Bionic (Christina Aguilera album)

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Bionic
Studio album by Christina Aguilera
Released June 8, 2010 (2010-06-08)
Recorded 2008–10
Genre
Length 59:27
Label RCA
Producer
Christina Aguilera chronology
  • Bionic
  • (2010)
Singles from Bionic
  1. "Not Myself Tonight"
    Released: April 6, 2010 (2010-04-06)
  2. "Woohoo"
    Released: May 25, 2010 (2010-05-25)
  3. "You Lost Me"
    Released: June 27, 2010 (2010-06-27)
  4. "I Hate Boys"
    Released: July 28, 2010 (2010-07-28)

Bionic is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Christina Aguilera. It was released on June 8, 2010 by RCA Records. Looking to transition from the jazz, blues, and soul styles from her fifth record, Back to Basics (2006), Aguilera wanted her follow-up project to be "short, sweet, and completely different". Consequently, it incorporates pop and electropop styles with elements from other genres of music, including dance, R&B and disco. Aguilera enlisted producers including her longtime collaborators Linda Perry and DJ Premier and new partners including Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, Polow da Don, Ladytron and Samuel Dixon.

Inspired by the birth of her son, Max, and her taste for electronic music, "Bionic" mainly themes are about sex, while a few songs being more acoustic-sounding, which Aguilera described as "the heart of the record". Aguilera worked with Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler in some tracks, becoming Sia's first mainstream artist whom she worked with, while Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj also made one of her first features with Aguilera. Canadian musician Peaches is also featured on the album.

Upon its release, Bionic received generally mixed reviews from music critics, who were ambivalent towards its production and lyrical content, with many criticizing Aguilera's exhausting hypersexuality, but some praised its deluxe edition and called it one of the best pop offerings from 2010. Commercially, the album impacted moderately on the charts; it debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 110,000 copies, while debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart with the lowest single-week sales in eight years, and later registered as the largest single weekly decline for a number-one album in the chart's history.[1]

Four singles were released from the album; with only two being released worldwide, while the other two being released in selected territories. The first, "Not Myself Tonight", was released as the lead single and was met with favorable reviews, however, it only charted within the top 40 in most countries. The second and last worldwide single, "You Lost Me", received minor impact on the charts. "Woohoo", featuring Nicki Minaj, was released only in the U.S. as a radio-only single while "I Hate Boys" served as the second single in Australia and New Zeeland only. Initial promotion of the album was strong, with Aguilera appearing on Oprah, American Idol, 2010 MTV Movie Awards, Today, David Letterman, VH1 Storytellers and more. However, the "Bionic Tour", scheduled to start in July 2010, was postponed and eventually cancelled.

Background and development[edit]

"With this new album, I wanted to go in a completely opposite direction - a very futuristic, robotic sound and computer-sounding vocals. I'm experimenting with my voice in ways I've never done before, almost like a technical, computer-generated sound, which is different for me because I'm the type of vocalist that just belts. I'm always inspired by new things because I get bored."[2]

—Aguilera about the album.

After a successful 2006, where Aguilera released her critical acclaimed and commercial successful album, Back to Basics, Aguilera received a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2007 Grammy Awards and won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for its lead-single "Ain't No Other Man". While on the Asian leg of the Back to Basics Tour, during the summer of 2007, Aguilera said that her upcoming album would be, "short, sweet and completely different" from her previous long play, Back to Basics.[3] After the birth of her son, Aguilera stated in an interview with Ryan Seacrest that her forthcoming album would include a totally new aspect of herself as an artist, because of the pregnancy with her son.[4] In a February 2008 interview with People, Aguilera stated that she was going to start recording new material for her forthcoming album at her Beverly Hills home.[5] DJ Premier, who at the time was working on projects for his label, Year Round Records, shared plans to head back into the studio with Aguilera. About this he said, "She's doing an all pop album again, but she wants me to keep the tone like what we did before. She's ready to start next month."[6] Linda Perry, who had previously worked with Aguilera was to be included in the project too.[7] In an interview with Billboard in October 2008, Aguilera said that the album would be mostly produced by Perry.[8]

During the initial recording sessions, Aguilera released her first greatest hits album, "Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits", which features 2 new tracks that are derived from electronic music, and she announced that complation was in the vein of where the upcoming album was going to go, which was a very futuristic approach to music."[9] "I get off on working with creative energy," Aguilera said. "That's when I'm most at home and feel happiest. And all these people brought about new sides of me. It was a big collaboration-fest, and it felt so good and rewarding in the end, because I was just so happy with the work and the new territories that I ventured out to."[10] Aguilera also remarked that her son inspired her to experiment in ways "that maybe I've been afraid to do in the past, to allow myself to go to a place of 'less singing,' " she says. "[It] is just about the future -- my son in my life, motivating me to want to play and have fun."[11]

Recording and production[edit]

Aguilera was one of the first mainstream artists who worked with Sia (pictured) before her breakthrough in the U.S..

