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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleaning up to go Old School
For her third full length album, the new blonde bombshell cleans up her "dirrty" act with a glowing tribute to jazz, blues and soul, on an impressive double CD that shows off her vocal range to the max.

With writing credits on every song, and also in the role of executive producer, Aguilera proves that her talent has grown substantially since the Mickey Mouse...
Published on Sept. 15 2006 by Amanda Richards

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars This album is good for only when you're in the mood.
After listening to this on and off I realizes that this album has it's moments but it won't be on heavy rotation on my personal player. This album has been promoted as a throw-back-retro of the blues, jazz, and soul cultivated during the past five decades unfortunately it really doesn't measures up to the task. Imitation this time is less than flattering to the R&B...
Published on June 30 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleaning up to go Old School, Sept. 15 2006
By 
Amanda Richards (Georgetown, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
For her third full length album, the new blonde bombshell cleans up her "dirrty" act with a glowing tribute to jazz, blues and soul, on an impressive double CD that shows off her vocal range to the max.

With writing credits on every song, and also in the role of executive producer, Aguilera proves that her talent has grown substantially since the Mickey Mouse Club days with Justin, Britney and JC, and proves that she is a clear winner of the battle of the blonde female singers. Britney, Jessica, and (ahem) Paris will now have to do some serious catching up.

She's already conquered the charts with the album and first single "Ain't No Other Man", but look out for lots more from this album. Next single "Hurt" will soon be released, and was performed at the VMA awards. Also look out for "Candyman" to get you in the mood, and "Still Dirrty" to remind you that she's not only got sugar but lots of spice too. There are a couple of religious themed tracks in "Mercy On Me", a soulful ballad, and "Makes Me Wanna Pray", a more upbeat offering featuring Steve Winwood.

Other hot tracks in no particular order are the smoky, sultry "Nasty Naughty Boy"; the emotional and powerful "The Right Man" which would be an ideal track to play at weddings; "Understand"; "Slow Down Baby" (listen for the horns in the background), and the dramatic "Welcome", but there are even more depending on your musical taste.

Two CDs, two different styles, one hot album.

Amanda Richards
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Good! My favourite CD so far!, Sept. 4 2006
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
I think "Back To Basics" is the best Christina Aguilera CD so far. People may disagree and choose "Stripped" as the best, but I find I like this CD more and more every time I listen to it. I tended to skip a few tracks on "Stripped" but I don't skip any on this CD. The new sound and style is really great. I also like the little bonus video on CD 2. It's not much, but it's nice.

I love every song but my absolute favourite songs are Makes Me Wanna Pray, Ain't No Other Man, Still Dirrty, I Got Trouble, Hurt, and Save Me From Myself. It's really hard to pick favourites since all of the tracks are so good. Back to Basics is definitely a must-have album.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the year!, Aug. 5 2006
By 
Miss A (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
I've recently had the chance to hear the album before it's release and all I can say is 'WOW'! If y'all thought Stripped was Amazing, B2B is 10x Better! While Stripped was a little all around the place, Christina has found a stable direction with this album. Her work with DJ Premier is pure FIRE while her work with Linda Perry is just Amazing.

Time for a track by track run down...

Disk 1

1.Intro - Best intro I've heard in a while, way better than Stripped. (10/10)

2.Makes me wanna pray - Basically made me wanna get down and pray! (9/10)

3.Back in the Day - a DJ Premier cut, one of the hottest r&b/hip hop tracks on the album. Should def. be a single! LOVE IT! (10/10)

4.Ain't no other man - 1st single, y'all know it...y'all hear it... (7/10)

5.Understand - Nice old skool r&b song. (8/10)

6.Slow Down Baby - Great uptempo track. (8/10)

7.Oh Mother - Love the beat, sad but a real great and emotional song, pretty much a follow-up to 'I'm Okay' from Stripped. (8/10)

8.F.U.S.S. - Short interlude with a Wicked beat. Dedicated to a certain producer that did her wrong... (9/10)

9.On our way - Great song, the ending is nice, love her vocals. (8/10)

10.Without you - The 'Lovin' me 4 me' track of the album, she sings in her smoothe, soft voice. Love it! (9/10)

11.Still Dirrty - Crazy Beat! (by DJ Premier) LOVE the song, one of my favs. (10/10)

12.Here to Stay - Great uptempo track that you can dance to. Has a real catchy rhythm to it! (9/10)

13.Thank You - DJ Premier joint as well, cuts of 'Genie in a Bottle' in the beginning, Love what he did! Includes bits and pieces of fans messages. Great way to end Disk 1. (9/10)

Disk 2.

