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Back To Basics - Christina Aguilera

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8 Reviews

Genre: Pop - Dance Pop / Artist: Christina Aguilera / Enhanced / Audio CD released 2006-08-14 at RCA

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    8 Reviews
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      06.10.2009 22:12
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      A retro sounding album, recommended!

      Back to Basics is, amazingly, the fifth studio album from Christina Aguilera. After the epic multi-genre Stripped, Back to Basics, released in 2006, took a more streamlined approach with a glamorous, retro, jazz and blues theme. One of the things that impresses me about Christina is that she is constantly reinventing herself and each of her albums sounds completely different. On top of that, Back to Basics was executive-produced by Christina herself, and reflects the sort of music she admired when she was growing up. The album consists of two discs: the second was produced with a little help from Linda Perry (who I really like).

      Disc: 1

      1. Intro (Back to Basics) - Like Stripped, Back to Basics has little intros and interludes. This one sets the tone for the disc.

      2. Makes Me Wanna Pray - The gospel sound of this song is really appealing.

      3. Back In The Day - This one kind of describes Christina's admiration for the retro artists of old and helps explain why she chose this style of music for the album.

      4. Ain't No Other Man - A great comeback song, makes a really strong impact. I find myself wanting to get up and dance!

      5. Understand - A lovely retro ballad - loving the old-school crackling that kicks it off.

      6. Slow Down Baby - Another slower song, quite RnB focused but has that old-fashioned sound.

      7. Oh Mother - A nice ballad, but overpowered by Hurt on Disc 2, in my opinion.

      8. F.U.S.S. - Not a 'proper' song really, but the references to her other hits make me smile.

      9. On Our Way - Probably one of the weaker tracks, but goes well musically with the rest of the album.

      10. Without You - Is very mellow, and quite different to the rest of the CD!

      11. Still Dirrty - Clever reference to the original Dirrty, but in the style of the new album!

      12. Here to Stay - Confident announcement from Christina.

      13. Thank You (Dedication to Fans...) - This is a little bit indulgent to be honest, but if they're real fans on there, they are probably chuffed to be on this record!

      This CD has some really good songs on it, and the tone is very consistent, all sounding very retro and 40s. However, I do feel that there are too many songs that aren't proper songs at all - the intro, Thank You, F.U.S.S. and Still Dirrty are all 'in-jokes' or non-songs often referring to her past career. It would be unfair to call it filler, but I do sometimes find myself skipping some of the songs on this disc.

      Disc: 2

      1. Enter the Circus - As the title suggests it has a circus feel and sound to it. Rather than being a standalone song, it's more of an intro, but much better than the previous disc's intro.

      2. Welcome - This is really another intro, but again it's so strong, and sets up the theme for the rest of the disc, that I can forgive it.

      3. Candyman - A little bit naughty, this is the Ain't No Other Man of this disc.

      4. Nasty Naughty Boy - This one is very naughty and raunchy! Not one to listen to in front of your parents. However the instruments and style of music save the song from sounding trashy.

      5. I Got Trouble - A relaxed song with a jazz sound - I could imagine listening to this sitting at the table of a crowded jazz club, cigarette in one hand and drink in the other.

      6. Hurt - The best ballad Christina has done, I think - even better than Beautiful. Very wistful and sad.

      7. Mercy on Me - A brilliant song, it has a very Catholic feel to it and is very catchy.

      8. Save Me from Myself - Christina shows her softer side on this song.

      9. The Right Man - Ending the album on a positive note, this song imagines Christina waiting to get married - presumably reflecting her relationship with her then-new husband.

      This second disc is my favourite - probably because of the influence of Linda Perry. There are loads of really brilliant and standout tracks on this disc.

      Overall, this album is brilliant. The style of music really suits Christina's voice and personality and is very different from that of other pop acts. My one gripe is that there are too many songs that aren't really proper songs - having said that, as it's a double album anyway I can more readily forgive this. It still has more amazing tracks than most albums!

      A really different, mature album from Christina - recommended.


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        11.06.2009 15:37
        Very helpful



        Worth Every Penny!

