christina to do nothing but stand there on stage in her sequin gown singing ballads all day long. OR
Who only want her doing a throwback Back To Basics/Adele type of sound.
And on and on.
A big thing with the haters is: "All she does is scream!" and "Too much melisma!" This obviously just isn't true if you are fully aware of her entire catalog. She's done plenty of toned-down material, there was tons of it on Bionic specifically, but then you start to see the "she's not being herself!" type of comments from the same people.
3. Lack of Radio support.
For the vast majority of artists, radio support is the backbone of a successful single, album...era. Unfortunately, radio still isn't fully here for Christina with her solo singles. "Your Body" was never added or put into heavy rotation on several of the big stations and failed to reach even 30 million "audience impressions" before it started getting dropped. For those who don't have an understanding the terminology, this is pretty bad especially for a lead single. However, "Your Body" held on pretty well all things considered. It will eventually crawl to Gold Certification status. Okay, but not great for someone with Christina's name recognition.
I think her best chance at sustained success is for RCA to send "Just A Fool", Christina's duet with Blake, to radio. It's already showing early success, despite not being a single yet. I think this is a song that will get heavy air play on Adult Contemporary and Country stations. It's got the mass appeal to re-introduce Christina on radio and get folks to check out the other material on Lotus.
4. Waiting too long between album releases.
Christina has stated that she's not the type to release albums like they're pop tarts. But the thing is, she sometimes waits way too long and this has resulted in her losing a portion of her fan base. They get bored and move on. She also needs to get out there and tour, even if it's just several intimate shows around the U.S. It's been 5 years. According to recent comments from her, it's not guaranteed that Lotus will be supported with a tour. I'd like to think she can still do arenas, but in all honestly I don't know if she can sell enough tickets at this level any more.
The full version/demo for Sia's "Blank Page" leaked. It's so beautiful/haunting. It's interesting to compare the two songs. Christina made some changes/additions to her version.
Last edited by Tallstar; January 1, 2013 at 05:11pm.
Red Hot Kinda Love
Those are the only songs I like on the album.
She seemed to get a lot of slack for Bionic but I thought it was an amazing album...
Lotus, to me, is more of a mid 90's r&b album. The lyrics are just something I cannot associate with. The girl does have a great voice but I just couldnt get behind this album.
From my perspective, it was really annoying to see Bionic and Christina unfairly lambasted as a Lady GaGa copycat, when 1) Bionic has very little in common with The Fame and The Fame Monster and 2) Christina had been talking about going in this direction for a long time, well before Lady GaGa exploded on to the scene. And based on Christina's history, it was an obvious progression to go from Back To Basic to a 'futuristic' reinvention.
Even though most of the tracks on Bionic weren't particularly groundbreaking, I feel like this was a highly influential album, despite the media and some of the public refusing to acknowledge it. Not only did Madonna take a page from Christina's book by collaborating with some of the same artists, but Bionic was also the catalyst for legitimizing Sia in the mainstream as a go-to writer and artist in her own right. (I realize she previously had some success with stuff like "Breathe Me", but it's not like she was a highly sought after or a media darling) But now, Sia is multi-platinum selling singles artist and writing for some pretty big names. (Rihanna, Beyonce etc.)
I dunno. I take Bionic as an experiment of sorts, to where Christina was trying to challenge herself by taking her vocals to places she hadn't gone before. In my opinion, her versatility has always been what sets her apart from the other pop gals. She's Whitney, Britney, P!nk etc. all in one.
Theres just something about HER I think.
Its like she has this vibe of "i can sing better" so I am more talented. Vocaly, I would say yes...but I think entertainment value (especially in todays music industry) is what REALLY sells and she lacks that.
Bionic, to me, is better than any of Lady Gaga's stuff. Gagas albums have been WAY more pop sounding than Bionic. Bionic was dark, especially for Christina. Again Christina can sing better than Gaga but Gaga puts on a full show! I cant say that I get it most...well...any of the time...but its fun never-the-less.
Birds of Prey on that album is still one of my all time favorite songs.
I seriously thought I was going to hear her & Sia sing on the song...so I was dissapointed in that one.
What with the Bionic era being cut short after "You Lost Me" partly due to underwhelming sales and no guarantees of a Lotus tour happening, she hasn't really had a chance to showcase too much of that entertainment side in the last couple years.
Admittedly, some of Christina's visuals and peformances as of late have been lackluster, with Burlesque being a huge exception (those routines always garner a lot of positivity via social networking when it airs on TV...lol), but I feel like she's been a helluva entertainer for most of her career; the debut, Stripped, Back to Basics.... Christina has always been super bombastic/dramatic on stage. (She really works that mic stand too LOL)
I think a big part of the problem started when GaGa became huge, because Christina is one of those artists who ALWAYS gets compared by the media/public and then thrown under the bus and rarely gets credited for the trends that she has started. Most of the pop gals get it to some degree, but it almost always turns disasterous for Christina.
