TGJ Replay: Celebrating 10 Years of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Bionic’

Published: Monday 8th Jun 2020 by Rashad

Designed much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, ‘Replay’ is That Grape Juice‘s retrospective segment – a written quest, if you will, to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday.

Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase entire albums (and eras) from a library of Pop and Urban Pop music hits.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Christina Aguilera‘s criminally underrated quaternary album, ‘Bionic,’ join us inside as we revisit the epic set.

 

Christina Aguilera’s third album, ‘Back to Basics,’ may have scored the diva the highest first week sales of her career (click here to read our ‘Replay’ to this project), but the effort was a critical polarizer for sure.  Understandable considering how much of a homerun its predecessor ‘Stripped’ was (read our ‘Replay’ to this project here), but many critics branded ‘Basics’ a ‘try hard’ and ‘gimmicky’ endeavor because of how heavily stylized its odes to music’s Golden age were.  Some even slammed it as inauthentic given Aguilera’s Pop past.

Undeterred, the GRAMMY winner followed up with another concept album – this time reversing the theme of ‘Basics’ to line the new set with futuristic sounds.  Signaled by the greatest hits packaged tune ‘Keeps Gettin’ Better,’ the LP – later christened ‘Bionic’ – was birthed from an all-star writing and production ensemble including Ester Dean, Samuel Dixon, Claude Kelly, Polow Da Don, Tricky Stewart, and recurring contributor Linda Perry (responsible for her previous hits ‘Hurt,’ ‘Candyman,’ ‘Beautiful,’ and more).

‘Bionic’ brought four singles:  ‘Not Myself Tonight,’ ‘WooHoo,’ ‘You Lost Me,’ and ‘I Hate Boys.’

 

Hot 100 Peak: #23

RIAA certification: N/A

Hot 100 Peak: #79

RIAA certification: N/A

Hot 100 Peak: N/A

RIAA certification: N/A

Hot 100 Peak: N/A

RIAA certification: N/A

As evidenced by its racy music video for kickoff single ‘Not Myself Tonight,’ ‘Bionic’ served as reminder that Aguilera was ‘still dirty’ (despite having alluded to a cleaner act in the years that followed the harsh criticism of the song ‘Dirrty’ and its accompanying era).  This time, however, the blow back was multi-fold as the industry-at-large had shifted in the 8 years since ‘Dirrty’s unveiling.

Although Aguilera announced intent for her ‘Basics’ follow-up to be ‘futuristic’ well ahead of its arrival (as evidenced by ‘Better’), electronic dance music becoming the dominating force in popular music – a charge led by then-newcomer Lady Gaga – made ‘Bionic’ unfairly look like the product of trend-hopping.  Paired with the negative response for its visual content, the commercial nonperformance of ‘Tonight’ foreshadowed the fate of its parent album.

Released June 8, 2010, ‘Bionic’ debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 thanks to first week sales of 110,000 (the lowest of her career to that date).  With its commercial run marred by poorly performing singles as Aguilera quickly shifted her attention to the promotion of her first starring film, ‘Burlesque,’ ‘Bionic’ was left to struggle to attain Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

On this side of history, ‘Bionic’ deserves its own chapter in the book of music industry injustices.  Few projects of its magnitude can boast the level of undue disregard and mistreatment it was given that most of the disdain for the effort was due to persuasion from popular sources instead of dislike for the content itself.  What’s worse, to great degree Aguilera’s brand has not fully rebounded from the impact of that strategized dismantling.

Alas, as we press play on our jam, ‘Sex for Breakfast,’ look below and tell us:

Your thoughts?

Comments 13

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Rashad June 8, 2020

    Such an underrated album. I think the trend hopping criticism was so overblown..she wasn’t doing euro dance pop like Gaga (which was influenced by Madonna and Kylie) she was working with Sia and more alt rock producers and taking a more alt dance sound like MIA. The ballads on this album were stunning too

  2. Peter Piper June 8, 2020

    The album is garbage. The lyrics are a tragedy (i.e. Elastic Love – “a rubber band was an analogy. Paper clips couldn’t even hold us together.”) I’m shocked she wasn’t dropped after this mess. She tried to have her version of Britney’s “blackout”…but instead of the acclaim, xtinas Bionic era ended with her mugshot for being intoxicated in public and screaming “do you know who I am?!” 🙄🤣 Yeah, f*** this album and f*** this b****. She’s profited from black culture too.

    • I+love+big+black+c** June 8, 2020

      U r absolutely trash!! Better buy 10 gallons of mouth wash to clean yo nasty, stinky evil mouth. Bionic was ahead of its time, even today. U have no taste!!!

      • Peter Piper June 8, 2020

        The only thing this trash album was ahead of, was the c********** C*******

    • Seb June 8, 2020

      Says the fan of the artist who sings “email my heart”

  3. I+love+big+black+c** June 8, 2020

    I love S-e-x for breakfast N woohoo. I really miss Xtina’s dirrty ego. U don’t see that much nowadays coz she’s a mom now.

    • Peter Piper June 8, 2020

      Really? The video for accelerate was her trashiest video to date

  4. Gee June 8, 2020

    This is where things started to take a turn downward for Christina on the commercial front, and too many breaks in between eras has hurt her over time. Overall bionic was a decent project but not her best however.

  5. PinotNoir June 8, 2020

    God punished her church orgy? Nah, too easy a cop-out for Bionic offered with a happy meal. 😆

    My take? Stripped set the bar too high. Thematic aesthetitcs take over substance in her incohesive concept albums. Her exec WASband and his Mottola-esque guidance left the picture. She still thinks s**/shock sells … yeah if you’re an Afghan girl dancing near a Taliban camp with pasties.

    My advice? Stick to Adult Contemporary, car commercial songs, and (if lucky) blockbuster movie soundtracks.

    What y’all think? 🍿

  6. Ropeburn June 8, 2020

    So unfortunate how folks unfairly bashed her for this album. I think that she could’ve avoided some of the blowback if she’d scrapped that atrocious lead single (Not Myself) and switched her aesthetic up a bit to avoid comparisons with Gags. Too bad she gave up promoting the project because a single push for Glam and S** for Breakfast might have salvaged this album.

  7. AJ June 9, 2020

    Basically TGJ saw the Attitude Magazine post of a similar theme and copied it. Bionic was garbage. Everything from Xtina’s attitude at the time, the lack of melody and tone and the shade from Perez Hilton all lead to the album’s downfall. Additionally if fans loved the album so much, they’d have bought it.

    • Fenty Beauty June 9, 2020

      That is why it keeps charting back every year🥳

  8. #10yearsofbionic June 10, 2020

    The best Pop album of the last decade! A masterpiece that just reveals how forward Xtina’s artistry is… she brought first hand Sia, Minaj to the game. Collabs with Goldfrapp, Santigold, Ladytron and others on a modern pop album. If it wasn’t the boicot from the media/radio associated with sabotage by Lady Gargoyle and her team and ex-bestie Perez Hilton the album would have slayed! Music, visuals, voice… 10/10!

Recommended Posts
.. **