        Back To Basics is Christina Aguilera's most recent album, released in 2009, it shows a more mature woman and singer with still that sexy and fun side that we all love her for. Back to Basics has been inspired by songs from the past, jazz and soul artists from the 30's 40's are said to have given some inspiration for the whole album and her new look. This is a great album that is made up of 2 cds combined holding 22 great tracks.

        You can pick this album up in most good music stores for around £5 to a £10 which is amazing value for 22 great songs.

        The track listing on this song is:
        CD 1
        1.) Back To Basics (Intro)
        2.) Pray
        3.) Back In the Day
        4.) Aint No Other Man
        5.) Understand
        6.) Slow Down Baby
        7.) Oh Mother
        8.) F.U.S.S. (Interlude)
        9.) On Our Way
        10.) Without You
        11.) Still Dirrty
        12.) Here To Stay
        13.) Thank You (for the fans)
        CD 2
        14.) Enter The Circus
        15.) Welcome
        16.) Candyman
        17.) Nasty Naughty Boy
        18.) I Got Trouble
        19.) Hurt
        20.) Mercy On me
        21.) Save Me From Myself
        22.) The Right Man

        Favourite Tracks
        Back In the Day
        This song is to pay tribute to all the old artists back in the day including Cold Train, Marvin Gaye and more. Christina has such great vocals and this song is worth a listen to.

        Aint No Other Man
        This song is about finding the right man, and not wanting any other, its a great fun, sexy song thats great to hear on a night out.

        Still Dirrty
        This is a very sexy song by Christina Aguilera just letting her fans know that even though shes been recently dressing more lady like, shes still got a dirty degree to her, its great to listen to when you need to get in the mood to go out and have some fun.

        This is probably the most famous song from this album, its a song about liking a man and having a great night with him out on the town, its a great fun song and I love when it comes on when I am on a night out.

        Mercy On Me
        This is a more soulful song, asking for mercy from the lord as shes broke so many hearts and not acted like she always should have, the vocals in this song (like all her songs) are great and its probably my favourite song on the album.

        The Right Man
        This is a song about Christina Aguilera's new husband and how she knows she has found the right man, its also got great vocals in it and is a really lovely and powerful song.

        I can say honestly there are no songs that I dislike on this song, though the track I Got Trouble is abit annoying some times, never the less, I think this is an amazing album and is perminantly in my cd player these dats, I recommend it to any Christina Aguilera fans as it its just a fun sexy and powerful album.

        ***Also on Ciao.uk under name lorrainek90***


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      • More +
        03.06.2009 14:45



        If you are sick of puppets in the studio, get this!

        This album is THE BEST Christina material to date.. Fact. If you are interested in breaking away from the crowd (Britney, Beyonce etc) then I definatley suggest this album. The inspiration for this album has been thouroughly researched, and you can tell by the amount of time and effor that has been put in that it is a time and period that is close to Christinas heart. Jazz, Soul and Blues are all genre's of music that Christina has made her own through out her career, so it seemed very organic for her to pursue it on this album. The instrumentation, samples and vocals all compliment each other with excellence, and the fact that there are TWO discs is a bonus. It feels like she has really released two albums with this CD. The first CD is more of a modern take, and is electronically produced, while the second CD is more natural and is recorded with live instruments. If you are into your music, production and true TALENT... this is the one for you.


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        29.01.2009 15:26
        Very helpful
        1 Comment



        So good, it hurts to listen.

        In 2006, I was eagerly awaiting Christina's latest offering, having become such a fan in her "Stripped" days. I was thrilled to find it was a double album - with each CD having its own distinct flavour. The first CD is full of the funky, strong sound that Christina has developed over the years, while the 2nd is more experimental, with retro sounds.

        Of course, being Christina there is an intro and an outro. As the album begins, she informs us she is going "Back to basics" (a familiar theme, I guess, as the last album was "Stripped") and throughout the album she reminds us of the golden years of music. On "Back in the day" she warms to her theme, namechecking the virtuosos who "paved the way" and inspired her style. As you may have guessed, these include Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Minnie Ripperton and many, many more.

