Christina Aguilera's sixth studio album, Bionic, sold a little over 300,000 copies in the U.S. in total. which is terrible even for a time when nobody's buying albums (to contrast, P!nk's The Truth About Love sold over 280,000 copies its first week after it was released last month). Bionic had no real hit singles, either.
But that album was Aguilera's baby, and damn it, she's proud of it. As she nears the Nov. 9 release of her next album, Lotus, she has been singing the praises of Bionic. It sounds like a voracious growl (or maybe a burp) and it goes a little something like this: "Ayyyyyyyy-uh-ayy-uh-uh-ayyyyy-uh-uh-ayyyyyy, yo: This album was ahead of it's ti-uh-uh-uh-uh-aaaaay-mah." To Billboard, in a September cover story, she said:
With Bionic I fully went in there with [the idea], "I'm going to experiment and not be commercial or pop."… I can proudly say it was ahead of its time, to be honest. It wasn't so commercialized. You had to really be a music lover, be a true fan of music and the love of being open to really appreciate that record.
Got that? Doesn't matter, because in a fan Q&A for YouTube earlier this month for which Aguilera absolutely did not make up her own Q's to A, she said:
Working with Sia and all these sort of electronic underground musicians and artists, gosh, for Bionic was amazing. That was an experimental record that will surpass time, and maybe was too ahead of its time for certain people. But music people, you know, they really, really get my records, and understand that I am constantly evolving and growing.
Maybe you've fallen asleep since it's been almost two years since Christina Aguilera shouted in your ears over the course of an entire album of her own. It's OK, she's got you, since she told Rolling Stone in a recently published profile:
[Bionic] had a lot of amazing sounds and a futuristic twist to it. But if you weren't a music person, it was just going to go over your head. A lot of the collaborations were with people that were either very underground or weren't necessarily from the pop world. I really think it was far ahead of its time and it'll be fully appreciated in the years to come.
Aguilera getting the likes of M.I.A., Le Tigre, Switch and Ladytron to do what they'd been doing for years up till that point, as they did on Bionic, was the very opposite of forward thinking. If you are a "music person," you were most likely familiar with the styles and abilities of her collaborators and understood how micro-retro, in fact, the album was. While it's nice that Christina Aguilera is not going to let the world's apathy affect her relationship with her output, she should maybe let the world's apathy affect the relationship with her output a little.
[Image via Getty]