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Christina Aguilera is joining the circus on her “Back to Basics Tour,” which hits The Palace of Auburn Hills on April 9. But, really, isn’t the powerful-piped diva a one-woman show? She’s the Cher of pop music, undergoing as many professional makeovers as the reigning elder diva has had plastic ones. Luckily, Aguilera’s music videos won’t let us forget those oh-so memorable sweet, slutty (think ass-less chaps) and sexy moments. So, here they are – for better or for worse.
‘Genie In A Bottle’
Nevermind Aguilera molests a car. Cute as a button, and just past puberty (OK, OK, she was 18), the sensually-voiced songstress sports baggy, orange, Genie-looking pants and a stringy halter top (on a noticeably less-busty chest) for a simple beach-themed video. Summertime never looked – or sounded – so good. But those Mariah-hand fluttering flourishes, leave ’em to Mimi.
The fist-through-the-mirror says it all. Moving from transgender male-to-female to French kissing guys to mirror-mashing anorexic chick, this music video on Zoloft is like a mini-Lifetime movie (minus any rape, or murder, or wife beating). Nose ring intact, Aguilera mopes in a dim-lit nook while stories cut in and out, eventually snowballing into one message: Yeah, we’re different. Yeah, we’re struggling. But! We’re gonna smile anyhow.
Careful, this one cuts deep. Opening on Aguilera in an age-old dressing room, the black/color vintage video, with ’30s-esque slow-mo clips, features the balladeer as a tightrope walker. With flashbacks neatly tucked in to reveal a torn father-daughter relationship, “Hurt” becomes a lesson in loss as a more mature-looking Aguilera abruptly runs from her tent after reading a telegram, which reveals her father has vanished into the cosmos. Falling to the ground with her arms stretched out, her dad appears – and then he’s gone. And as Aguilera sits on a circus box, she’s weepy. And so are we.
Dirty! Filthy! Nasty! Those are Redman’s opening words to this skanky sex romp that launched Xtina as a genie very much out of her bottle – and gave her some ultra-attention (for more than her voice). The high-voltage video works the woot-woot sex jam with shaky camera maneuvers and a plethora of sweaty sluts. The shirtless men, perspiring more than Whitney in the Arctic, squirt water (I think?) into Aguilera’s mouth and stare at her like a kid eyeing the sheep at a petting zoo.
‘Can’t Hold Us Down’
Someone hold down Aguilera – and put some pants on her. She expects men to treat her like a “Lady” (as her cap declares) when she looks like a cheap hooker hungry for some meat (both kinds). In pink hot pants with side slits, the sweet-turned-slutty songstress piles on the mascara (obviously, to match her black locks) and begins a male vs. female brawl in the middle of an urban city street. It’s battle of the sexes – and sluttiest.
‘Ain’t No Other Man’
With cutesy curls, slinky sequined dresses and a mature Harlem vibe, she’s ditched it, folks. Yep, those so-smutty days of parading around in cleavage-pouring halters and sporting hard-ass braids are forfeited for a classy turn as a nightclub singer. The quintessential video (and the brassy ass-shaking single) launches like a scene out of Dick Tracy, where Aguilera’s alter ego is given special attention on her license plate: Baby Jane. It segues into a bubbly dressing room dance, with Baby’s entourage primping her, before she heads out onto the pool table for a sexy (note: not slutty) dance routine with a mess of yummy male dancers.
Three Christinas? You’re either lucky (if she’s your drug) or screwed (if she’s the gum on the bottom of your shoe). A throwback to the Andrews Sisters, the newly refined soul singer heads a trio of – herself. Sporting three hair colors – red, blonde and brunette – Aguilera’s ’40s war-themed video flaunts old diners, a wholesome swing vibe and racy words (like cherry poppin’) that would make Li’l Kim blush.
7:30 p.m. April 9
The Palace of Auburn Hills