        I know some people find this kind of "listing your heroes" irritating - and it seems to happen more and more often these days - but for all the thirteen year olds who buy this album and have never heard of Etta James, isn't this kind of a cool way to let them know that the world is bigger than "Pussycat dolls. Rihanna. Lily Allen"?!

        Christina goes back to her Catholic roots with a couple of the tracks here - the fantastically upbeat "Makes me wanna pray" (I think she's mostly talking about her husband, rather than Jesus, but hey, she crosses herself when whe performs this one) and the sultry, sexy "Mercy on me" in which she deplores her lack of discipline and the way she's treated the poor chap she's left "in fragments." You know what, though? She doesn't sound that sorry about it. Both songs would do wonders for the Church of England if they were to introduce them as part of the worship repertoire.

        Another standard of the modern album is the "Ha ha, you thought I'd fail without you but I've got pots of money" song. At least Christina makes hers a good track, and the initials "F.U.S.S." conveniently spell a word.

        "Ain't no other man" was overplayed on the radio - I normally skip it when I listen to this album - but there is no doubt about it, it's a stomping good song and deserves its dancefloor filler reputation. The same goes for "Candyman" - a ridiculously retro confection of horns, backing singers and cutesy vocal arrangements. The lyrics may be a little dirtier than those of the 1950s (or maybe not... I hear there were some pretty raunchy double meanings in songs for as far back as you'd care to remember ) but it's all done tongue in cheek and is probably one of the most unusual and daring song styles to have emerged in recent years. While other starlets think that wearing ruby lipstick and sporting peroxide curls will make them look like a 1950s babe, Ms Aguilera goes all the way.

        There are a couple of soppier efforts - On our way, Save me from myself, Without you, and the closing track, The right man; describing herwedding day to Jordan Bratman, Luckily, songs considered filler on an Aguilera album would be classed as No. 1 hits if they were released by anyone else, so the quality is not diminished. "I got trouble" goes the furthest in capturing the fuzzy vocals and scratchy backing of yesteryear, and still sounds fabulous.

        She expresses her feisty side in "Slow down baby" - a poke at the guys who dare to try it on with Mrs Bratman, and, lest you feared you would never see her on those leather chaps now she has taken to wearing pencil skirts and pearls, she assures as that she is "Still Dirty." Hurrah!

        And if you had any doubts about that, have a listen to "Nasty naughty boy." I read a review in a magazine which said this song had to be heard to be believed... it really is quite something. Burlesque troups all over the world will be perfecting their routines to this one. Enjoy!

        Her "outro" has been criticised by many for its cheesiness, in using recordings from her fan club to inform the singer of her all-round brilliance. But as far as I'm concerned, it's no worse than the self-congratulations that often mar albums, and as a tribute to the fans who are now part of Christina's discography, I think it justfies itself.

        The second CD also features a circus theme (don't worry, Britney. Nobody will notice Xtina got there first) and this was also part of her Back to Basics tour. I saw her in London and she was phenomenal. Now that she is cutting back on the warbling vibrato that characterised her earlier work, I think her vocals deserve to be judged on par with those of her heroes.


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          18.01.2009 08:30
          Very helpful
          1 Comment



          Christina Aguilera's third album inspired by the 1920's , 30's and 40's.