Aguilera set about contacting collaborators on her own accord, at the behest of then-husband Jordan Bratman, without relying on the record label A&R. "Going into [each of these partnerships], I said, 'I'm a really big fan of yours, and I'm interested in stepping into your world and what you do,'" Aguilera says. "'I want to combine that with my sound, and let's see what happens.' I feel like I can do so much with my voice. I would be so bored sitting on a stool singing ballad after ballad just because I can."[10] Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler and her collaborator Samuel Dixon worked with Aguilera on a number of tracks for the album.[12] Aguilera told Billboard that she is a big fan of Furler and stated that she was thrilled when Furler said that she wanted to work with her as well.[13] They recorded together in the studio in January 2009,[13] and according to Furler's blog the duo wrote four songs together during the sessions.[14] Members of British electronic band Ladytron, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu, went to Los Angeles to meet Aguilera in December 2008 after hearing that they were one of her favorite bands. During the meeting, Aguilera identified what kind of Ladytron songs she liked, with Hunt later saying, "We were impressed because she had a real deep knowledge of our music – album tracks, not just the singles!".[15] Ladytron said following about the sessions with the singer, "We went in with no expectations; the whole thing was a massive surprise. But it was incredible. She was so musically talented, a vocalist who really knows her voice. The first takes sounded really amazing, and while we'd made demos, it was only when her voice was on them that it all came to life."[16] They finished the work with Aguilera in March 2009 and produced four or five tracks,[15][17] but only three songs made the final cut.[18] Two songs produced by Ladytron appeared on the Deluxe version of the album, "Birds of Prey" and "Little Dreamer." Meanwhile, the third track, "Kimono Girl" did not make the final cut, although it has been highly anticipated by fans.[19] British duo Goldfrapp said in a January 2010 interview that they did not finish the studio session and did not know whether their songs would make the final cut.[20]

Tricky Stewart produced three tracks on Bionic, in addition he also worked with Aguilera on the Burlesque soundtrack producing five tracks from it.

The Australian said that the production team, The Neptunes, were to work with Aguilera on the album.[21] In an interview with HitQuarters, Dr. Dre protege Focus... said, "We did a song and an interlude together."[22] He produced the beats for the track "Sex for Breakfast," which were then worked on by Aguilera and producer Noel "Detail" Fisher.[22] Focus... got involved with the project because he and Aguilera share a loyal, long-time engineer in Oscar Ramirez; Ramirez suggested and arranged the pairing.[22] Of the experience Focus... commented, "[Aguilera] knows exactly what she is looking for and is not afraid to tell you. It was the first project I've ever worked on where someone sent me examples and showed me exact parts in the song they were looking for."[22] Aguilera announced on her E! Special that she was going to be working with American dance-punk band Le Tigre.[23][24] Aguilera said in August 2009, that she co-wrote tracks with British Tamil songwriter M.I.A. and Santigold, and according to the producer Tricky Stewart, Flo Rida would be featured on the album.[5][25] Producer Polow da Don, who produced two of the four singles released from the project, was the only producer to be suggested by RCA and not contacted by Aguilera personally.[10] Additionally Stewart and Claude Kelly wrote the song "Glam", which was described as "a hard club song that's about high fashion. It's really for the ladies about getting dressed and looking your best, working it in the club and getting glam and sexy before you go out. ... It will surprise people. I'm calling it a modern day "Vogue." I wouldn’t say it unless I believed it."[26] Kelly also co-wrote three other tracks for the album, including the first two singles "Woohoo" and "Not Myself Tonight". He described the four tracks as being "up-tempo and fun, they're party anthems but at the same time have underlying messages."[27] Commenting on the experience of working with Aguilera, Kelly said, "What people don't know about her is that she's actually a really good writer. She has good ideas, good melodies, good concepts … She's really involved from the very beginning to the very end."[27]

Composition and themes[edit]

"Working on this album with so many talented artists and producers that I admire was really an amazing experience. The artists I chose to work with added so many unique sonic layers to Bionic. My intention was to step into their world and what they do combined with my own vision and sound. The results were magic."[28]

