Save Me from Myself (Christina Aguilera song)
|"Save Me from Myself"|
|Song by Christina Aguilera from the album Back to Basics|
|Back to Basics track listing|
"Save Me from Myself" is a song by American recording artist Christina Aguilera, taken from her fifth studio album Back to Basics (2006). The song was written by Aguilera, Linda Perry and Bill Bottrell, with production handled by Perry. Inspired by Aguilera's marriage with her then-husband Jordan Bratman, the track is an acoustic ballad which talks about her appreciation for a husband whose "love and dedication has given her a longed-for security."
Upon the release of Back to Basics, "Save Me from Myself" received mainly positive reviews from music critics, who praised its melody as well as Aguilera's restrained vocals and deemed it as one of the stand-out tracks from the album. A music video for the song was shot after the birth of her son, showing Aguilera's personal footage of her marriage, as well as scenes featuring she performing the song with Linda Perry playing the guitar. It was covered by American singer Jordin Sparks.
Background and recording
Aguilera's fifth studio album, Back to Basics, is made up of two discs. Aguilera worked with "more beat-driven" producers on the first disc, such as DJ Premier and Mark Ronson, who included samples in the production. The second disc consists solely of collaborations with producer Linda Perry. Aguilera sent letters to different producers that she hoped could help her with the direction she was taking for the project, encouraging them to experiment, re-invent and create a modern soul feel. For the second disc, Aguilera said, "We creatively went into our own zone and our own world together. 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." "Save Me from Myself" was written by Aguilera, Perry and Bill Bottrell, while production was handled by Perry.
Composition and lyrics
A 20 second sample of the song
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"Save Me from Myself" is an acoustic song, written in the key of E major. It has a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. It is followed by a chord progression of Cm–Gm7 in the verses. Aguilera's vocal range on the song span from the low-note of E3 to the high-note of F5. The song distinguishes itself from the jazz, blues and soul-inspired musical style of Back to Basics, drawing inspiration from country rock, which is similar to works done by Shelby Lynne, according to Paul Flynn from The Guardian. Contradict to Aguilera's signature vocal belting, the track features Aguilera's soft vocals. Lyrically, "Save Me from Myself" is inspired by Aguilera's marriage with her then-husband Jordan Bratman. It talks about her appreciation for a husband whose "love and dedication has given her a longed-for security." This is exemplified on the lyrics "Well tomorrow may be shaky / But you never turn away." At the chorus, Aguilera whispers, "Don't ask me why I'm crying/'Cause when I start to crumble/You know how to keep me smiling."
Most music critics were positive towards "Save Me from Myself". Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine praised the "restrained performance from the singer on the moving track", calling it "easily the best song on the album's second side." Amanda Murray of Sputnikmusic wrote the song "particularly stands out", calling it "tasteful and almost seems to want to slip in undetected," also praising "the subtle, quiet vocal work on the track." Chris Evans of Blogcritics called it "one of Aguilera's best songs and vocal performances to date," that "takes the sexy diva's music to a new emotional level." Evans also wrote that, "There are times on the track where it's so incredibly personal I literally feel like Christina is sitting right in front of me with a guitar singing the song in my face." Evans also praised Linda Perry for "stripping down Christina's vocals to the hushed, intimate singing we hear on the record – wiping away the ultra-melisma divalicious over singing we're used to from Miss Aguilera."
For Dorian Lyskey of The Guardian, 'Save Me from Myself' "cracks open the super diva to reveal something like a real person inside, tenderly cooing her admiration for new husband Jordan Bratman in a warm voice that sounds, for once, like it's aimed at one human ear rather than an entire Super Bowl crowd." John Murphy of musicOMH called it "a quiet, fragile little ballad with Aguilera at last remembering to add some restraint to her vocals." Thomas Inskeep of Stylus Magazine called it "an affecting track, largely just Aguilera’s naked voice and a softly plucked acoustic guitar (with some orchestral touches in the background)."
"Save Me from Myself" was listed two times as one of Aguilera's top ten best songs by Yahoo! Voices. The first time was in 2009, where the song was listed at number 7, the author Nicole M. wrote the following, "One of the best songs of her career appears on the Back to Basic album. Save Me From Myself had Ms. Aguilera trading in the high notes and vocal tricks she had become famous for with a soft melody, matched by an even softer, natural voice. The song, sung almost in a whisper, sounds more like a lullaby than an ode to the man who managed to let himself into her life. 'Save Me From Myself' not only showed off a different vocal side to Aguilera, it also showcased a fearless side to her as well." In 2010, Jessica Eisenberg also listed the song at number 7, writing, "Subtle, sweet, and sentimental, this song is so touching. Never has she held back so much on a vocal! Sung primarily in a light, airy, head voice, we see a side of Christina we have never heard before. I'd love to hear more songs sung in this lovely, soft tone. It truly shows she can sing anything and pull of any touching subject matter she chooses."
After giving birth to her son Max Liron Bratman, on January 12, 2008, Aguilera posted a message on her official website the following day, stating,
"Dear fans, today is a very joyful and special day for Jordan and I as we welcome our first son into this world. In honor of our love for each other and our growing family, I have put together a special video for the song 'Save Me From Myself' off my Back to Basics album. This video is very dear to me as it includes actual footage from our personal wedding video! Just a little something to say 'thank you' for your undying love and support. It is in no small part because of you that I live such a blessed and wonderful life! Please download and enjoy... With all my love, Christina."
During the video, the singer is seen behind the scenes preparing for her special day, wearing a body-hugging lace gown, with a plunging neckline. Later she is seen during her first dance with husband Jordan Bratman, in the flamenco style gown.
Credits and personnel
- Christina Aguilera – Songwriting, vocals
- Linda Perry – Mixing, producing, songwriting
- Bill Bottrell – Congas, guitars,
- The Section Quartet – strings
- Daphne Chen, Eric Gorfain – Violin
- Leah Katz – Viola
- Richard Dodd – Cello
Credits adapted from liner notes of Back to Basics, RCA Records.
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- Aguilera, Christina (2006). Back to Basics (liner notes). Christina Aguilera. RCA Records
- "Christina Aguilera 'Save Me from Myself' Music Sheet". Musicnotes.com. Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- Flynn, Paul (August 12, 2006). "Christina Aguilera, Back to Basics". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
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- Sal Cinquemani (August 8, 2006). "Christina Aguilera: Back to Basics". Slant Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- Amanda Murray (August 27, 2006). "Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics". Sputnikmusic. =Jeremeny Ferwerda. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
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- Thomas Innskeep (August 31, 2006). "Christina Aguilera - Back to Basics - Review". Stylus Magazine. Todd Burns. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- M., Nicole (May 6, 2009). "The Top Ten Songs by Christina Aguilera". Yahoo! Voices. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Eisenberg, Jessica (June 3, 2010). "Best Christina Aguilera Songs - Yahoo Voices". Yahoo! Voices. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Dam, Julie (January 13, 2008). "Christina Aguilera & Jordan Bratman Have a Boy - Babies, Christina Aguilera: People.com". People Magazine. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Staff, MTV News (January 13, 2008). "Christina Aguilera Gives Birth To Baby Boy". MTV News. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- "Christina Aguilera celebrates birth of son Max – and releases unseen footage of her wedding". Daily Mail. January 14, 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2013.