          Christina Aguilera is a successful American Popstar. Christina was born on December 18th 1980. She is currently twenty seven years of age , and yet she achieved so much. She first burst into the music industry with her debut single 'Genie In A Bottle' in the Summer of 1999 , however some people are unaware to the fact that she actually recorded the song 'reflection' for the Disney film Mulan. . This led to Christina signing a record deal. The media also potrayed her and Britney as rivals as they were both American female pop stars of a similar age. To date she has sold more than 37 million albums worldwide. She is currently married to music executive Jordan Bratman and in January 2008 , Christina give birth to a baby boy who they named Max Liron Bratman which translates to "Our Greatest Song In Hebrew".
          Christina uses her real life experiences to inspire her with her songs. For example , it is well known that Christina had a difficult childhood as her father was abusive towards her mother. Songs which are based on this experience include 'Voice Within' , 'Oh Mother' and 'I'm Ok'
          Back To Basics is Christina's third English album ; her first being Christina Aguilera and her second one named Stripped. This album was released in the United Kingdom in August 2006. The album is different to her other songs as it is based on the 20's , 30's and 40's and there is a jazzy feel to it rather than it being a 'pop album'. To date this album has sold 4.5 million Cds worldwide. Running time of the album is 78 minutes and 55 seconds. There are two discs simply named ; disc one and disk two. Altogether there are 22 tracks on the album. However I am only going to give a brief description of a few songs on the album.

          * Hurt *
          This is one of my favourite songs on the album. It is such a beautiful ballad to listen to , although it is quite a sad song. Christina puts all her emotions into this song. This song is based on Christina and her father , how they havn't kept in touch since he left her when she was a little girl and how now she's grown up , she wonders what he thinks of her. I like how this song has a big build up as it gets nearer to the chorus. This song begins with Christina singing quietly , almost whispering , and then as the song goes on , she changes from whispering , to belting out the notes. Her vocals are very powerful on this song.
          * The Right Man *
          This song is about Christina's husband and how she felt on their wedding day. This song allows Christina to express her feelings for her husband. I like how there is a type of 'echo' on this song , which is similar to the kind of echo you get in a church. The song is powerful , and Christina's voice is strong. This song is so sweet.

          * Oh Mother *
          Another beautiful upbeat ballad about Christina's mother's rough time she had when she was married to Christina's father. This is a very personal song for Christina and you can hear her emotions throughout the song. I like how Christina's vocals are ...not quiet...but not her usually loud self either for most of the song , then when she gets to the last verse about how strong her mother and herself are now she belts it out and I think this is really effective. One of my favourite songs on the album.
          * I got Trouble *
          This song definitely has an old feel to it. This song has a real 'bluesy' feel to it. It's an ok song although I'm not really that keen on this one.

          * Fuss *
          I like this song. Apparently this song is about her old producer who refused to work with her on this album and so she dumped him. Apparently the title is short for 'f**k you Scott Scorch. This is quite a short little number although it has a relaxing feel to it. One of my favourite songs on the album , and therefore it is a shame that it is so short.
          * Save Me From Myself *
          This song has such a basic melody yet I love it. It has such a relaxing feel to is. On the day of the birth of her son , she famously dedicated this song to him. I like this song because it is different to her other songs , and she sounds good singing softer and it is a change from her usual 'belting' (as much as I like it) it's nice to have a change.

          Back To Basics is one of my favourite albums because it is so different to the music we listen to these days. I think Christina was very daring to put out an album like this as how well it would do was unpredictable but still she went with that. Because of that reason I admire her ; she knows what she wants and she will reach for it regardless. You can tell that Christina had a lot to do with this album and that this is really the real her. I think it is great that she has recorded songs in the styles she admires (20's , 30's and 40's eras). Christina's voice is amazing as always! She has so much power and yet she is so little! I was definitely recommend this to everyone! Especially if you're a fan of music from the 20's , 30's and 40's - you will love this!
          Back To Basics £4.99 - play.com

          Thanks For Reading!
          January 18th 2009
          xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao as xdonzx)


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          • More +
            24.11.2008 21:31




            While you can't fault the time, effort and amount of content packed into the album, the concept is slightly odd given her audience and for me personally, I have no interest what so ever in 50's jazz and blues and so naturally I couldn't find much joy from Back To Basics.

            That's not to say it's a bad album because anyone who would enjoy the concept would surely enjoy the execution of the album, even if it is a little over the top at times. The second disk of the two is by far the better, and it closes out with a few excellent piano ballads, especially Hurt which is by far the best and most beautiful piece on the album.

            Personally, I far prefer the Stripped direction and Back To Basics has come as somewhat of a disappointment, as I suspected it might - no hard feelings though, especially as I'm sure it will still be successful given the right audience.