—Aguilera on working with many producers

Aguilera described the album as a unique mix of many genres and styles of music when she said, "I was able to explore and create a fresh, sexy feel using both electronic and organic elements with subject matter ranging from playful to introspective. I am so excited for my fans to hear the new sound. It is something I don't think anyone will expect."[28] She later went on to say, "Each album I release is a representation of my personal life experiences and how they have shaped me. ... Over the past four years ... I have become a mother, a wife, and most recently an actress ... This album was put together to capture all of these characteristics [therefore] I chose to collaborate with a variety of artists and producers across different musical genres. I was able to explore and create a fresh, sexy feel using both electronic and organic elements with subject matters ranging from playful to introspective. This allowed me to challenge myself by using my voice in ways I never had before."[28]

A sample of "Not Myself Tonight", dubbed a "euro-glamorous" version of Aguilera's "Dirrty"-era.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"'Bionic'" explores sex as its centerpiece, as noted by a number of critics.[29][30][31][32] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian called its themes "a return to what you might call 'Dirrty' waters, given that it also features fizzing synthesisers, songs that celebrate narcissism and the ephemerality of fashion, and photographs in which she pretends to be a robot with the aid of futuristic sunglasses and eyeliner out to here. Petridis also noted that her desire to go on and on about sex is "a bit weird and uncomfortable next to things like 'My Heart', which features her two-year-old son being encouraged to "sing like Mommy".[32] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly noted that the album features "an aggressive, exhausting hypersexuality,"[30] while Omar Kholeif of PopMatters remarked that on 'Bionic', "she finds herself masquerading through dual identities: the vulnerable Christina of Mulan's 'Reflection' one minute, the nymphomaniac of Stripped' in the next."[33] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine compared the album's sex thematic to "a party album without a guest list, a sex toy used without self-awareness."[31] Jon Pareles described the album as "a one-dimensional hot chick chanting come-ons to club beats."[34]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The opening track, "Bionic", is an electronic song, featuring "twitchy space-ace" rhythms, rapping verses and talks about an "echo-laden" invitation to "jet off to the new millennium".[35] "Call me the supernova," she insistently raps on the twitchy space-age rhythms.[36] Melinda Newman of HitFix compared the song to "Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation,"[35] while Michael Cragg of musicOMH related to a Santigold track.[37] The second track and lead-single, "Not Myself Tonight", an uptempo electropop and dance-pop song, has Christina singing lyrics about self-reinvention with breathy chants and naughty expletives, over "dripping" synths, "pulsing" basslines and "tribal" house drums.[38] It was produced by Polow da Don and received mixed reviews, with some critics calling it a "disappointing first single".[37] Third track and radio-only single "Woohoo", an ode to receiving oral sex,[35] features Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj and mixes dancehall and electro-R&B.[39] "All the boys think it's cake when they taste my woohoo/You don't even need a plate, just your face/Licky, licky, yum-yum," she sings.[31] Fourth track "Elastic Love", co-written by M.I.A., is an electropop track that blends into 80s new wave music,[40] featuring Aguilera comparing her love to office equipment.[41] M.I.A. received acclaim for managing to "calm down Aguilera's usual attention-all-shipping vocal approach into something weirder: dead-eyed, thickly smeared with dubby echo."[32] On the fifth track "Desnudate", which means get naked, has the singer playing a "Latino dominatrix" over dance-pop beats[41] and a horn-squealing hook,[36] with Aguilera singing, "I’m your supplier of lust, love and fire tonight."[34] Newman noted that it sounds a little like something her fellow, former Mousketeer Justin Timberlake would have recorded, complete with Donna Summer-like "Love to Love You/Bad Girls" whistles and sighs.[35]

A sample of "You Lost Me", described as "the heart of the album" by Aguilera, is a departure from the musical sound on "Bionic" with a stripped back production that doesn't have a electronic/dance production.

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Considered an obvious homage to Madonna's "Vogue",[33] "Glam", which is preceded by a word-spoken interlude titled "Love & Glamour", is an electropop number, with hip hop elements,[42] and it talks about high fashion, getting glam and sexy before a night out.[43] Critics noted that "Glam" isn't nearly as catchy or sultry as "Vogue".[33] "Prima Donna", an urban pop song, with a retro mixture of shouty pop and robot glam,[33] was described as an anthem about strong women.[41] The song received positive comparison to Michael Jackson[33] and features uncredited ad-libs by Lil Jon, exhorting everyone to "work your body."[36] Preceded by its intro "Morning Dessert", the tenth track "Sex for Breakfast" is an R&B, sultry slow burner song,[44] with racy lyrics about making someone late for work for all the right reasons.[45] Some critics noted influences of American recording artist Janet Jackson on the track.[37] The only song produced by Linda Perry, "Lift Me Up", follows with inspirational lyrics,[35] being considered "a classic demonstration of the singer's range from tender to throaty."[46] "All I Need", preceded by its intro "My Heart", which features her son being encouraged to "sing like Mommy",[32] is a piano ballad and lyrically it's an ode to her son Max.[47] Eric Henderson of Slant Magazine noted that the song shared the same themes than Britney Spears's track "My Baby".[31]