1.Enter the circus - Freaky Intro. (6/10)

2.Welcome - Continues with the circus theme... Great vocals on the track. (7/10)

3.Candyman - Supposed 2nd single... Nice uptempo song. (7/10)

4.Nasty Naughty Boy - She sings 'dirrty'/'naughty'/'nasty'/'sexy' things on this track, Love It! (10/10)

5.I got Trouble - Not my cup of tea... her most 'throwback' track... it's good but gets boring after awhile. (5/10)

6.Hurt - AMAZING ballad! Single Material! (10/10)

7.Mercy on Me - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song! The 'Walk Away' track of this album! AMAZING VOCALS! IMO, The BEST song of Disk 2! Should be a single! (10/10)

8.Save me from myself - Dedicated to her husband, she sings in a vulnerable tone, really touching. (7/10)

9.The Right Man - Her 'wedding' song. I really like the lyrics. Full Choir backing her up. Great way to finish the whole Album! (8/10)

Christina has definitely grown and it shows with this record. The most surprising thing is the lack of her oh-so-famous 'oversinging'. She has proven she is the BEST singer of this generation and is ready to focus solely on showcasing her amazing artistic growth & abilities. Album of the year here we come!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Albums Of The Year, Aug. 13 2006
By 
antonio (British Columbia, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
Christina Aguilera proves her longevity and musical creativity in the most anticipated album of the year. A lengthy 2-disk album, Back To Basics is a fusion of modern beats along with the vibe of old school rhythm.

On the first disk, the lead off single, "Ain't No Other Man" proves to be one of the standouts in a list of standouts. This disk is filled with potential singles. R&B influenced "Understand" and "Slow Down Baby" have all the qualities for radio friendly hits. "Still Dirrty" is merely a continuation of the infamous "Dirrty" from Aguilera's previous album, "Stripped". This smoothe club track is a far cry from the rough quality "Dirrty" possessed. Disk 1 finishes off with a track dedicated to her fans with cuts from "Genie In A Bottle" along with messages from fans all over the world, a very well produced track by DJ Premiere.

The second disk is simply a masterpiece. A perfectly constructed album in itself, chief produced by Linda Perry, also the producer of Aguilera's biggest hit from "Stripped", "Beautiful". The album opens with an enticing circus theme with "Enter The Circus" and "Welcome". The burlesque showpiece "Nasty Naughty Boy" and vintage track "I Got Trouble" continues the 20's and 30's feel for the album. The playful "Candy Man" and ballad "Hurt" are front-runners for singles off this album. Aguilera's vocal strengths are showcased on the powerful "Mercy On Me" and the subtle "Save Me From Myself", both contrasting in vocal style, but are both easily the best vocals on the album in their own ways.

Christina Aguilera has shown a lot of depth and growth since her "Genie" and "Dirrty" days . With the exception of the weakest points from the album, "F.U.S.S." and "Without You" (both of which could have easily been left off the album), "Back To Basics" is near perfection in every way. This delectible album is a contender to sweep the Grammies and a front-runner for Album Of The Year. This album was worth the wait and most definitley worth your money. Pick up a copy today because this collection of songs is a must have. Christina Aguilera has outdone herself with "Back To Basics", now the only problem is... How is she going to top this off? a.a.

Best Tracks: Slow Down Baby, Still Dirrty, Understand, Hurt, Save Me From Myself, Candyman
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Christina Aguilera Studio Album - To This Stand Point., Nov. 30 2009
By 
Steph Feeney (The Shwa, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
When I first heard Christina Aguilera was doing an album that was influenced by the 20's, 30's and 40's with a modern day twist I was a little skeptical. For the most part I had loved everything she had ever done up to this stand point and I was not sure if Christina would be able to pull this off. On her last album, "Stripped" Christina truly began to express who she was as an artist and express who she was at that point in her career and with this album, "Back To Basics" Christina continued to flourish as an artist and experiment with different sounds and different looks to accompany her music.

