Monday, September 24th, 2012

Christina Aguilera – Your Body

Relaunch the raunch!


Edward Okulicz: What do you call an overstuffed banger that doesn’t even bang? The voice (and The Voice) aside, I can really imagine this as a Sugababes v4.0 single. Every single space in the mix that’s not occupied by ill-fitting components has hideous vocal pyrotechnics over the top and a wordless melodic bit that might as well be an attempt to vocalise the hook from “That’s The Way I Like It” in a new context. Even the misapplied retro beats and the wall of concrete when the volume goes up are completely pancaked by Aguilera yowling and screaming as if her life depended on it, or that she had something to say or any idea what she’s doing. Nobody in pop makes failure sound like so much hard work.

Katherine St Asaph: Who wanted this song? A) Jason Trawick, on Britney and FOX’s behalf, to squash the chestnut that “at least Christina has that voice.” B) Caitlin Flanagan, to accompany another dismal essay on hookup culture. C) The ghost of cheerful Max Martin, now in Jacob Marley-like decay. D) None of the above; everyone involved was somehow serious.

Alfred Soto: “I think you already know my name,” she reassures her object of desire, and she means it, sister. By now Aguilera is shorthand for perfunctory dance pop on which neither producers nor the star herself shape the caterwaul. My boss, though, still insists she’s cool because She Can Sing, unlike Britney. 

Iain Mew: The wannabe sleek dance pop doesn’t do a great job in any sense, but the biggest problem is that it’s not a good fit for Christina at all. As soon as she turns up to blare mode she dwarfs the rest of the track, and these words could have done with less emphasising.

Anthony Easton: I refuse to believe that sexual autonomy is an act of freakdom. I also do not think that she is really disturbed. The literalism of the lyrics bothers me because the rest of the track hits all cylinders.

Will Adams: “Your Body” understands that it’s difficult to dance with someone at 128 BPM, so it smartly dials down the tempo for an excellent club groove. Every element of the chorus belts so loud that it sounds one decibel away from bursting out of the speakers. It’s a double-edged sword, however; I simultaneously want to scream along with the woah-oh-oh’s and want Christina to shut the hell up.

Brad Shoup: I prefer Aguilera when she’s in service to the track (cf. “Candyman”). The steady melodic stepping on the chorus is the biggest deal here; I guess if I’m caught nodding along we’ve got something. And the giggle is such a small gesture, but it lets the light in.

Jonathan Bogart: This matches the atomizing force of Aguilera’s voice to the aggro synths of the pop moment far better than the desperate, bumbling “Not Myself Tonight” matched her to the Gaga/Ke$ha pop moment of 2010. On the other hand, we already have Rihanna/Calvin Harris songs.

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