Christina Aguilera’s raunchy,sexy, dark and over-the-top look has turned many older fans away, while turningon the younger generation. But her new album, “Stripped,” is nothingshort of spectacular. While attracting much media attention with her new styleand lack of clothing, Aguilera is still able to showcase her true talent in thisCD that was three years in the making. With this, her sophomore record, shethrows aside the innocent teenybop-princess act and goes for the real thing,adding a sexy twist while making genuine music.
Each song shines light onher personality, including her rocky past, by focusing on some touchy subjects(her abusive father and failed relationships). The songs range from upbeat dancetracks (the girl-power anthem “Can’t Hold Us Down”) to the sad andrevealing “I’m OK.” But “Stripped” has received muchcriticism for displaying a pessimistic outlook.
Aguilera is reallysinging to teach people what she has learned the hard way, which is evident inthe “Soar” lyrics: “Don’t be scared/To fly alone/-Find a path thatis your own/ Love will open every door.
” Aguilera also warns her audience to”trust the voice within.” This same feeling comes through in”Fighter” with the chorus “‘Cause it makes me that muchstronger/Makes me work a little bit harder … So thanks for making me afighter.” Critics see these lyrics as angry and revengeful, but really, sheis revealing her true emotions which allows other teenagers to identify with her,something that was nearly impossible with the old squeaky-clean Christina.
With “Stripped,” Aguilera does break the mold, both musicallyand stylistically, making people almost afraid to like (or buy) her music, whichresults in critics dumping on her, creating an endless circle of hate, negativemedia attention, and often awkwardness toward the new “XXXtina”Aguilera.
If one can step away from the vulgar new image, defending heris quite simple, for critics are interpreting songs to mean things they do not,and completely twisting them around. A closer, more accurate examination revealsthat the variety of themes here should keep the audience intrigued, if nothingelse. “Dirrty” and “Infatuation” are not meant to be serioustracks- they are dance songs. “Fighter” and “Singin’ My Song”should not be criticized for their lack of vocal power. These tracks areinspirational, and uplifting.
Aguilera’s powerful range of musicmotivates, teaches, and most important, entertains. For these reasons alone,”Stripped” should be praised.