CULVER CITY, California — After telling GQ last month that she had recorded enough material for a double album but had narrowed it down to one to make it more affordable, Christina Aguilera has apparently had a change of heart.
At Saturday’s MTV Movie Awards, where Aguilera performed her new single, the singer revealed that Back to Basics would in fact include two distinct discs.
“The first half is based upon working with more beat-driven producers and will use samples and things like that, and then the second disc is all me and Linda Perry,” Aguilera said, referring to her “Beautiful” collaborator.
A common theme, however, will run through both discs: an homage to Aguilera’s favorites eras, the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s (see “Christina Aguilera’s New LP: Some Jazz, Some Hip-Hop Soul … And Some Burlesque” ).
“The first half of the album is kind of a throwback with elements of jazz, blues and soul music combined with a modern-day twist, like hard-hitting beats,” the singer explained.
And for the second disc, “We creatively went into our own zone and our own world together,” Aguilera said of her work with Perry. “There are no cover songs, so we made more of a ’20s, ’30s vibe with an authentic and organic twist. There are no samples — it’s all live music. One of the songs sounds like you entered a 1920s burlesque club, another song sounds like it was actually recorded in the 1920s, using a vintage microphone, so it’s exciting stuff.”
The double-album is due August 15, nearly four years after Aguilera’s last LP, Stripped.
“I definitely take my time, so I do come with a lot more to say about what’s going on in my life so it’s meaningful to me and to my fans,” Aguilera explained of the gap. “I always try to come back with something new and try to evolve as an artist and as a visionary. I can’t wait to see the reaction.”
Seeing that reaction is exactly the reason Aguilera wanted to debut her new single, “Ain’t No Other Man,” at the MTV Movie Awards (see “MTV Movie Awards: Will Ferrell Freaks Out; Jessica Simpson Dusts Off Daisy Dukes” ). “The last time I performed at a Movie Awards show was for ‘Lady Marmalade,’ and that was so much fun,” she said.
As for the new song, “I wanted to make it light and easy for people to dance to and sing along to, so the whole song is based on feel-good elements of soul and blues and jazz,” she said. “Lyrically, I just got married, so it’s about someone in particular, but it’s all about feeling good and not taking anything too seriously.”
“Ain’t No Other Man,” like most of Back to Basics‘ first side, was produced by DJ Premier (see “Christina’s New Split-Personality Album Is Mature And ‘Dirrty’ “ ).
“On the Gang Starr albums he would take jazz things and chop them up and he had some jazz elements in his beats. Along with being a fan of his, I thought he would really get into this world I had envisioned, with the throwback album meeting the hard-hitting beats of today,” Aguilera said. “He went there and totally blew my mind. He got it, and some producers didn’t get it. And he goes beyond being just a beatmaker. He has a great ear for what sounds good vocally and what a sloppy ad-lib is.”
Aguilera says she would someday like to make a straight jazz record, but for now, she’s thrilled with Back to Basics.
“It was quite a journey making this record [and turning to] the old glam look visually to go along with all that,” she said. “But what we came up with, I’m super-proud of.”
Don’t miss all the action when the 2006 MTV Movie Awards airs Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on MTV.