The day I bought this album I took it home and put both discs into my CD player. I'll admit, at first I was approaching it with a bit of dread and was not sure if I could warm up to the whole "Back To Basics" concept but alas the album, like every Christina album before it had won me over. The thing I love about this album is that Christina was right on the radar when it came to producing an album that was a throw back tribute to the 20's, 30's and 40's but with a more modern sound.

The first single from the album was "Ain't No Other Man" (featured on disc one) and that song did take a bit to grow on me. At first I didn't think it was up to Christina's standards but after a few more listens it grew on me and is one her best singles. I think over seas "Oh Mother" and "Slow Down Baby" were singles. I remember when I first heard "Slow Down Baby", I said to myself "that's classic Christina right there!" One of my all-time favourite Christina songs and "Oh Mother" is basically an emotional continuation of "I'm OK" from her last album, and shows Christina once again showing her raw and vulnerable side. I thinks it's lovely that Christina ends disc one with a tribute to her fans. It's very rare that you have an artist show (and record) appreciation to her fans on an album, and I think just by doing that that Christina is a true and genuine person.

Disc one sounds like it has more of a 60's influence with more of a gospel, reggae and R&B sound while maintaining the whole big band and jazz feel with the trumpets and horns.

Disc two is more straight jazz and swing that brings in the more 20's, 30's and 40's vibe to the album with of course a modern sound. The arrangements and Christina's voice are absolutely stunning. The only singles off disc two were "Hurt" and "Candyman". "Hurt" once again shows Christina being raw and vulnerable, and the way she projects her voice in the song is just incredible. She brings so much passion to her music, no one can deny that. "Candyman" is a cheeky tongue and cheek song, and it took awhile to grow on me but now I can't help but love it, she's so clever in her lyrics. "I Got Trouble" is the biggest throw back track on this album, and actually sounds like something right out of the 40's.

Every song on this album, from disc one to disc two are absolute winners. There isn't a single song on this album that is a dud and I honestly think if you have a family member who loves music from way back, you should most definitely pick this album up for them and tell them to give it a spin. Five out of five stars.

Great job Christina, by far above my expectations.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Solid Effort, Feb. 4 2009
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
First off, I know that Christina gets a lot of flack for trying to hard to be original or authentic, but in an industry where so many artists with lesser (or non-exsistant) talent put little effort into repetitive disposable hits, I think she should get credit for trying to do something innovative. Did she succeed? Not entirely, but she gets an A+ for effort from me.

What I do not like about the album:
- Some of the songs do sound like she is trying to hard to recapture the sound of old jazz or blues records (ie. the cracking of the turntable which is heard a lot throughout the 2-disc epic) and the track "Back in the Day" makes it various that this album is attempt to do so by mentioning a slew of soul artists. But like I said, at least she has a vision.
- She also over sings a lot on some songs, when it really isn't necessary. She proves on the amazing "Save Me From Myself" that less is more and that her voice can sound beautiful when she doesn't belt.
- The CD is way too long. There are about 5 songs on the first disc that are filler. If she condensed both discs onto 1 disc, this album would be incredible. Just for fun, here's what my ideal track listing would be:

Disc 1:
1. Enter the Circus
2. Welcome
3. Makes Me Wanna Pray
4. I Got Trouble
5. Ain't No Other Man
6. Save Me from Myself
7. Understand
8. I Got Trouble
9. Slow Down Baby
10. F.U.S.S.
11. Candyman
12. Hurt
13. Mercy on Me
14. Oh Mother
15. The Right Man

What I like:
- The second CD is very solid. The melodies are great and I like that it's all real instruments. My personal favorites are "Welcome", "Mercy On Me" and the aforementioned "Save Me From Myself".
- I really like the use of some of the samples on the first disc, particularly on the smash "Ain't No Other Man", and "Slow Down Baby". They're very funky and the songs sound fresh because the originals were not instantly recognizable songs to most people.
- Although she does over-use her voice at times, she sounds amazing for the most part and she sings with a lot of emotion.
- The album doesn't sound like any other pop album of the last few years and there is a timeless quality to a lot of the tunes, so I think this album will not sound dated in 10 years.

