I was shopping on the Central Avenue Best Buy yesterday. The front CD display was filled with Christina Aguilera’s new CD, Bionic. When I reached the register I asked the check-out woman how the disc was selling.
“Not at all,” she said. “Not at all.”
Christina Aguilera has an amazing voice. Hell, just watch the above video—her appearance on Letterman last night. Really, she boasts a world-class, Whitney Houston-esque set of pipes that can belt out some notes many of us have only heard a couple of times in her life. She appears to be a very sound dancer, too, and probably puts on a good live show.
That said, she’s done.
Not done, as in will never sell another 250,000 CDs. But done as a Grade-A artist; done as someone who can headline her own arena tour (she’s already canceled dates off her current swing across America). The reason? I have several:
A. The music: Just because someone can sing doesn’t mean the music she’s singing is actually good. Aguilera’s second album, Stripped, was top-to-bottom terrific. I mean, a fantastic compilation of music. Her follow-up, though, was crap. She focused on this sort of ’60s doo-wop thing, and it backfired with mediocre sales. Now, with Bionic, she seems to be pretty much jacking Lady Gaga and going weird electronica. For someone like Gaga, a merely above-average singer, fine. But when you’re gifted with a voice from Dios, why mess with a good thing?
B. The personality: I was working out at the gym the other day, watching a profile of Aguilera on E! Whitney Houston is a crackhead, Brit Spears is insane—and Aguilera just comes off as an arrogant, holier-than-thou little girl who’s probably been told from age 4 that she possesses a rare talent. Maybe it’s OK to ooze that mojo at 18, when you’re new and young and dumb. But the woman is approaching 30. She’s hard to like.
C. The age: Heard one of the Dixie Chicks interviewed a couple of years ago about MTV, and a manager telling them, “If you’re over 30 and a woman, forget about them playing your videos.” Is this true? Not 100%. But there is something to aging that kills a pop career. Aguilera is no longer the saucy 22-year-old rising through the ranks. Other youngsters have taken her place, and while they might not have her skills or looks, they have birthdays in the 1990s. (Plus, Aguilera is dressing quite oddly. Tight, but not sexy or attractive. Blonde (which people dig), but all bunned up).
D. Christina Aguilera has pretty much shit all over her debut album, slamming the music as worthless pop crap . Which it pretty much is. But people love worthless pop crap, and people really loved her worthless pop crap. So when you say, “That music sucked, and they made me do it,” you’re basically saying, “I charged you guys $12 for garbage.” People don’t like that.
E. I can’t believe I’ve spent all this time on Christina Aguilera.