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            23.12.2007 15:16
            Very helpful



            A good album but not her best

            Christina has decided to go 'back to basics' which means making a throwback album which she says has been inspired by '20s 30s and 40s blues jazz and soul'. It doesnt sound like the type of thing that would work right now but then her last album was dramatically different from her first, she seems to thrive on taking risks these days. Or someone cynical might say this is a really good way to prove what an 'artist' she is against Britney and the like.

            It consists of two CDs, the first contains collaborations between Christina and several big name producers who are 'in' at the minute, like DJ premier and Mark Ronson.

            CD goes something like this:
            1. Intro (back to basics)
            One of those pointless intros that Christina loves so much. 'So here I stand today, in tribute I do pay, to those before me who laid it down and paved the way' she sings, this is slightly rnb with a cool beat but its not even a real song really, bit pointless.

            2. Makes me wanna pray
            This is a cool one, with some gospel singing and more of christina's trademark yelpy vocals in a song that builds up and up and up until she's screaming her lungs out, which I love!

            3. Back in the day
            Like a mission statement for the whole album, this song reinforces the fact that christina is in fact going 'back in the day' and this references all kinds of old singers such as etta james, billie holiday and aretha franklin. The chorus is catchy but the constant singer references are dull and the lyrics are boring, WE GET IT CHRISTINA, BACK TO BASICS AND ALL THAT.

            4. Aint no other man
            The first single off the album and a great choice. This is different to just about everything out right now with its horn intro and retro samples, produced by hip hop producer dj premier, this is a cool modern track with an old school edge to it, and as usual christina sings her little heart out in the catchiest song ive heard for ages.

            5. Understand
            This has a fairly strange chorus with an old sample, but the verses are fairly straighforward mid tempo pop with nothing much to them. This is another track seemingly written for her husband, as LOADS of the songs on here are.

            6. Slow down baby
            Another producer of the moment, Mark Ronson, produces this track which is actually one of my favourites, although its not really good enough to be a single. It has a cool singalong chorus with a great tune to it.

            7. Oh mother
            Best song by MILES on cd 1, this picks up where 'I'm ok' left off, thanking her mother for getting her out of abuse from her father as a child. Christina is at her best when she is singing her most personal songs and this is another great one. but it still manages to be a good pop ballad, nowhere near as depressing and I'm Ok.

            And then its downhill from there....

            8. FUSS
            Stands for For U Scott Storch (or something nastier if you believe certain people) the writer who co wrote most of her last album. This starts off ok, a bit slow but then it starts to DRAG and it just seems petty to put in an interlude to basically say 'haha I didnt need you' and it jars the whole album.

            9. On our way
            A bit dull, even though the pretty chorus is quite nice and pleasant sounding. Christina seems to have completeyl forgotten about back to basics at this point as this sounds like it could have been on her last album.

            10. Without you
            There is nothing wrong with this song. Its perfectly fine. But its forgettable filler with sappy lyrics and adds nothing except making this album too long.

            11. Still dirrty
            Now this is better. Ok so referencing your own songs is a rubbish thing to do but at least this jaunty poppy song is a lot more fun than the last few. Christina is out to prove that even though she is far more classy now than she used to be, she's still DIRRTY with two rs not one remember.

            12. Here to stay
            More evidence of her inflated ego, this is another song about how strong she is and noone can bring her down!

            13. Thank you
            This makes me want to throw up. It starts off ok with some cool snippets of genie in a bottle but then you realise this is a bloody outro, why she cant leave them out and put her album on one cd i do not know. I HATE THEM. Not only that, it breaks the one rule of outros...be short. This is one of the longest things on ehre and even though it is supposed to be dedicated to her fans saying how she loves them, the WHOLE thing is just people ringing up some christina hotline and talking about how much THEY love HER and how inspiring she is. BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            CD 2 is the Cd she made with Linda Perry, and promises more circus influenced, interesting tracks. Its shorter too, which must be good.

            1. Enter the circus
            Unusually for an intro, I love this, its almost scary with its big circus sound and is really original! No christina singing, though, just scary shouting!

