Britney Spears proved that the same goldmine that Madonna and Cyndi Lauper mined in the 1980s was again ripe for the picking, and she was immediately followed up the charts by another female teenybop sensation, Christina Aguilera. Closely aligned with Spears's style early on, Aguilera hit the charts in a major way in the late '90s. However, by the dawn of the new millennium, Aguilera had transformed herself from a bubblegum sensation to a raw and raunchy vamp (STRIPPED), and then to a mature, platinum blonde pseudo-traditionalist (BACK TO BASICS), positioning herself as a risk-taker with little connection to her Mousketeer past.
Features guest appearances by Eve, Redman, and Dave Navarro. Track production by Rockwilder, Glen Ballard, Alicia Keys, Scott Storch, Steve Morales, Rob & Heather and Linda Perry.
Underneath all Christine Aguilera's coy affectations and vocal gymnastics lurks a rare talent. With her second album, Aguilera allows it to flower by abandoning all pretense at courting the teenage market. Stripped is a seemingly effortless move into weightier adult territory. Using her extraordinary voice as a much subtler instrument, Aguilera sings movingly and with grit and anger about the disintegration of a relationship; she's ultimately stronger for the pain. But that's not her whole agenda. Aguilera also extols the power of women on "Can't Hold Us Down," which features Lil' Kim. Other guests include Dave Navarro, Redman, and Alicia Keys. Aguilera cowrote most of the songs on the disc and produced one cut. She also partnered with former 4 Non Blondes leader and Pink collaborator Linda Perry on four songs, which gives Aguilera a rock edge that she has never before displayed. --Jaan Uhelszki
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