Over on Facebook, a friend of mine described Christina Aguilera’s Bionic as mostly consisting of “transparent attempts to pander to obnoxious queens.” I recognize that taste is a subjective thing, so he could be wrong, but he did study music production, so I’m willing to trust his critical assessment on this matter. Besides, it probably explains why I’m enjoying Bionic so damn much. After all, if Christina Aguilera’s latest album was an early-to-mid-90s Marvel Comic character, she’d be Nymphomaniac Robotranny Joan Crawford 2099:
In which case, how could I not love this nonsense?
Some of the songs, like “I Am” (co-written by Sia and painfully lovely in its chamber pop minimalism) and the glorious “My Girls” (a Le Tigre-penned track with a Peaches rap interlude, so electropop fantastiche), are legitimately good songs; other songs, like the ode to muff diving called “Woo Hoo” and the oh-so-unsubtly titled “Sex for Breakfast,” feature lyrics so cartoonishly sexual that they could fit right into Showgirls: The Musical (book and lyrics by Joe Eszterhas, music by Andrew Lloyd Weber on a burritos and meth bender). And then there’s “Vanity,” a song that scales to such heights of camp absurdity that it’s another post all unto itself. Bionic may be neither a work of high art nor a pop masterpiece, but much of it’s so frequently batshit crazy and so thoroughly listenable that I find it irresistible.
ANYWAYS, as I was flipping through the album art for Bionic (which is as bonkers and fabulous–if not even more so–than the album itself), I had a revelation, and that revelation was that Christina Aguilera and I both share a love of Karen Black in The Day of the Locust. Here’s Karen Black on the poster for The Day of the Locust:
And here’s Christina Aguilera keeping it classy in the liner notes:
If Bionic is a gigantic Russian doll of hypersexual insanity, then this one’s easily the really tiny one in the middle of all the other Russian Dolls (my favorite). It’s just so classy. And also, so very Karen Black. Seriously, I keep looking at this picture expecting Xtina to bust into a nightmare fueling performance of “Jeepers Creepers” just like Karen Black did in The Day of the Locust:
Really, the only differences between the imaginary scene in my head starring Christina Aguilera and the one above are that mine doesn’t have Burgess Meredith fake dying/scaring the everliving fuck out of me and Karen Black is most certainly not teaching anyone how to suck dick. Otherwise, though, TOTALLY THE SAME.
Much love to Xtina-Web for the album art image.