The fourteenth track "I Am" finds Aguilera singing about her insecurities,[47] over a string orchestra.[34] "I need you to see me," she asserts, describing her unseen essence as "a lioness," "naked," and, "beautiful."[36] While fifteenth track "You Lost Me" talks about a love that can never be recaptured.[35] "You left me neglected," she belts.[36] Some critics labeled it "the album's 'Beautiful'."[37] The follow-up track, "I Hate Boys", is a hate-driven song about ridiculing all men,[48] featuring synthpop "gum-smacking" and "gang chants" in the background.[40] With "My Girls", a faux-female empowerment,[47] Aguilera works with Peaches in an electro-disco beat,[32] while in the closing track "Vanity" finds Aguilera proclaiming herself as the "flyest bitch of them all" and bounding around through a tight "club beat".[45] Omar Kholeif of PopMatters further described the track as "a disco banger that finds the singer professing just how much she loves herself. Without a modicum of humility, 'Vanity' finds Christina crooning about the wonders of her own image and ends with Aguilera proclaiming to marry none other than herself."V is for vanity / Thank you mom and daddy / Yes I'm vain / So what / So what", she sings.[33] The deluxe edition features the clattering, chanting "Bobblehead," the synth glide of "Birds of Prey," the new wave pop of "Monday Morning," and Sia's mournful ballad "Stronger Than Ever."[44]

Release and artwork[edit]

Originally, the album was provisionally entitled 'Light & Darkness', with a release date for September 2009,[49] however, it was postponed for a 2010 release, since Aguilera was shooting her debut film, Burlesque. On the February cover of Marie Claire magazine, Aguilera revealed that the album was scheduled to be released in March 2010 and it was called "Bionic".[50] For Aguilera, "'Bionic' to me is the definition of the superhuman abilities we as women have in everyday life," she said. "I've grown and changed, and I've learned so much. I've never felt more confident, more secure, more sexy in my life than I do now."[10] According to the magazine, the album’s tentative first single was supposed to be "Glam".[51]

However on March 25, Aguilera announced the song "Not Myself Tonight" as the album's lead-single, and that "Bionic" would be released on June 8, 2010.[52] The same day, the singer unveiled the album's cover, created by London street artist D*Face.[53] The cover art depicts herself as a half-robot, half-woman, with platinum curled locks, scarlet lips and long Bambi lashes.[54] On closer examination, the cover also features D*Face name and logo along with other names like "Jordan" for her then-husband, "Mom" for her mother, and "Max" for her son.[53] Kyle Anderson of MTV enlisted some references for the album's cover art, such as Tokio Hotel's "Humanoid" album cover, Madonna's "Bedtime Story" video and others.[55]

Singles[edit]

"Not Myself Tonight" was released as Bionic's lead single on April 6, 2010. It debuted and peaked at number twenty-three on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Aguilera's third highest solo debut on the chart after "Keeps Gettin' Better" (2008) and "Ain't No Other Man" (2006).[56] Internationally, the song had moderate commercial success, peaking at number 12 in the United Kingdom,[57] in the top 30 in both Austria and Australia and in the top 40 in New Zealand and Sweden.[58] The song received generally positive reviews from critics, who complimented its club nature and Aguilera's vocals on the track; some reviewers also referred to it as her best uptempo recording since her 2002 single "Dirrty".[59] The accompanying music video, directed by Hype Williams, featured a S&M theme with Aguilera sporting different bondage-inspired looks.[60][61] Paying homage to Madonna's music videos for "Express Yourself" (1989) and "Human Nature" (1995),[60] the video received mixed reviews from critics, who complimented its aesthetic but called it unoriginal.[62]

Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj is featured on the albums second single "Woohoo".

