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Bionic Image
Metascore
56

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

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 690 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 forSubtlety 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 »

Top Track

You Lost Me
I am done, smoking gun We've lost it all, the love is gone She has won. Now it's no fun We've lost it all, the love is gone And we had magic And... See the rest of the song lyrics
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. If nothing else, it all proves that Aguilera is a woman of many parts, which may be the point of this occasionally brilliant and brave, occasionally teeth-gritting and stupid album.
  4. Aguilera's vocal supremacy has always been her multi-octave trump card. Alas, that natural gift is too often negated on Bionic by her penchant for stock step-class beats and an aggressive, exhausting hypersexuality.
  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. Whatever the case, for Christina Aguilera, the x-factor has gone. The daring single minded focus has apparently been lost.
  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: 20 out of 173
  1. Sep 12, 2011
    10
    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 areAltought 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. StalloneT
    Jun 10, 2010
    10
    surely the best futuristic sound with great vocal from Christina best pop album of 2010 I think :)
  3. JustinS
    Jun 8, 2010
    10
    Christina isn't afraid of trying anything new, and she puts that to the test here. Although there are some missteps, the overall album Christina isn't afraid of trying anything new, and she puts that to the test here. Although there are some missteps, the overall album is a rewarding experience for anyone willing to devour this slowly. This album is not the immediate, hooky, overfed pop on the radio, this is Christina Aguilera doing things her own way. Some say this is dated, desperate, and unoriginal, but if you listen closely you will find some of Christina's best work among this group of songs. Sequencing is a problem on the first listen with the ballads placed erratically, but this fades on repeat listens. The bonus material is just as strong than the standard edition material. Personal favorites include: Stronger Than Ever, You Lost Me, Bionic, Sex for Breakfast, Elastic Love, Birds of Prey, Little Dreamer, and I Am. Expand
  4. Aug 24, 2013
    10
    This is the probably the most underrated album of 2010, it seems like some people do not have objectivity and based their opinion on its salesThis is the probably the most underrated album of 2010, it seems like some people do not have objectivity and based their opinion on its sales not for its content, it is known that the album didn't go gold or platinum like others of Christina but the album is not bad, is great instead. In my opinion, Christina and Sia's work was perfect, simple and magic, songs like You lost me and I am show the well known Christina's abilty to sing, I guess it was a mistake to release 2 versions of the album because the deluxe edition contains 2 of the best songs of the album that are Monday Morning (a very cool synthpop song that would have been a good single) and Birds of prey (this song fits perfectly with the real futuristic theme she was trying to achieve) unfortunately comparisons with Lady Gaga didn't let this album to sell a little more and Christina to go on tour (the bionic tour would have been amazing)
    What is interesting is that this album was the most second album downloaded illegally, people call it "a flop" but they are too hard on Christina's work.
    Expand
  5. mikkamikka
    Jun 8, 2010
    9
    Christina always reivent herself, and brings her touch in the commercial pop business.
  6. Sep 24, 2010
    7
    At first I only liked Bionic, Not Myself Tonight, and Woohoo. Then it grew to I Hate Boys, Vanity, and I Am. Then that list grew to PrimaAt first I only liked Bionic, Not Myself Tonight, and Woohoo. Then it grew to I Hate Boys, Vanity, and I Am. Then that list grew to Prima Donna, Glam, and I Am Stripped. Then it grew to Desnudate, All I Need, My Girls, and Bobblehead, Some are original Christina, some are the new Xtina. An album that's got good songs, and Aguilera's strong voice outshines herself. Expand
  7. TylerD
    Jun 10, 2010
    0
    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 173 User Reviews