Monday, July 26, 2010

Song for the Day: Christina Aguilera "Monday Morning"

I've been ragging on Christina Aguilera a lot lately, I realize, which is a shame because I happen to hold her in particularly high regard as an artist (which is a major reason I've been coming down hard on her recently). Back to Basics is one of the three or four albums of the last decade I have most admired both aesthetically and artistically, and - critics be damned - Stripped is perhaps the single most iconic and influential album of my past ten years, nearly as much as No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom and Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill defined my adolescence. Plus, I've discovered that ever since the cathartic release of my critical frustration with it last week, I've become able to actually enjoy Bionic exponentially more to the point that many of the tracks have found their way onto my weekly-changing pop attention deficit disorder on-the-go playlists.

So I thought I'd through Xtina a little bone today and spend a paragraph or so discussing something she's done recently that I thoroughly like. Hence, I present to you the bonus track "Monday Morning," which is among my two or three favorite cuts on Bionic (and, to be fair, at one point was my uncontested top pick). And hey, it couldn't be more timely. The breezy, hakuna matata bonus track fits thematically with its parent album but it could hardly sound more different, at least in terms of tempo and tone (the Hill & Switch production, centering on a boomeranging electronic descant, is an obvious little sister to the producing team's great "Elastic Love"). Actually, the first time I listened to Bionic start to finish I wasn't sure where album ended and bonus began (or I lost count somewhere in the eighteen-track bombardment) and heard "Monday Morning" as the album's closing track - and I have to say, considering the overwhelming and largely negative effect the album had upon me at first run, I found a bit of solace in "Monday Morning," finding it an enjoyable, grounding stress reliever that allowed me an easier comedown (in hindsight, the actual closer, "Vanity," is exponentially more appropriate). Now that I've gotten wise, I enjoy this little bonus gem in a way few tracks can be: as a pleasant, stand-alone morsel of music by an artist of whom I am fond, free from the burden or bond of any particular album or specific time.

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