            2. Welcome
            This is great, it sounds like it could have been in Moulin Rouge or something like that, really flashy and showy but a little bit dark still, this is another intro type thing, ut again I love it?

            3. Candyman
            Its a shame that the first real homage to the 20s and 30s that Christina has tried to do with this album is this A COMPLETE SHAMELESS RIPOFF of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrew sisters. PLAGIARISM aside this is fun fun fun with pointless cheeky lyrics, is happy and great to dance to, and the 'chant' at the beginning is a brilliant touch.

            4. Nasty naughty boy
            Sexy sounding, almost like its being sung in a burlesque bar (you can imagine all the men in suits and the smoke!) this is a very different sexy to 'dirrty' however, this is a very old show diva type of song, with exceptionally naughty lyrics.

            5. Trouble
            What I love most about this is its crackly sounding vocals, like its an old vinyl record almost. This is the MOST old fashioned sounding song on the album and while it is less modern and doesnt have the same instant big chorus as the others, its still very catchy and really good in my opinion.

            6. Hurt
            I cant make my mind up about this one. Sometimes I listen to it and I think that its a beautiful, heartfelt ballad with amazing powerful singing. Other times I listen to it and think its a sappy ballad with so much echo when she sings that her voice sounds completely fake, for supposedly 'live' music its obviosuly been produced to within an inch of its life. Still, as the second single it cant be that bad I suppose. But I cannot decide.

            7. Mercy on me
            One of my favourites, but if you dont like her yelpy shouty power vocals steer clear (in fact dont buy this CD!) but she sounds absolutely amazing on this which has hints of gospel, and great lyrics saying 'have mercy on my soul, for I have walked a sinful road' which is a bit better than 'sweet sugar candyman'.

            8. Save me from myself
            This is so odd in that it doesnt go with anything else on here, but its very Linda Perry and could maybe have been on the last album, except that this is a happy song. For once there is very little warbling, and no power singing at all, just a quiet, sweet acoustic song about her husband. Very nice.

            9. The Right man
            OH NO just when this second CD was about to get off with not having any bad tracks, this one comes on and wrecks everything. What a way to finish! This is about her wedding and her relationship with her father, but it just seems like a bad show tune, from the church sound to the dull chorus. Awful.

            The verdict

            CD 1 isnt really very different, save for a few standout tracks its classic christina yelpy rnb and ballads, with a few cool samples thrown in to improve things a bit. CD 2 however is simply brilliant. Its original, artistic, energetic and fun, but what i love about Christina is how her lyrics really mean something, and she really is dedicated to being in control of her music and making something good, and she is a great singer, even if she goes over the top sometimes. The thing I dont love about her is how much she loves herself! All through this album you can hear how great she clearly thinks she is. I reckon they could have got rid of about 7 songs and made an absolutely amazing album, but the big negative with this is how long it drags on for. 2 CDs is waaay too much but I do like the way the more mainstream stuff is on one and then the linda perry stuff on another, because they are two very different sounds.

            I think this is good value for money, mainly because you get so much, and for the most part its very high quality.


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            01.10.2006 23:15
            Very helpful



            Fabulous - buy this CD. Christina Aguilera really is one of the most talented artists on earth.

            I noticed this album did not have any DooYoo reviews, so I just had to write one to tell you how wondrous this record really is.

            So, the fabulous Miss Aguilera returns this year with her album, "Back to Basics". This album is heavily jazz influenced and "XTina" is trying to revive the old-school sound and get the modern world back into it. Did she succeed? She certainly did.

            This album consists of 2 CDs - the first being "Modern" and the second "Jazz". The truth is, the modern CD isn't even all that modern - a jazz influence is still extremely heavy on all the tracks save one or two. Nevertheless, let's begin with my review of CD1.

            The intro is basically just an intro, nothing spectacular. It's a kind of short song ryhme, quite nice to the ears. But let's move onto track 2 (but actual song 1) "Makes Me Wanna Pray".

