Trying To Get To You

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rubber Soul

For some reason, perhaps because I obsess about music more than most adults in their mid-30's do, I haven't been able to get Christina Aguilera's performance of James Brown's "It's A Man's World" out of my head. I'm a Christina fan; I liked parts of her most recent album very much, and I thought "Ain't No Other Man" was one of the best singles of last year. But having watched the performance again on YouTube I've come to the opinion that her performance was empty vocalizing and symptomatic of the problem of so many talented singers today - they confuse oversinging with having actual soul. Christina sang over those lyrics like a Mack truck running someone over at 75mph - a lack of subtlety combined with a series of empty vocal gestures. She's got the pipes - but to me it felt like she could have been singing any lyric, and that she gave more thought to how she was going to impress everyone in the audience as opposed to how she was going to communicate with them. It wasn't James Brown's influence I felt up there - it was Mariah Carey's, and for me, that says it all.


Anonymous said...

Like Justin Timberlake too - Soda pop Stars. All style and no substance. They have talent, just no depth.

Anonymous said...

Yet, you don't hear that "mack truck quality" on her album? There's no subtlety there, either. I agree, the single was quite good on first few listens, but wore out its welcome soon after.

Ben Lazar said...

I do hear the "mack truck quality" on the record is well, which is why there are a bunch of songs on her record that I'll never listen to again. (But I still really like a handful of them.)

MrGForce said...

I think the prob here with her "It's a Man's World" is y'all are too Pop-ified. What did you want, for her to come out and do a '50s white cover version? "Mack Truck?" Sure, call it that, if that's what pure, unadulerated Soul Music is to you. So what would you call Aretha, a freight train? Or JB, a Titan Missile? If a singer has the courage to do JB, he/she had BETTER come out strong! I'm a 51-year-old, lifetime classic soul fan (if it's made after 1980, I probably don't care about it!) and have never listened to Christina. Frankly, I thought it was a bad joke when she first came out to sing the JB tribute. By the end, I was hollering in delight. I play my recording at least once a day! This was a performance for the ages!

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