I love everything Christina Aguilera has ever done. She's been with me since she first came out in 1999 with 'Genie In A Bottle' and she's been apart of me ever since. I think this 'Greatest Hits' compilation is a great way to cap off 10 years of hits and constant change in musical styles and personalities. The remix of 'Genie In A Bottle' (entitled Genie 2.0), the single 'Keeps Gettin' Better' and the other new track 'Dynamite' are fantastic tracks to preview what is next for Christina on her upcoming new album due out in late 2009 or possibly sometime in 2010 - which I can guarantee will be making its way to my CD shelf when it is released. My only objection is the remix of 'Beautiful' (renamed You Are What You Are), I think it sucks to be honest but that not withstanding that's just my opinion.
This album sums up Christina's first 3 studio albums - the self titled, Christina Aguilera, Stripped and Back To Basics and a couple non-album tracks such as Lady Marmalade from 2001 which features Mya, Pink and Lil' Kim and Nobody Wants To Be Lonely featuring Ricky Martin.
Of course, we kick off with 'Genie In A Bottle' the song that started it all, followed by 'What A Girl Wants' and 'I Turn To You'. She included the radio version of 'Come On Over (All I Want Is You)' which differs from the actual album version because of the different lyrical content, being more mature and semi-sexual. I personally think that the radio version of 'Come On Over (All I Want Is You)' is better than the album version, no disrespect to the album version intended!
Switch gears to the Stripped era where Christina took more control of her career and music, writing what she wanted and saying what she wanted, and of course - doing what she wanted. It was during this time Christina adopted her alter ego 'Xtina' and turned to a more R&B, rock, rap and soulful edge.
We start off with 'Dirrty' featuring Red Man, the video stirred some controversy because of how much skin Christina showed in the video and Christina at the time was out to make a statement, and I honestly agree with her.
While male rappers and other musicians can have half naked girls in their videos or sexual exposure in their videos female musicians are always getting the shaft and called every name in the book. Unless of course you fast forward 6 years where Britney Spears is fully nude in her video 'Womanizer' and it's being considered 'a great come back to the pop music scene.' (Are you kidding me? How is Britney can do that and be praised yet if Christina does something not even fully nude she gets trashed? Oh and it should be noted...Britney has totally ripped off Christina with her current Circus themed tour. Christina did it first with her Back To Basics tour in 2007. Anyway, that's a rant for another time!)
When you watch the 'Dirrty' video, Christina is front and centre and not hiding behind dancers or anything or anyone else and I think that by doing that it just furthered her point and statement. I also loved how she just didn't give a damn about what was being said about her because critics were just furthering and proving her point when they were belittling her meanwhile in the same breath they were praising male musicians for their sexual content in their videos and songs. 'Dirrty' is followed by 'Fighter' which is a slighty rock-oriented track and after that we have her classic ballad (and preferable version) 'Beautiful' which served Christina some redemption from the critics after the whole controversy with 'Dirrty'.
After 'Beautiful' we enter into the Back To Basics era of Christina's career where she introduced us to yet another alter ego named Baby Jane and saw her paying tribute to music of the 20s, 30s and 40s. I remember when I first heard this I was kind of skeptical as at the time I really wasn't into that kind of music. Christina was said to have been drawing inspiration from artists like Etta James, Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye. However, when I bought the 'Back To Basics' abum, took it home and put both discs in my CD player it ended up being my favourite Christina Aguilera studio album to this point. I also think it was that album that introduced me to the music of Etta James and made me a fan of her's.
We start with 'Ain't No Other Man' which kind of took us back to Christina's earlier days when she was singing songs about boys like in 'What A Girl Wants' but in more of a pop/jazz sort of setting. After 'Ain't No Other Man' we have the tongue-and-cheek 'Candyman' which is a fun swing and jazz song with an edge of 'bee-bop' to it followed by 'Hurt' which is probably the song that best show cases her voice on the whole 'Greatest Hits' album. She really puts a lot of emotion into the track and her voice.
There were a couple tracks I was surprised were left out on the album like 'Reflection' from her first album, that she also recorded for Disney's 'Mulan', 'Can't Hold Us Down' from Stripped as I think those songs really cemented her career from a standpoint. Especially 'Can't Hold Us Down' because of it's message and statement during that point of Christina's career.
To end off - Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits is a great career retrospective of 10 years of hits for Christina and I can hardly wait until she releases her new album later on this year (or whenever it's released) with her new alter ego 'Super Bitch' (at least that's my guess at the name of her next alter ego, I could be way off!)
I hope Christina continues to keep her fans guessing as to what is to come next and what alter ego she is going to pull out from under her sleeve for many more years to come!
I have to thank Meggie greatly for giving me this wonderful album. For that reason it will always be so near and dear to me, she has given me some of my best and favourite CDs and I never get bored of them because each and everyone of them are so frickin' awesome.