Lotus: The Irony of a Rebirth Gone Wrong

Now, before I get into this review I do need to mention the fact that I am from the United Kingdom. Therefore the album pretty much doesn't exist here, so I don't fully understand the success (or unsuccess) of the album overseas. I, in fact, didn't even know Christina was releasing new material, until I decided to search the internet to see what she was doing as of late. So what I'm trying to say is that the album was not at all promoted, and from what I hear it was hardly promoted in the US either. I want to know what's going on RCA? You are the home of the most talented (vocally) woman on the world today and you decide not to promote her supposedly comeback album? Puzzling. Anyway, onwards to the album itself:

Best Song: "Blank Page"
Worst Song: "Circles"
Underdog: "Cease Fire"
Filler: "Around the World"

1. Lotus (Intro)

The intro to the album is a beautiful piece of work. I mean, why have one Christina singing when you can have about 10? It's hard to call this track an actual song, it is however a song-length introdction. Some of you may think it sounds a bit tedious, but I promise you it really works. The lyrics are intriguing, and it is through them that the whole theme of the album is realised: rising up. "Rise up, lotus rise, this is the beginning".

Best Lyric: "The unbreakable lotus in me, I now set free." - A beautiful sequence that pretty much sums up the album before it even begins.

2. Army of Me

Described by the singer herself as "Fighter 2.o", this track pays homage to one of Christina's most succesful songs back in her prime. Almost lyrically identical to 'Fighter', 'Army of Me' explores how a break up can make you feel wiser, stronger and even a fighter. Although it is musically very different, with 'Army of Me' drawing influences from electro-pop and 'Fighter' from classic rock, it is obvious that the writers of the former wanted something special to include on Christina's 'comeback' album, and what better to include than a reference to an old smash hit in the form of an entire song. I already have visions of Aguilera somehow performing the songs as a mashup, although I hope she doesn't. With that said, 'Army of Me' is a fantastic track that gives those who initially doubted the album a chane to eat their words.

Best Lyric: "One of me's a fighter" - a hard choice, but the reference to Christina's old hit has to take the crown.

3. Red Hot Kinda Love

The third track on the album is quite a disappointment, and I even started worrying about what was to follow. Sure it's got a decent bet to bop around to, but it lacks meaning. It may have managed to reach Number 5 in the South Korean charts, but I don't see this song getting any more recognition. It almost took the crown of being the filler track. However, the chorus is quite memorable and you may find yourself singing it on your way up the stairs.

Best Lyric: None in particular.

4. Make the World Move (feat. Cee Lo Green)

Looks tempting, a collaboration between Christina and Cee Lo, and after hearing it once it becomes even more so! After hearing it for the first time the song has slowly crept up my Top 25 Most Played list, it gets quite addicting. The worst thing about the song is that it could have easily been done by Christina as a solo, and the inclusion of Cee Lo does seem a bit random. Almost like they were backstage of The Voice and Christina said: "Hey, I've just had a thought. There's a song on my new record, wanna join?". Basically it sounds like a song that wasn't written as a collaboration. Regardless, it's a bopper and you'll more than likely find yourself jumping around and singing like a crazy fool. Just me?

Best Lyric: "If one smile could erase a frown, imagine what two could do" - something about this lyrics plants a smile on my face. It's hopeful, almost.

5. Your Body

Moving swiftly on to the most played song on my iPod. I happened to come across a 'new' Christina Aguilera song online, and after watching the incredible music video I was somehow captivated by this song. What's interesting is that, unlike other songs in it's genre, the tempo is surprisingly quite slow. It's not something you can thrash around to on a dancefloor, instead your whole body sways in time with the pacing beat. Aguilera's vocals shine as the final chorus is heard, with her voice sweeping all over the place right until the end. A good choice for a lead single, classic, old-school Xtina not giving a damn about her new curvy figure, showing she can still sing about sex no matter what size she is. Speaking of which, the explcit version is a lot more intruguing than the album version, seeing as "love your body" doesn't make as much sense as "f*** your body".

Best Lyric: "I think you already know my name." - of course everybody knows her name, she is the voice of the 21st century and she damn well knows it.

6. Let There Be Love

Another song heading down the same road as 'Your Body', 'Let There Be Love' is another dance track with a faster tempo, making it a dancefloor filler. Whereas it's not so obvious as 'Your Body', the song is still very sexy and pleading for love. Speculated among many as better than the previous track, and possibly a better choice for lead single. However I would say there's almost no doubt that it will appear as a single soon, I think it's needed!

Best Lyric: "Want you to take me completely." - an intruguing lyric that is almost romantic, as well as just being dirrty.

7. Sing for Me

Ask anybody in the world what separates Christina Aguilera from all the other popstars and you'll probably hear the words "slutty", "inappropriate" and "sexy" but one thing that people have seemed to forgotten is the word "voice". Christina is known for shining in her powerful ballads that show off her voice as she belts out notes that no other woman could reach, and she does so with such a unique, croaky voice that it is almost unbelievable. 'Sing for Me' is one of those songs. Not only does her voice reach beyond the limits, the lyrics are so personal, and so powerful, that anybody who has ever felt negatively towards themselves, has ever not felt good enough, or who has ever relied too much on what other people think about them can find the meaning of this song almost instantly. The song is literally about self-belief, staying true to yourself and singing for yourself, nobody else.

