Music Reviews

Christina Aguilera

Mi Reflejo

RCA

This is marketing at its most hilarious. It’s funny how a girl can be the whitest white girl you can imagine on one album, and then turn around and claim she’s Spanish, with the help of Photoshop’s new Andile-Mexicano Plug-In. However: What scares me? The fact that, despite the pretentiousness, this album is actually pretty damn good. In fact, in some ways, it’s better than her other album. For one thing, you can’t understand the horrible lyrics if you don’t speak Spanish. The singing is even better than the last one, too. And here’s my controversial view on Christina Aguilera, just for the record… she can sing circles around Gwen Stefani, and No Doubt never gets any flack. Aguilera’s live band also beats No Doubt’s wimpy bowling-shirt-wearing rhythm section into the ground. And, yes, No Doubt has producers and engineers who tweak their music through thousand-dollar microphones just like Christina Aguilera does. No Doubt’s producer, Glen Ballard, also wrote and produced hit songs for Wilson Philips, Barbara Striesand, George Strait, Aretha Franklin, Paula Abdul, Van Halen, Alanis Morrisette, Aerosmith, and Michael Jackson. So what is the primary difference here between No Doubt and megaconglomerate pop stars? Superficial things like marketing and image. And these are the days (in No Doubt’s case) when indie street cred can falsely apply to a band that’s all over MTV and VH1. Who gives a damn if Gwen’s hair is purple? So what if the drummer has a mohawk? They dress like skaters? Yay. Christina Aguilera probably listens to GWAR on her tour bus. They’re all part of the Pepsi Machine now. I have seen behind some closed doors, and it’s pretty fucking scary how much of a joke it is to rock stars that people take them seriously. Take “Don’t Speak” and “My Reflection” and play them on a piano, and see what the difference is, really. None. They’ll both sound pretty all right, but they’ll never add up to anything compared to three seconds of Stravinsky. So remember, it’s not about the music or composition. Thanks.

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