Overall, this is a great album, and depute a few flaws, it is worth the money. Give it a chance.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This album is good for only when you're in the mood., June 30 2007
By 
Jenny J.J.I. "A New Yorker" (That Lives in Carolinas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
After listening to this on and off I realizes that this album has it's moments but it won't be on heavy rotation on my personal player. This album has been promoted as a throw-back-retro of the blues, jazz, and soul cultivated during the past five decades unfortunately it really doesn't measures up to the task. Imitation this time is less than flattering to the R&B artists she holds in such high esteem.

Admittedly she has a great and mature voice as evidenced by her collaboration with previous artist's; this album, however, is characterized by self-indulgent songs that certainly capture the power of Aguilera's life and times, but these songs are not an affirmation of the great music exemplified by the blues, jazz, and soul from previous generations. Inspired by her recent marriage (which is great) but at the same time revisit certain subjects from "Stripped" such as the abuse her and her mother suffered at the hands of her father which is unfortunate but starts to get a bit redundant at times.

The music overall is ambitious, yet obvious in that fact that she is trying way too hard to garner critical acclaim for the whole retro aspect. There are some good tracks in this album but too many filler's at the same time. The power again is her voice, but sometimes it is a little too loud and over done, to the point of being harsh. The tracks that stood out to me though are "Oh Mother", "Without You," and "Hurt"- she sings more softly and sound beautiful in these tracks. I will also add "Ain't No Other Man," "Candy Man," and "Mercy On Me" because she sounds very natural on these songs.

I really hate having to be negative on this album but she left me no choice. I think next time don't strain yourself to create an "out-of this-world" album Christina just make one simply effortless.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Christina goes back to basics with a brand new sound., Aug. 21 2006
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
Four years of hard work after the amazing CD `Stripped' has produced `Back to Basics'. An R&B album with vintage soul, burlesque, jazz, blues and swing beats. Despite her pop princess label of many years, with `stripped' and now `Back to Basics', Christina shows a more mature and sexy version of herself. Her vocal gymnastics and unique voice show her obvious superiority to the other Mouseketeers. Christina's image has changed yet again and she's gone from trashy to classy. Her sexuality is still very prominent but in a much classier package.

Being a big fan of `stripped' I couldn't wait for her next CD. However it's very different from stripped and it's has its fair share of misses. The hits however are big ones so it's a pretty good album overall.

Track review

DISC ONE

1) Intro (Back to Basics): Similar concept to the intro of `stripped' but not as sultry and powerful. However this intro has a really nice beat and the song is much better than the `stripped' intro. ~8/10~

2) Makes Me Wanna Pray: Makes me wanna change the song. Don't like it very much. Too gospel, doesn't sound very good. ~5/10~

3) Back In The Day: Really good. Christina commemorates those who came before her with this nice sounding song. Very modern sound though, unlike the rest of the album ~7/10~

4) Ain't No Other Man: First single from `Back to Basics'. We've all heard it and I think it is the best choice for the first single. It's the most commercially favourable song from the album and it gives the public a taste of the retro beat of the album. It's the most pop sounding track from the album. A little screamy but otherwise really good. ~9/10~

5) Understand: Very good. Love the chorus, its very unique. Reminds me of `Impossible' a little bit, from `stripped'. ~8/10~

6) Slow Down Baby: Pretty good. Powerful vocals, and the song is good. Catchy chorus and a great girl power song. ~7/10~

7) Oh Mother: It's alright. Somewhat boring as these ballads of Christina's start to blend together and aren't very distinguishable after a while. Another one about Christina's abused background. Like `I'm Okay' but not as powerful. ~6/10~

8) F.U.S.S (Interlude): Stands for F*** U Scott Storch. He was one of the producers on `stripped' and co-wrote many of the songs. Bad song and I think it's quite catty and unprofessional to take a shot at someone through a song. It interrupts the very nice flow of the album to say `oh f*** you scott btw'. Since he co wrote some of the best songs on stripped I think he deserves a bit more respect. Disappointing. ~1/10~

9) On Our Way: Pretty good. Nice beat, lyrics, and vocals. Quite catchy and one of the stronger tracks. ~8/10~

10) Without You: Boring, not too great. Kind of like `Loving me 4 me' from `stripped' but nowhere near as good. ~5/10~

11) Still Dirrty: Awesome beat. Love the horn blasts. Continuation of Dirrrty from stripped. The way Christina sings it is great too. Lyrics suck but fantastic song anyway. ~9/10~

