Bionic - Christina Aguilera
Bionic Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 514 Ratings

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  • Summary: Subtlety not being part of Christina Aguilera’s vocabulary, she trades the retro-swing of Back to Basics for the future-pop of Bionic, receiving assists from a roster that reads like a who’s-who of progressive pop in 2010: M.I.A., Le Tigre, Peaches, and John Hill & Switch, known for their work with Santigold. But like the half-cyborg/half-diva illustration of the album cover, this revamp is only partial. Aguilera hedges her bets by adding a ballad from old friend Linda Perry, gets Tricky Stewart to produce a trio of cuts, drafts Polow da Don and Focus… to produce some heavy and slow R&B, respectively, letting enough air into the machines to reassure hesitant fans that she hasn’t abandoned her roots. All this hesitancy means that for as many risks as it takes, Bionic doesn’t feel daring. Apart from the stuttering opener of the title track and glassy chill of “Elastic Love,” notably the two Hill & Switch productions, this never delivers the future shock it promises, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the robot-diva hybrids are often interesting even when they stumble, as they do on “WooHoo,” its incessant title loop piercing like a dental drill. Exhibit A in Xtina’s curious tin ear for sex, “WooHoo” doesn’t work as temptation, not when the chorus come-on is “licky licky yum yum,” but her crassness is no longer alienating as it was on Stripped; it’s simply part of her persona, just like her shameless narcissism, showcased on the closing “Vanity,” where she gets her kid to confirm that she’s the greatest of them all. This triumphant self-possession comes so naturally to Christina that it’s hard not to wish that she acted so boldly throughout Bionic, letting the entirety of the record be as distinctly odd as its best moments. Frankly, the deluxe edition of Bionic does suggest what the album could have been: it’s supplemented by four bonus songs that are wildly imaginative, whether it’s the clattering, chanting “Bobblehead,” the cool synth glide of “Birds of Prey,” the perfect new wave pop of “Monday Morning,” or Sia’s mournful ballad “Stronger Than Ever.” In their place on the album proper are competent, relatively colorless club odes to fashion and fabulousness and Perry’s boring inspirational “Lift Me Up,” songs that play to Aguilera’s persona without inhabiting it. The rest of Bionic -- not just the hipster flirtations and Sia’s trio of richly ruminative AAA ballads, but the tracks directly within Aguilera’s wheelhouse, like Tricky Stewart’s wildly successful, slinky “Desnudate,” and the sultry slow burner “Sex for Breakfast” -- find Christina not playing to expectations but simply acting as a natural diva and is all the more compelling for it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine Expand
  • Record Label: RCA
  • Genre(s): R&B, Soul, Urban, Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Euro-Pop, Neo-Soul
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. This triumphant self-possession comes so naturally to Christina that it's hard not to wish that she acted so boldly throughout Bionic, letting the entirety of the record be as distinctly odd as its best moments.
  2. For the most part--and in the album's most successful vein--Aguilera plays a hyper-sexed lover bot ready to tie you to the bed posts rather than tie your ears into knots with a well-executed legato.
  3. 60
    Buried under reverb, distortion, and computer st-st-stutter, our pop astronaut mostly wastes the forward-thinking production with cringeworthy lines.
  4. Now, on her new album, Bionic, how has she decided to present herself? Mostly as a sexbot: a one-dimensional hot chick chanting come-ons to club beats.
  5. Daring as some of the tracks are, they overwhelmingly loop her vocal around a generic house lick that has the effect of giving her very little to do vocally.
  6. Things stall mid-album with a string of dull ballads.
  7. It would've been fascinating to see how far a full-blown collaboration might've taken her, but Aguilera spreads out the songwriting and production credits in search of more hits, most of which come off as flimsy gimmicks.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 150
  1. Sep 12, 2011
    Altought this album doesn't reach the great sounds of Stripped, Christina did her best as ever. The up-tempo songs like Not Myself Tonight are really energic. The best song of the album is a ballad, Lift Me Up sang beautifully. Expand
  2. AlexD
    Jun 10, 2010
    So the 4 year hiatus of Xtina didn't let me down. She was inspired a lot, she's sexier than ever and she's back to her throne. What can i say? The collaborators list is fantastic. Ladytron did an amazing job on Birds of Pray and Little Dreamer, Sia wrote some of Christina's best ballads, M.I.A. led Christina to different paths of music and Santigold made Christina bionic!! I need more! THe album combines many kinds of music and it's so interesting to hear Christina's voice because it's unique and different in many songs. The only thing i don't like is the lyrics. Stripped and Back to Basics had more inspired lyrics. The booklet and in general the artwork is brilliant. Good job Christina! Expand
  3. MarioR.
    Jun 8, 2010
    Incredible, modern and fresh.
  4. HumbertoC
    Jun 11, 2010
    It is so amazing. Christina really does it again! She is so versatile, amazing vocals! Really satisfies her fans!
  5. DorigaA.
    Jun 8, 2010
    Bionic is exactly what Christina Aguilera promised-Fun and light-heartedness. I enjoyed Bionic from the Title Track all the way through I Am (Stripped). What I like most about the album is that there's a little something for everyone. You can make your own tracklisting as you may not like all 20 tracks and 3 intros. My favorites are Bionic, WooHoo, Desnudate, Primma Donna, I Am, You Lost Me, Vanity, Monday Morning, Bobblehead, Birds of Prey, and Stronger Than Ever. Expand
  6. May 26, 2011
    I think how many people perceived this album as a mess is because Christina Aguilera doesn't seem to get that less is more. On the deluxe album there are 23 songs. 13 or 14 which are great. She should'v'e kept it at that. It would've been great then. Expand
  7. TylerD
    Jun 10, 2010
    Copycat. I've got all the original artists songs and CDs already. No need to buy this outdated and copying the trends CD.

See all 150 User Reviews