Best Lyric: "Everybody needs a melody to set their soul free" - a spiritual way of saying tht there is a song for everybody. A song that defines your life, or helps you guide through the darkest night. For many, this song could be it.

8. Blank Page

Co-written by one of the greatest songwriters of today, Sia Furler (My Love from Eclipse, Titanium with David Guetta), 'Blank Page' is, when first listening, overshadowed by the beauty of 'Sing for Me'. It it not really until you listen to it separately that you realise it's true beauty. Consider it the 'You Lost Me', 'Hurt' or 'Beautiful' of Lotus. Just Christina and a piano as she sings about love, referring herself to a "blank page, waiting for you to bring me to life". The metaphor is beautiful, just as her voice. Without a doubt the song of Lotus.

Best Lyric: "Lord knows I've been no saint" - it's a mystery as to what Christina is referring to her, but that just adds to the beauty of it.

9. Cease Fire

The underdog of the album, for one reason only: at a first listen, 'Cease Fire' isn't much; almost a monotone sequence of words with no real intention of turning into something memorable. However, the song is so equally intruguing that you kind of want to listen to it again, that's when you're in trouble. The song is an epic, featuring military drums, gun shots being used as percussion and the lyrics within the semantic field of war. War between two lovers who have been separated, as Christina pleads her other half to 'cease fire'. A beautifully powerful song that will never fail to capture a heart, it's almost a masterpiece.

Best Lyric: "I'm trying to help you to see the casualties that we both leave" - In a breakup, each person involved falls back on their friends, where they are consoled. In messy breakups, these friends can become caught in the middle of this 'war', becoming casualties of the breakup at hand. From what I can imagine, Christina ackowledges that herself and her ex-husband were not the only ones involved.

10. Around the World

The filler track. Nothing more, nothing less. Merely a song that was written without true purpose or meaning. It doesn't aim to inspire. It doesn't aim to impress. It barely aims to be enjoyed. It's just a song written about having sex in different countries. Described by a professional critic as "Your Body with a passport", however this track is much less breathtaking.

Best Lyric; "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir" - because of the reference to Christina's Grammy award-winning collaboration hit 'Lady Marmalade'.

11. Circles

Surprisingly, "Around the World" is not the worst song on the album. That award goes to "Circles", a desperate attempt for Christina to address her haters. Sure, she has received a disgusting amount hate due to her new figure, so a song like this was definitely needed. However, I'm afraid to say that the song is not at all successful; just an excuse for Christina to say "motherf***er". Which, I would like to ask, if they can put the explicit "Circles" on the album, why was "Your Body" censored? Strange.

Best Lyric: None.

12. Best of Me

A lot of people go crazy over this song, some even thinking it's the best. I, on the other hand, really can't get into it. Sure it's got a sweet sound, but it just doesn't stand out like the other ballads on the album.

Best Lyric: "Are you happy to know I'm unhappy alone?" - Very pleading lyrics straight from the heart, Christina truely revelas where she is in life right now.

13. Just a Fool (with Blake Shelton)

So many things can be said about this song. First of all, it's a genre that Christina has never approahced before: country. A beautiful country duet sung with her 'Voice' co-judge Blake Shelton. Notice how the song is 'with' Shelton, rather than 'featuring.' This is because Shelton is so much a part of this song, it's ot just a collaboration. Both artists pour their hearts out in this pleading ballad about losing the love of your life. Christina's vocals are at her all-time best as she soars across the high notes with ease. The world's reluctance to let Christina's voice be heard is truly saddening, this song could really be huge. Did 'Bionic' really ruin her career this much? So much so that all of her albums from here on out will be ignored because of one bad album? Shameful. Songs like this do not deserve to be bushed to the back of the shelf, they are made to be heard.

Best Lyric: "Who knew that love was so cruel?" - There's something truly haunting about this lyric, and you feel a srong sense of pity as the chorus arrives.

14. Light Up the Sky

An absolute beauty of a song, and quite shockingly it isn't included on the standard edition. A track about rising up and becoming stronger. It's almost a personal message to fans, encouraging them to believe in themselves and stay true, The distorted drums throughout the song make it all the more epic, and her vocals during the final chorus are enough to put any other female singer in her place. The song boasts how Christina is a mother to her fans, with the bridge emphasisinf how she is always a shoulder to cry on. Absolutely stunning.

Best Lyric: "I'll be your shoulder, you can lean on me." - Beautiful.

15. Empty Words

Granted I haven't listened to this song an awful lot, siilarly to "Best of Me" it's just not very intruguing. However, I respect the fact that the song is a powerful message about standing up for yourself against those who bring you down.

Best Lyric: "Your voice is like a knife" - a beautiful simile showing how his words cut her... beautiful imagery.

16. Shut Up

'Circles' 2.0. Nothing more and nothing less. A childish song about telling the haters to "shut the f*** up", literally. A very random song that doesn't really make sense, and I find it hard to get through.

Best Lyric: n/a

So, it's a shame that an album which could have been very succesful failed to even beat 'Bionic' in terms of sales. A lot of the blame can go to RCA for not promoting Christina's new music enough, but regardless of the sales this album is definitely worth a listen! Her voice is hard to beat, and with all the awful artists topping the charts nowadays, we need her voice to return to the limelight once more!

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