"Woohoo," featuring rapper Nicki Minaj, was released as the second single from Bionic. It was made exclusively available to the iTunes Store on May 18, 2010[63] before being serviced to rhythmic radio on May 25, 2010.[64] The track peaked at number 148 on the United Kingdom's singles chart due to high digital sales, but it was never released as a single there.[65] The single has received generally positive reviews, with critics praising Minaj's appearance in the song and commending Aguilera's powerful vocals.[66][67] "You Lost Me" was released as the album's third single on June 29, 2010. The song was sent to Mainstream/Top 40 radio on June 29, 2010, in the United States.[68][69] Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly called "You Lost Me" a "lovely" ballad[30] and Amber James of PopEater said the song was a "somber track" that brings the "honesty and emotion that have made Aguilera one of the premier balladeers of our time."[70] The music video premiered on Aguilera's official Vevo account on July 22. The music video's director, Anthony Mandler, also wrote the concept for the video, which features a series of connected vignettes. The song topped the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, making it the second single from Bionic to do so, after "Not Myself Tonight".[70] "I Hate Boys" was released as a second single from the album in Australia and New Zealand only. It was sent to Australian radio on June 28, 2010,[71] and released digitally on September 3, 2010[72] in a two-track single.[73][74] It was the eighth most added track to radio stations from the week ending July 23, 2010.[75] It peaked at number 28 on the Australian Airplay Chart[76]

Promotion[edit]

Aguilera revealed the title of the album as well as the name of three new songs in the February 2010 issue of Marie Claire magazine. On January 22, 2010, Aguilera premiered a stripped-down version of the Linda Perry produced "Lift Me Up" during the Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief telethon.[77] Aguilera was also featured on the June cover of GQ Germany,[78] the June/July cover of Latina[79] and the June cover of Out.[80] On May 7, 2010, Aguilera performed "Not Myself Tonight" on The Oprah Winfrey Show.[81]

"You Lost Me" was performed on May 26, 2010, on the American Idol finale.[82] Aguilera performed a medley of "Bionic", "Not Myself Tonight" and "Woohoo" at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards on June 6.[83] On the album release day in the United States, June 8, 2010, Aguilera performed a medley of "Bionic" and "Not Myself Tonight" as well as "Beautiful", "Fighter" and "You Lost Me" on The Today Show.[84] On June 9, 2010, Aguilera gave and interview and performed "You Lost Me" on the Late Show with David Letterman.[85] She performed "Not Myself Tonight" and gave an interview on Live with Regis and Kelly on June 10, 2010.[86] Aguilera performed "Fighter", "You Lost Me", "Not Myself Tonight" along with a medley of "Genie in a Bottle"/"What a Girl Wants" on The Early Show on June 11, 2010.[87] On June 13, 2010, Aguilera was featured on VH1 Storytellers[88] as well as on Behind the Music.[89]

Aguilera planned to further promote the album by embarking on The Bionic Tour. 20 concerts were scheduled across the United States and Canada between July 15, 2010 and August 19, 2010. British singer Leona Lewis was scheduled to be the tour's supporting act and the tour would be considered the North American leg of Lewis's The Labyrinth tour.[90] On May 24, 2010, Aguilera postponed the tour until 2011. In a message on her website and from tour promoter Live Nation, Aguilera stated that due to the excessive promotion of the album and her then upcoming film debut in Burlesque, she felt she needed more time to rehearse the show and with less than a month between the album release and tour, it was not possible to create and perform a show at the level that her fans expect from her.[91][92] However, the tour was never rescheduled and promotion on Bionic ended shortly thereafter.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[44]
The A.V. Club C–[93]
Entertainment Weekly C[30]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[32]
The Independent 3/5 stars[94]
NME 5/10[95]
PopMatters 5/10[33]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[96]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[31]
Spin 6/10[97]

Bionic received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 56, based on 21 reviews.[98] It was heavily criticized as an attempt to take advantage of electropop's popularity and imitate the sound and image of Lady Gaga.[99] Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson said that it is as "efficient a pop entertainment" as was Britney Spears' Circus, but felt that its attempt at hedonistic themes "feels synthetic and compulsory."[31] Andy Gill of The Independent said that, apart from its basic R&B balladry, the album imitates Spears' and Janet Jackson's "electro-R&B schtick" to disguise Aguilera's "lack of any original approach."[94] Jon Pareles, writing in The New York Times, remarked that its musical direction "makes her sound as peer-pressured as a pop singer can be."[34] Omar Kholeif of PopMatters said that the album is not good because of "Aguilera's overzealous penchant for excess",[33] while Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt blamed her "penchant for stock step-class beats and an aggressive, exhausting hypersexuality."[30] The A.V. Club's Genevieve Koski wrote that the album sounds "muddled" because of its heavy reliance on a cadre of songwriters and producers.[93] Dan Martin of NME said that the occasionally "daring" tracks are marred by ordinary house licks that inhibit Aguilera's singing.[95]

