October 30, 2017
Christina Aguilera's "Stripped" 15 Years Later
It was the highly anticipated album known for transforming a sugary-sweet pop princess into a feisty, cornrowed, assless chaps-wearing wild child.
Stripped, Christina Aguilera's sophomoric follow-up to her self-titled debut, was released this week in 2002. From the lead single and its grimy music video ("Dirrty" -- cue the STD jokes!) to the provocative black-and-white cover, it flaunted its ambition from the get-go. It was the then-21-year-old singer's attempt to break out from the teen pop mold that had its grip on her at the turn of the 21st century. The introductory track made the message abundantly clear: "Sorry you can't define me/ Sorry I break the mold/ Sorry that I speak my mind/ Sorry don't do what I'm told." Behold "Xtina" and her bold, new sounds!
Some critics were quick to dismiss the disc, calling it a kind of schizophrenic mess as it jumped from hip-hop-flavored dance anthems (the aforementioned single, which still gets club play today) to rock-tinged foot stompers ("Fighter") to inspirational ballads ("Beautiful," "Soar," "The Voice Within"). What other artist her age (remember, 21) had the gall to experiment with such range at the time?
Back then, she was damned if she stayed predictable, and she was damned if she moved away from formulaic fodder. And now, in hindsight, we're glad she took the risk, showed off those piercings, and layered on the "hooker" makeup.
For more on this special pop anniversary, check out my latest at Huffington Post HERE.
I was eight when my mother and I caught a teaser for a new sitcom "coming to ABC" called Roseanne . It featured Roseanne Barr a...
When one nostalgically binges on all seven seasons of The Golden Girls like me (I swear I have a life), you pick up on a few things. C...
Ten years ago, a young woman named Felicity Porter graduated from the fictitious University of New York and embarked on a new life with Ben...