            This is an absolutely fantastic way to kick off the new album. Christina shows off possibly the best voice in the world in this powerful song which sounds very Aretha Franklin, I must say. You'll find yourself jumping up and throwing your hands up to this track. And then sitting back down bored for track 3, "Back In the Day".

            Back In the Day is one of the most r'n'b tracks on the album, but still with an old school jazz feel. Christina sounds good (of course) but this song doesn't have too much going for it. After the glorious previous track, you'll be hoping this mundane song doesn't last for long. The chorus is midlly catchy, but there really is nothing special about this track and certainly shouldn't have been track 3 on the album. I don't know whether this is Christina's awful attempt to be gangsta, but whatever it was, it did not work.

            Track 4 is the lead single from the album, "Ain't No Other Man". This song is extremely jazz, hardly modern at all, and I don't really understand why it is on this CD. This song is extremely infectious and catchy, and a highlight of this CD. The only complaint I have about this song is that bloody relentless trumpet noise. It must sound about 100 times throughout the track, and it gives you a terrible headache. If you've never noticed it before, then listen out for it and you'll be grabbing the paracetomol halfway through the song. Nevertheless, if you can block that trumpet from your head, a fantastic track.

            "I may do things you don't understand". This line was stuck in my head for a long time. This is one of my favourite songs on the album, and I'm sure it will be one of your favourite songs too. It completely absorbs you - going from a smooth poppy verse to a powerful smooth chorus. Fabulous. The album is starting to look up a lot - you won't even remember that disastrous "Back In the Day".

            Now comes my favourite track on the whole 2 CDs - "Slow Down Baby". This seems to be a mix of everything - r'n'b, soul, pop, jazz, hip-hop - and the result is absolutely astounding. You must listen to this song. It's one of Christina's best vocally and musically, and it is a very powerful song. This must be released as a single. I have to say, I was totally taken aback by this song and it is one of my favourite tracks of the year.

            "Oh Mother", track 7, is a heartfelt tribute to Christina's mother about the heartache and abuse they both suffered at the hands of her father in Aguilera's early years. Christina sounds great, and this song will go straight to your heart. "Oh Mother, we're stronger, for all of the tears you have shed. Oh Mother, don't look back, 'cos he'll never heart us again".

            Track 8, F.U.S.S. (F*** U Scott Storch) is really quite stupid. It's an immature jibe against Scott Storch, who refused to work with Christina on this album. Thankfully, the track is not long at just over two minutes. Immature and unnecessary as it is, I must say it is rather tastefully done and the backing music is actually quite nice and should have been used for better purposes. But Christina, must you really plonk your hate messages in the middle of a great CD?

            On Our Way, track 9, is quite catchy. It doesn't particularly stand out, though, apart from Christina's excellent vocals. A nice track, worthy of a place on the album, but it doesn't stand out.

            I don't really have an opinion on track 10, Without You. Sometimes I listen to it and think it is quite a weak track - other times I think it's a nice mellow tune. So, you'll have to listen to yourself. The song sounds strangely familiar and unoriginal to me, though, which really shows on such an original and different CD.

            Christina shows that she still lives up to her monika "XTina" on track 11, "Still Dirrty", the follow-up to her huge controversial dance smash, "Dirrty". I cringed when I heard this song was on the album - I usually think sequel songs are quite silly. This, however, is one of the best tracks on the CD! It is very catchy and does indeed show that Christina still has that "freak" in her. It sounds a bit strange after just listening to the previous track about a girl who couldn't possibly imagine the world without her man. Nevertheless, this is one of the best tracks on the album. It reminds me a lot of "Can't Hold Us Down" (which was my favourite track on her previous album Stripped).

            "Here To Stay" continues the message of Still Dirrty - that Christina is no different and is going to be around for a long time. I love this track, it's very catchy, but it sounds like a mix of the rest of the tracks all put together and I don't think that really works on the album as a whole.

            Christina dedicates a song to her fans on this CD, track 13 "Thank you". It's quite nice, with recorded message from fans saying how much they love Aguilera, but the chorus is very weak and after a while the messages get a bit boring. I can't see people listening to this track more than a few times, but nevertheless it's a nice way to end the first CD and to thank her dedicated fans.

