Welcome to Your Backlash, Christina Aguilera!
By Allison Stewart
When Christina Aguilera debuted her new video, "Not Myself Tonight" last week, online reaction was swift and merciless. Many outlets used variations on the word "desperate" to describe it, and most everyone pointed out the clip's obvious debt to Madonna's "Human Nature" video, as well as to pretty much everything Lady Gaga has ever done or thought about doing.
Aguilera's condemnation of Gaga in 2008, ("I'm not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don't know if it is a man or a woman"), had already set the blogosphere's collective teeth on edge, making her apparent biting of Gaga's style even more grating. For many, the video, which features Aguilera crawling around in a latex catsuit while sipping from a (dog?) bowl -- among many, many other things -- was a textbook case of Too Much Try.
What do you think? Is Christina Aguilera headed for the cultural equivalent of a market correction? Vote in our poll below and read our thoughts, along with a round-up of Xtina critiques culled from across the internet, after the jump.
So what to make of all this?
That Aguilera has always been more talented than likable (the opposite of, say, Jessica Simpson) seems to have helped seal her current fate, robbing her of the goodwill she desperately needs. (And yes, we know this wouldn't be happening if Aguilera was a man. And yes, we realize this is fundamentally unfair.)
Add the existence of a candid viral video that appears to show Aguilera operating at maximum frostiness, (we like to think she was kidding -- judge for yourself here), and you've got the makings of an Aguilera backlash. With "Bionic," her first studio disc in four years, set to hit shelves on June 4th, the timing couldn't be worse.
Meantime, here's a sampling of the most trenchant Aguilera criticism from various corners of the web:
"When watching, there’s wasn’t a moment where I didn’t feel like Aguilera was clawing for relevancy, in a crazy, far beyond, post-Aguilera world." - EW.com.
"The parallel elements in all three music videos are so obvious – down to the whip a la Madonna and Gaga's lobster claw heels – that you've got to wonder whether Aguilera did it on purpose." - People.com.
[Percentage of People.com readers who think Aguilera did it on purpose, as determined by an online poll: 45%, as of Tuesday.]
"I just think [Aguilera] just needs to believe in herself more. I think sometimes she gets insecure because of all of the success Gaga has had, not realizing that she was already successful before Gaga came out.” - Akon, on Vibe.com.
"Aguilera might justifiably bristle at the Gaga comparisons considering how long she was doing this stuff before being so rudely usurped, but she just doesn’t have the wit or vision or even the ear for a memorable tune that Gaga so clearly possesses." - Prefixmag.com.
May 5, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories: Riffs | Tags: Christina Aguilera
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