In a positive review, AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine viewed that the "robot-diva hybrids are often interesting even when they stumble".[44] Margaret Wappler of the Los Angeles Times said that Aguilera's "hyper-sexed lover bot" persona is the album's "most successful vein".[46] Pete Paphides of The Times gave the album four out of five stars and found it sounding "older and more confident" than her previous work.[100] Kitty Empire, writing in The Observer, found it to be "very strong, but only in parts", and said that its strength "lies in its core limb-shaking sass, even as it confuses girl-on-girl action with sisterhood."[101] Drew Hinshaw of The Village Voice called it "precisely produced club-pop that moves bodies, if not spirits."[36] Alexis Petridis, writing in The Guardian, commented that Bionic is an "occasionally brilliant and brave, occasionally teeth-gritting and stupid album."[32]

Entertainment Weekly later named Bionic the fifth worst album of 2010 in a year-end list.[102] The album was named by Billboard the best mainstream pop album of 2010.[103]

Commercial performance[edit]

Unlike Aguilera's previous studio albums, Bionic had trouble maintaining commercial success in the international markets. On the week ending June 26, 2010,[104] the album debuted at number three on the United States Billboard 200 (first-week sales of 110,000 copies).[105] However, those first-week sales were comparatively less than those of Aguilera's previous studio album, Back to Basics (2006), which hit number one with 346,000 copies sold.[105] The following week the album fell to number nine with sales of 36,388 copies.[106] In its third week, Bionic dropped to number 22.[107] Bionic has sold over 315,000 units and 1.15 million tracks in United States.[108]

The album ranked as the year's 76th-best-selling album in the United States.[109] On the week ending June 26, 2010, Bionic debuted at its peak position, number three, on the Canadian Albums Chart.[110] In the following week, it charted at number nine.[111] In the United Kingdom, Bionic debuted at number one on the Top 40 Albums Chart, becoming Aguilera's second consecutive studio album to enter at the top of the chart[112] with 24,000 copies sold. It became the lowest-selling UK number-one album in eight years[113] but the record was later broken by Marina and the Diamonds and Newton Faulkner in 2012.[114] However, in the album's second week on the UK chart, it made UK chart history when on June 20, it registered the largest drop in chart history for a number one album by falling twenty-eight places to number twenty nine.[115] Bionic fared somewhat better on mainland Europe. On the week commencing June 14, the album entered and peaked at number three on the Australian Albums Chart, by the third week, Bionic descended to number sixteen on the chart.[116] Bionic debuted at number one on the European Top 100 Albums Chart, becoming the singer's second consecutive studio album to top the chart.[117] The album held the top position for one week.[118]

Bionic was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for shipments exceeding 35,000 copies.[119] It also peaked at number eight on the Italian Albums Chart[120] and number six on the Germany Albums Top 100 Chart.[121] The album charted within the top 20 on charts in Poland, Finland and Norway, peaking at number seven, number ten and number 20.[120] On the 23 week of 2010, the album debuted at the top position of the Greek Top 50 Albums Chart getting a gold certification,[122] and replacing Soulfly's Omen.[123] Another successful charting territory for Bionic was Switzerland, where the album peaked at number two.[124] The album charted within the charts top 25 positions for five consecutive weeks.[124] Bionic charted within the top 25 positions in Belgium Flanders and Belgium Wallonia, peaking at number four and 23 respectively.[120] The album also managed to become a top ten hit in Austria, Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, and Sweden.[120] In Denmark, the album peaked at number 12.[120] On the week ending June 12, Bionic debuted on the French Albums Chart at number 23.[120] As of December 2010, it has sold over 10,000 copies there.[125]

Legacy[edit]

In response to the negativism surrounding the album, Aguilera claimed that "Bionic" was ahead of its time. "I can proudly say it was ahead of its time, to be honest," Aguilera told Billboard. "It wasn't so commercialised. You had to really be a music lover, be a true fan of music and the love of being open to really appreciate that record. It's just a special piece in my body of work that will forever live on." She also added: "The older the record gets the more people will come to appreciate it actually and check it out."[126] Daniel Hunt of Ladytron, blamed RCA, saying bluntly that Christina’s label "f***ed up everything" when it came to putting together the final album.[48]