            Now we move onto CD2 - "Jazz".

            This CD also has another intro - "Enter the Circus". I think this is utterly terrifying. It sounds like something from a circus of hell with people being burned alive in the middle of chanting spectators. A little creepy to me, but I suppose it's creative...

            CD2 really kicks off with "Welcome". Christina sounds really amazing as usual, and the chorus kind of reminds me of Beautiful. This is one of the lesser Jazzy songs on the CD, and wouldn't have been out of place on the first CD. Not terribly unlike "Makes Me Wanna Pray". A very powerful song and a great way to hook you in. The only thing I don't like is that eerie, creepy circus tune coming back in at the end of the track.

            "Tarzan and Jane swingin' on the vine". Track 3, Candyman is when you know this CD is real jazz. Sounds like something right out of the early 20th century and Christina really pulls it off. It sounds like something the children would love and wouldn't be out of place on a Disney movie. But you'll want to cover the kids ears when you realized what the lyrics say, including talk about Christina having her spot hit, and her cherry popped. You'd have never guessed its so lewd at the start. Fantastically jaunty, nonetheless.

            Track 4, Nasty Naughty Boy, continues the raunchy theme. This sounds like something right out of a 1920s movie about strippers and guns. Christina sounds wonderfully husky and this is her at her sexiest. A worthy track.

            I Got Trouble sounds like something recorded from a 1930s wireless, with its distant sound, and I have to say it has quite a positive effect. The chorus is catchy, Christina sounds great and overall this is a really nice track.

            The second single from Back to Basics, is this track 6 on CD2, "Hurt". This song is absolutely formidable. This is Christina stretching her vocal ability to her best against lovely piano and violins and frankly, the results is amazing. Whether this will appeal to the masses, I don't know, but it is certainly one of the best tracks on the whole album. The chorus really does blow you away, and Christina's vocals punch you in the face.

            Starting off with the organ, moving swiftly into piano and drums, "Mercy On Me" starts off great. The chorus is not too unlike the previous track's, but it ends in a very catchy way. I like this song a lot, it's very powerful and the instruments used sound great together.

            Track 8, "Save Me From Myself", is one of the best and most simple tracks on Back to Basics. Christina sounds very different, less powerful, more whisper-y and sultry with just the gentle strumming of the guitar behind her for most of the track. This is a heartfelt track, and its subtlety will totally captivate you. This track really stands out, I have never heard anything like this before. Bravo, Christina.

            "The Right Man", track 9, the last track on this short second disk, is mindblowing in the same way as "Hurt". The vocals smack you in the face again and the music is powerful and captivating. The only problem is, by this point, you can't help but feel that Christina has done one too many similar powerful ballads, as wondrous as they are.

            Overall, this record is simply fantastic and it needs to be listened to by everybody - it is one of those albums with the rare ability to appeal to everyone. The album is diverse and different from most disks on the shelves nowadays, a fantastic result of a heartfelt experiment by Christina. She totally pulled it off and has brought the world to be aware of the legends from yesterday. Christina remains one of the most vocally talented people on earth, and she has hit the nail on the head with this album. Well done, Miss Aguilera.


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          • Product Details

            Disc #1 Tracklisting
            1 Intro (Back to Basics)
            2 Makes Me Wanna Pray featuring Steve Winwood
            3 Back In The Day
            4 Ain't No Other Man
            5 Understand
            6 Slow Down Baby
            7 Oh Mother
            8 F.U.S.S.
            9 On Our Way
            10 Without You
            11 Still Dirrty
            12 Here to Stay
            13 Thank You (Dedication to Fans...)

            Disc #2 Tracklisting
            1 Enter the Circus
            2 Welcome
            3 Candyman
            4 Nasty Naughty Boy
            5 I Got Trouble
            6 Hurt
            7 Mercy on Me
            8 Save Me from Myself
            9 The Right Man
            10 Back to Basics (Bonus Video)

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