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Listenable, but lacks that bounadry-pushing creativity we expect from XTina
on November 14, 2012
When Christina said that this album was going to be as personal and diverse as Stripped, I was beyond excited. Christina's lyrics and creativity is what keeps me buying her albums time and time again. When Lotus was coming out I was counting down the days til November 13th. I put on my boyfriend's production headphones, popped the disc in and listened to it from track-to-track. When I was done he asked what I thought.
"Safe." Was the first thing that came out of my mouth. He said, "Do you like it more or less than [Bionic]?" I said, "Lotus makes me appreciate Bionic." He was shocked given I wasn't too fond of Bionic -- until now. (More on that later!)
This album lacks that boundary-pushing, creative, innovative Christina I know and love from Stripped, B2B and Bionic. All three of those albums had amazing tracks and were anything but a safe approach to music. There's really not any stand out tracks on Lotus for me that make me want to play them over and over (see Ain't No Other Man), I skip tracks on this one which I do not have to do with Stripped, and Bionic was loaded with post-production that really challenged the ears in a good way.
**EDITED ON 11/19**
I do like: "Lotus Intro," (despite the unnecessary use of autotune), "Cease Fire," "Blank Page," "Best of Me," "Just A Fool" (my absolute favorite), "Empty Words" and "Shut Up," "Your Body"
OK Tracks: "Army of Me," "Red Hot Kind of Love," "Let There Be Love," "Sing for Me" (although beautiful vocals!)
Scrap it: I may get screamed at but "Make The World Move" (Has good elements to it but overall kind of annoying...), "Around the World", "Circles" (mostly the lyrics is what ruins this. Musically, it is enjoyable.) "Light Up The Sky" (give it to Katy Perry) "Your Body Remix" (waste of track space. Do an original! haha!)
It took me two years to appreciate Bionic. After I took it on my iTunes and got rid of those nonsense songs like "Prima Donna" and "Vanity". To like 16/23 is not bad at all! As for Lotus, it's not very memorable although it has some foot-tapping tracks that definitely fits the Pop Sound of 2012. I think Christina played it too safe on this one. There are hints of that boundary-breaker in "Cease Fire" and "Red Hot Kind of Love" and "Blank Page", but the album as a whole is too safe for me.
Vocally, it is EVERYTHING I love out of my girl, but I like my XTina pushing sound barriers, challenging the ears of her fans and critics alike, and pouring her heart and soul into the lyrics, making you feel her pain, her love, her joy, her angst. While some songs on Lotus do accomplish that, it's too few and far between for me to call this her best.