I’m going to take you back in time. Back in 2002, when pop music was in its best era. Do you remember Britney’s “I’m A Slave 4 U”, J.Lo singing she is “Jenny From the Block”, or Justin Timberlake releasing his solo album (Bieber who?!). We all grew up with these songs.
Now, I’d understand if you say you don’t like pop music, or pretend that you don’t to look more cool, but admit it we all listen or listened to it sometime in our lives.
In late 2002, when Billboard Top 100 was full of the songs I listed above. An album was released by Christina Aguilera. Christina came out during the “pop phenomena” and she was always compared with Britney Spears and the other cute blonde singers. She was labeled as the “American sweetheart”. But she was different, she was a real artist in her heart and she could really sing.
Sick of her label trying to control her sound and music, she started to work on an album which is still considered as one of the most influential pop albums of its decade. She was only 21, she was going through a dark period. At the same time she was also young and wanted to party & be sexual. So what happened when she put all these feelings into a record? Yes, it turned into a very diverse, multi-layered and a “dark” album titled “Stripped”.
The lead single Dirrty was all about having fun and partying, and it introduced the raunchy image of Xtina. She did all of the crazy and edgy stuff before Rihanna, Gaga and all the others. America was shocked but Europe was crazy for the new Aguilera. The second single Beautiful was a hit worldwide (I’m sure everyone knows this song). It was about overcoming insecurities, and celebrating who you are no matter what. Beautiful won the Grammy’s Best Female Vocal Perfomance award in 2004.
It would be such a shame if we just label Stripped as a basic pop album. First of all, Christina took part writing almost all of the songs on the album, second it’s a very vocal-driven. As a matter of fact, she is named as one of the 100 Greatest Singers by Billboard.
I’m going to share three songs from the album. Showing different sides of her character and soul. I want to share these “hidden gems” from the album that will prove that it’s the greatest of its own time and genre.
First one is Walk Away, a piano-driven ballad with powerful vocals:
Second one is a Latin flavoured, sultry Infatuation, in which she talks about her “full blood Boricua” lover:
(If you like this, check out Get Mine, Get Yours)
Last one is Fighter, the third single of the album, a rock-inspired power anthem: