With just one week to go until Christina Aguilera releases her seventh studio album, Lotus, the "Your Body" singer hosted an album preview event, where she played five tracks to some of her biggest fans, both old and new.
"As in every record, it's my heart. It's a labor of love. It's not just songs to me; these are blood, sweat and tears and stuff from the heart," Aguilera said. "You'll hear on this record that I've written songs for the next generation to hopefully inspire new singers of raw talent and realness. ... I definitely wanted to have fun and make Lotus about freedom."
The five tracks from Lotus, which hits stores November 13, have Aguilera showing off her impressive vocal range, reminding us why she is one of the best in pop music. Yet on these tracks, Aguilera — who called this a "celebratory record" — is also taking some risks. Her lyrics are unapologetic, she is exploring different sounds and she recruited some friends in fellow "Voice" coaches Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton for some impressive collaborations.
Let's take a closer look at the songs:
"Let There Be Love"
It's hard to believe that in Aguilera's decade-plus career, she has not worked with hitmaker Max Martin, but on Lotus, she finally teamed up with the super producer, and it seems like the collaboration was long overdue.
Martin produced two songs on Lotus: lead single "Your Body" and "Let There Be Love," an uptempo track with a heavy beat and sultry lyrics that seems like it was made for people to get on their feet and get into the clubs. "I want to know your hearts beating/ I want to tell you like that/ It feels so good that I can't hold back like that/ Hit the right spot making my eyes roll back/ Let there be love," she sings.
"He couldn't have been more great, and this is a really super fun song," Aguilera said of working with Martin. "Super uptempo, it's probably the most dance-ish song on my record ... but it's just free and it's representative of what this album is about."
"Army of Me"
We all know Aguilera is a fighter, but she wanted to prove it again. With "Army of Me," Aguilera took a page out of her Stripped era, penning a song reminiscent to her smash single "Fighter" with lyrics like "One of me is wiser/ One of me is stronger/ One of me's a fighter/ And there's a thousand faces of me/ We're gonna rise up for every time you broke me/ You're gonna face an army of me."
This wasn't a coincidence: Aguilera has been introduced to a whole new generation of fans ever since appearing on "The Voice," many of whom aren't familiar with her past work, which is why she wanted them to have their own "Fighter" anthem.
"This song is a really fun uptempo, and I wanted to do sort of a 'Fighter 2.0' inspirational uptempo for the younger generation, because I felt they should have it," Aguilera said. "All these 6-year-olds who know me from pushing my button and turning around in a big red chair who weren't around for the actual 'Fighter,' this is my chance to recharge it, rejuvenate it and do something modernized for them."
Late last week, Aguilera shared "Blank Page" with all her fans, tweeting out a link to the moving ballad, which shows off her vocal range. Even though the lyrics are completely different, Aguilera told the group this song reminds her of one of her most powerful ballads: "Beautiful."
"It's almost reminiscent to me of the quality of song, to me, that's so vulnerable and so empowering that 'Beautiful' is, but in a relationship way," Aguilera explained. "It's about being OK with saying you're sorry and the fact that you might have regrets, but it's about finding closure and making peace with yourself and the situation. The song is sort of the heart of the record."
"Make the World Move" (featuring Cee Lo Green)
With a musical arrangement that is funky and explosive, it's no wonder Aguilera tapped her fellow "Voice" judge to appear on the inspirational track. "The time is now/ No time to wait/ Turn up the love/ Turn down the hate," she sings over a fast-moving track backed by horns.
"I got to collaborate with my good buddy Cee Lo," Aguilera said. "There was a part for a potential male vocal on the chorus, and I just heard immediately Cee Lo's voice on it, his signature Cee Lo, and it was fun collaborating with him and having him on my record and us joining forces together."
"Just a Fool" (featuring Blake Shelton)
Previewing another power ballad from Lotus, Aguilera's vocals sound better than ever on "Just a Fool." The pop diva recruited her "favorite" "Voice" judge, Blake Shelton, who she said "busted his ass to make the time" to record the song. Shelton brings his smooth vocals and country flare to the heartbreaking ballad, which blends nicely with Aguilera's booming sound as they sing about the pain of a breakup.
"Who am I kidding? I know what I'm missing/ I had my heart set on you/ But nothing else hurts like you/ Who knew that love was so cruel/ I waited and waited so long/ For someone to never come home/ It's my fault to think you'd be true/ I'm just a fool," the two sing on the moving duet.
What do you think of Christina Aguilera's new tracks? Let us know in the comments!