After Aguilera's response, Sam Lansky wrote for MTV Buzzworthy that the album was "precociously brilliant" and "how thrilling most those songs are", claiming that "the songs on the deluxe edition are forward-thinking and even timeless, galactic pop with subversive, ambient production." Lansky noted that "In its own way, Bionic neatly illustrates the dangers artists face when aggressively trying to keep up with 'current' music. As a result, futuristic pop tracks can already sound dated by the time they’re released. And even when they don’t, those chart-chasing songs don’t age particularly gracefully. But two years after the fact, Bionic‘s moments of greatness remain about as good as it gets."[48] In similar vein, Mike Wass of Idolator wrote that "the album holds up better than expected, and is actually an intriguing — if somewhat disjointed and often meandering — collection of songs. Christina’s assertion that she was ahead of the curve is inarguably correct." Wass acknowledged that Aguilera "was the first mainstream artist to call on Australian singer-songwriter Sia, who has since been courted by everyone from Adam Lambert to Rihanna."[127]

Track listing[edit]

Bionic – Standard version
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Bionic"  
3:21
2. "Not Myself Tonight"   Polow da Don 3:05
3. "Woohoo" (featuring Nicki Minaj)
  • Polow da Don
  • Kelly[a]
5:28
4. "Elastic Love"  
  • Hill
  • Switch
3:34
5. "Desnudate"  
  • Stewart
  • Kelly[a]
4:25
6. "Love & Glamour (Intro)"       0:11
7. "Glam"  
  • Aguilera
  • Stewart
  • Kelly
  • Stewart
  • Kelly[a]
3:40
8. "Prima Donna"  
  • Aguilera
  • Stewart
  • Kelly
  • Stewart
  • Kelly[a]
3:26
9. "Morning Dessert (Intro)"   Bernard Edwards, Jr. TheRealFocus... 1:33
10. "Sex for Breakfast"  
  • Aguilera
  • Detail
  • Edwards, Jr.
  • TheRealFocus...
  • Detail[a]
4:49
11. "Lift Me Up"   Linda Perry Perry 4:07
12. "My Heart (Intro)"       0:19
13. "All I Need"  
  • Dixon
  • Furler[a]
3:33
14. "I Am"  
  • Aguilera
  • Furler
  • Dixon
  • Dixon
  • Furler[a]
3:52
15. "You Lost Me"  
  • Aguilera
  • Furler
  • Dixon
  • Dixon
  • Furler[a]
4:17
16. "I Hate Boys"  
  • Aguilera
  • Jones
  • Dean
  • William Tyler
  • Bill Wellings
  • J. J. Hunter
  • Polow da Don
  • Kelly[a]
2:24
17. "My Girls" (featuring Peaches) Le Tigre 3:08
18. "Vanity"  
  • Aguilera
  • Dean
  • Kelly
  • Dean
  • Kelly[a]
4:22
Total length:
59:27
Fan edition

The deluxe fan edition of the album includes:[129]

  • 12" custom designed box
  • Bionic album on 3× vinyl discs
  • Bionic deluxe edition CD with five bonus tracks and additional lenticular album cover
  • 24" × 36" poster with messages from the first 5,000 fans who pre-ordered
Notes
  • ^a signifies a vocal producer
  • "Woohoo" contains a sample from "Add Már, Uram Az Esőt!", as performed by Kati Kovács.[130]
  • "I Hate Boys" contains a sample from "Jungle Juice", written by Bill Wellings and J.J. Hunter, as performed by Elektrik Cokernut.[130]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits for Bionic adapted from AllMusic.[131]