I dunno. It's really difficult for her to try to do anything edgy and out of the box nowadays. The tendency is always there for folks to say: "Oh she's copying (fill in the blank) now".
I really wish this new generation (and some of the old) would go back and watch something like, say, the 2003 EMA's to refresh themselves on Christina's crazy fashions, image etc. It's kind of scary how reminiscent GaGa and her Little Monsters (LOL) are of Christina and her fans during her peak. Especially during the Stripped era, when people were drawn to her fierce risktaking. In my opinion, even though GaGa is somewhat Madonna-esque, she's REALLY following in Christina's footsteps. Costume craziness aside, just look at the list of artists that she's associated with. (Tony Bennett, Cher, The Rolling Stones... to name but a few) Christina's been there, done that. heheh
Another big issue is the whole radio play thing I touched on earlier. Someone like Madonna can easily survive lack of radio play and still bring in huge tour grosses, and somewhat decent albums sales, because she was consistently putting out albums at the height of her popularity and now she's accumulated a hardcore following that helps pull her through "the drought"...ha
If I may, I'd like to say, you'll never find anyone who does NOT think she is insanely talented. Her vocal skills are virtually unparalleled and she's well known to steal awards shows. I just think she's making the wrong choices.
On The Voice, she's the least likable judge. Blake and Adam's sales are all up, but hers are still down. Entertainment Weekly pointed out that she had become "the villain" on the show. I think she thinks she's being assertive or liberated but she's turning people off. Her wacky wardrobe doesn't help. I know she's completely comfortable with her body and appearance but she should let Cee-Lo be the clown and maybe try just being pretty.
Other artists like Kelly Clarkson and P!nk have seen slumps in their careers, but I think they figured out you have to "play the game" and I don't think Christina is willing to do that. I think she needs to do an extremely accessible radio friendly album with a few of her more experimental songs mixed in. This would at least get her back on the charts and create momentum for her.
But all that said, I think "Your Body" was just trashy and beneath her. (Referring to the dirty version.) Enrique Iglesias had a similar song a few years ago "Tonight I'm 'Loving' You" and I thought the same thing. It's just vulgarity for vulgarity's sake. She should just make good songs and not go for shock value.
See I would echo that her sexualized image and assertiveness are both negative contributing factors, insofar as those aspects of her personality being a huge turn-off to the public (especially to the over 30 "housewives" demographic watching The Voice...they're definitely not here for Sextina or women who have an opinion...LOL), but I personally would be really disappointed and bored if she always "played the game" / went the "safe" route.
And the thing is, at this point, I'm not even sure if enough of the public would respond to that sort of reinvention from Christina to make a huge impact on her sales. I mean, she has gone through phases in her career the last couple years where she tones it down; she did that with the visuals for the "You Lost Me" video, had a very classy performance on American Idol, etc. and the song went nowhere on the Billboard Hot 100... even though it's one of the most classically beautiful songs Christina has ever recorded.
The cool thing is that "Just A Fool", Christina's collab with Blake Shelton on Lotus, is performance sensitive (it shoots up pretty high on iTunes), but that may just be a case where it's getting tons of support from Blake's fans after their performances and totally unrelated to Christina's non-gimmicky fashions. Problem is, televised performances only have a temporary effect on the sales. The vast majority of the time, they cannot sustain sales on a single to Platinum certification unless the artist has multiple bookings in close proximity to each other. As I said earlier, radio play is the backbone and key for stable sales.
JAF was sent to radio on December 4th as the second single, and while it's mostly been gaining since then on Hot AC, AC, and a few smaller Top 40 stations, it's rising at SNAILS PACE.
Unfortunately, unlike Christina's mainstay radio contemporaries who almost automatically get added into heavy rotation, the huge pop stations won't even spin this song (supposedly until it becomes a hit on other formats), even if people are requesting it.
But fingers crossed. It's showing a little bit of promise having survived the Christmas freeze, where a lot of those AC stations switch over to nothing but Christmas music, and the 2012 countdowns where the biggest songs of the year start to rise in airplay again. However, if pop doesn't eventually jump on this, it's going to need MAJOR support from at least two formats because their audiences are significanly smaller than that of pop. Moreover, it's going to be hard achieve Top 10 status, because of Billboard's rule change. Charts-wise, airplay counts for more than sales.
Anyhow, going back to the image thing for a bit... I think the deeper issue effecting her is that the public's negative perception of Christina is wrapped up in past (mostly one-sided) "feuds" that are misunderstood. I also feel like a ton of folks misinterpret her body language and facial expressions.
I almost wish she would do documentary "tell all" to address all of this stuff (most of the time, she refuses to respond), but even that may not help because it's too easy for the public to label her a complainer and "pressed."
I didn't even realize Just A Fool had been released as an official single! Well, there's still time to grow. Ellie Goulding's song Lights became a hit almost two years after it was released, but she was practically an unknown. It's really too bad! Maybe you're right and it's ALL image with her.
Fan made acoustic version of "Let There Be Love" that's spreading across the web (contains elements of "Small Bump" by Ed Sheeran).
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