12) Here To Stay: Decent. Nice beat and lyrics. Not too original but it's still very good! ~8/10~

13) Thank You (Dedications To Fans...): Every artist should do this. It's good to hear that not every artist has forgotten that they would be nothing without their fans, no matter how talented they are. Love how the fans comments are in the song. It's very touching. Perfect way to end the first disc. ~8/10~

DISC TWO

1) Enter The Circus: Very creepy intro. Good beat but with the evil laughing it's quite freaky. Also the circus theme doesn't match the rest of the CD. Not great in my opinion. ~5/10~

2) Welcome: Continuation of `Enter The Circus'. Fantastic Vocals. Very all over the place so it's definitely a weaker track. It goes from big screaming crescendos to light piano to the circus theme again. ~6/10~

3) Candyman: Going to be the second single from `Back to Basics'. Great swing song, makes you want to get up and jitterbug. One of the best songs from the album with some of the riskiest lyrics. ~9/10~

4) Nasty Naughty Boy: Burlesque beat to the core. Sultry horns and slow symbols. Very risqué lyrics don't let any kids hear this one. Very unique and Christina's vocals are very strong on this track. ~7/10~

5) I Got Trouble: In my opinion, best track on the CD. Very 1920's and the use of a clothed microphone gives the vocals a great muffled sound. ~10/10~

6) Hurt: Typical ballad. Something says to me this song would have fit Kelly Clarkson's voice much better. The song itself is really good but I think Christina over sings it. It's the `Walk Away' of `Back to Basics' ~6/10~

7) Mercy On Me: Very boring. The chorus doesn't start until almost two minutes in. It isn't one of my favourites on the album. ~4/10~

8) Save Me From Myself: Boring but Christina's haunting and vulnerable vocals are beautiful. ~6/10~

9) The Right Man: Song about Christina's wedding. Very powerful lyrics but the song itself I find boring. Lot's of over singing too. ~4/10~

I guess I was expecting something similar to `stripped' but I still recommend this album to anyone who likes Christina's work. She's a great artist!

My favourites:

I Got Trouble

Candyman

Still Dirrty

Ain't No Other Man

Nasty Naughty Boy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Back to good music..., Aug. 14 2006
By 
R. Comacho "Music Fan" (Brampton, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
I don't wanna write a long review cause people just wont read it, but I have to say, if you weren't a fan of Christina before (like myself), this is the best place to start. It is a musical and artistic journey from beginning to end.

This is without a doubt my favourite CD that came out this year because it actually dares to do something different and that is a step in music worth acknowledging. I manage a record store here in Canada, it is my job to listen to music, so take my word for it, if you want truly what is a CD worth every penny, this is it. I had intentions of listing stand out tracks on this CD but that truly is pointless because every singly song is worth listening to. The only song I don't really find much appealing is 'The Right Man', but I can understand why this song will be amazing to some, it's the only hit or miss track on the album.

Aguilera shows that she is not only the voice of her generation, but proves that she is actually someone we will indeed be calling an icon years from now. This throwback to 20's, 30's and 40's music will start a following and hopefully a revolution in the industry. Who would have though Christina Aguilera (back in her Genie in a Bottle days) was truly this musically grounded. This is a step in the right direction for Christina.

As a fan of music, I want to take this opportunity to turn the tables on Christina and thank her for acknowledging the groundbreakers, innovators and trailblazers of the past. This CD would make the musicians Christina is paying tribute to very proud.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Fresh, Oct. 5 2009
By 
Shades (Regina, Sk, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Back To Basics (Audio CD)
Leave it to Christina to boldly suggest a new (yet old) style of music and bring it to the forefront.
This album mixes classic blues/jazz sound with today's pop/rock style and it works.
Christina is a master, in my opinion. She may have started out as a bubblegum pop princess, but it's clear now she "sold out" to get into the music scene, and then created herself from there. I don't think this album would have been successful if she hadn't developed her career the way she did.

Never the less, I started off listening to this album with a bit of reluctance. Blues isn't a sound I can get behind, but I fell in love with how Christina presents it. There is no question based on what she did with this album that this woman is talented. This album really shows off her amazing pipes, and her versatility. If you like Christina, you'll love this album.
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