  • Leo Abrahams – Acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Christina Aguilera – Vocals
  • Thomas Aiezza – Assistant Engineer
  • Brian "Fluff" Allison – Assistant Engineer
  • Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli – Conductor
  • Maya Arulpragasam – Composer
  • Brett Banducci – Viola
  • Matt Benefield – Assistant Engineer, Assistant
  • Felix Bloxsom – Percussion, Drums
  • Denise Briese – Contrabass
  • Richard Brown – Assistant Engineer
  • Alejandro Carbollo – Trombone
  • Dan Carey – Mixing
  • Andrew Chavez – Pro-Tools
  • Daphne Chen – Violin, Concert Mistress
  • Matt Cooker – Cello
  • Pablo Correa – Percussion
  • Cameron Craig – Engineer
  • Greg Curtis – Composer
  • Ester Dean – Producer
  • Esther Dean – Composer, Background Vocals
  • Detail – Composer, Vocal Producer
  • Samuel Dixon – Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Celeste, Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
  • Richard Dodd – Cello
  • B. Edwards Jr. – Composer
  • D Face – Artwork
  • Johanna Fateman – Composer
  • Stefanie Fife – Cello
  • Sam Fischer – Violin
  • Sia Furler – Composer, Vocal Producer
  • Brian Gardner – Mastering
  • Terry Glenny – Violin
  • Larry Goldings – Piano
  • Eric Gordain – String Arrangements
  • Josh Gudwin – Engineer
  • Kathleen Hanna – Composer
  • Kalenna Harper – Composer
  • Kuk Harrell – Engineer
  • John Hill – Composer, Producer, Engineer, Instrumentation
  • Jimmy Hogarth – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Engineer
  • Chauncey "Hit-Boy" Hollis – Keyboards
  • J.J. Hunter – Composer
  • Paul Ill – Bass
  • Jaycen Joshua – Mixing
  • Jamal Jones – Composer
  • Josh Mosser – Engineer
  • Claude Kelly – Composer, Background Vocals, Vocal Producer
  • James King – Flute, Alto Sax, Baritone Sax, Tenor Sax, Snake
  • Anna Kostyuchek – Violin
  • Oliver Kraus – Strings, String Arrangements, String Engineer
  • John Krovoza – Cello
  • Marisa Kuney – Violin
  • Victoria Lanier – Violin
  • Alex Leader – Engineer, Assistant Engineer
  • Juan Manuel-Leguizamón – Percussion
  • Ami Levy – Violin
  • Abe Liebhaber – Cello
  • Giancarlo Lino – Assistant
  • Erik Madrid – Assistant
  • Alix Malka – Photography
  • Onika Maraj – Composer
  • Manny Marroquin – Engineer, Mixing
  • Diego Miralles – Cello
  • Julio Miranda – Guitar
  • Kyle Moorman – Pro-Tools
  • Bryan Morton – Engineer
  • Luis Navarro – Assistant
  • Karolina Naziemiec – Viola
  • Neli Nikolaeva – Violin
  • Merrill Nisker – Composer
  • Cameron Patrick – Violin
  • Peaches – Rap
  • Jason Perry – Composer
  • Linda Perry – Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Composer, Keyboards, Programming, Producer, Engineer
  • Radu Pieptea – Violin
  • Christian Plata – Assistant
  • Polow da Don – Producer
  • Oscar Ramirez – Engineer, Vocal Engineer
  • The Real Focus – Producer, Instrumentation
  • Melissa Reiner – Violin
  • David Sage – Viola
  • J.D. Samson – Composer
  • Kellii Scott – Drums
  • Alexis Smith – Assistant Engineer
  • Arturo Solar – Trumpet
  • Audrey Solomon – Violin
  • Eric Spring – Engineer
  • Jay Stevenson – Assistant Engineer
  • Jeremy Stevenson – Engineer
  • Christopher Stewart – Producer, Composer
  • Subskrpt – Engineer, Assistant Engineer
  • Switch – Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Instrumentation
  • Jenny Takamatsu – Violin
  • Tom Tally – Viola
  • Dave Taylor – Composer
  • Brian "B-Luv" Thomas – Engineer
  • Pat Thrall – Engineer
  • Le Tigre – Producer
  • Jason Torreano – Contrabass
  • William Tyler – Composer
  • Randy Urbanski – Assistant
  • Jessica van Velzen – Viola
  • Eli Walker – Engineer
  • Bill Wellings – Composer
  • Amy Wickman – Violin
  • Cory Williams – Engineer
  • Rodney Wirtz – Viola
  • Richard Worn – Contrabass
  • Alwyn Wright – Violin
  • Andrew Wuepper – Engineer
  • Reuben Wu - Composer, Producer

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[162] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[163] Gold 10,000x
Greece (IFPI Greece)[164] Gold 3,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[165] Silver 60,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing country, edition, record label, and catalog number
Region Date Edition Label Catalog
Germany[166][167] June 4, 2010 Standard, Deluxe Sony Music 88697726802
Netherlands[168] 2550009261837
Spain[169]
Australia[170]
France[171] June 7, 2010
Poland[172]
Turkey[173]
Malaysia[174] Deluxe[175]
United Kingdom[176] Standard[177] RCA 88697608672
Deluxe[178] 88697714912
Fan[129]
United States[28] June 8, 2010 Standard[179] 886977148620
Special[180] 886977149122
Fan[28]
Argentina[181] Standard Sony Music
Philippines[182]
Brazil[183] 886976086725
Japan[184] June 9, 2010 Sony Music Japan SICP2604
Taiwan[185] June 11, 2010 Deluxe Sony Music 88697-71491-2
China[186] August 20, 2010 Standard Sony Music

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