Let There Be Love (Christina Aguilera song)
|"Let There Be Love"|
|Song by Christina Aguilera from the album Lotus|
|Recorded||MXM Studios (Stockholm) and The Red Lips Room (Beverly Hills, California)|
"Let There Be Love" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera for her seventh studio album, Lotus (2012). It was written and produced by Max Martin and Shellback, with additional writing from Bonnie McKee, Oliver Goldstein, Oscar Holter and Jakke Erixson. Having originally collaborated with other producers in her earlier works, Aguilera stated that the "full circle" her career had taken became the right time to work with Martin. The song combines dance-pop, EDM and pop music genres, and is influenced by electronica and trance. Its instrumentation incorporates synths, drums and electronics.
"Let There Be Love" garnered positive reviews from music critics. Many praised Aguilera for not over singing and delivering a solid vocal performance, while others complimented the musical structure and composition. The song peaked at number 132 on the South Korea international singles chart following the release of the album, and at number one on the US Dance Club Songs chart.
On August 29, 2013, an accompanying music video for the song was released on Aguilera's official channel. It features cameo appearances from Nicole Richie, Christina Milian, Chris Mann, Aguilera's son Max Bratman and her current boyfriend Matthew Rutler. The video sees everybody makes the "L" sign for the word "love", alongside positive messages, such as "Racism sucks", "Accept", and "Amo a mi hijo gay" ("I love my gay son"). It was described as a "soulful, and completely inexplicable, letter to her fans thanking them for their undying love". To promote Lotus and the song, Aguilera performed "Let There Be Love" at the 40th American Music Awards and on The Voice in the United States.
Background and recording
Following the release of her sixth studio album, Bionic (2010), Aguilera filed for divorce from her husband Jordan Bratman, starred in her first feature film, Burlesque and recorded the accompanying soundtrack. She then became a coach on NBC's singing competition show The Voice and appeared as a featured artist on Maroon 5's single "Moves Like Jagger" (2011), which spent four weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following these events, Aguilera announced that had plans to begin production of her seventh album, stating that she wanted high quality and "personal" songs for the record. Regarding the creative direction, she revealed that the album would be a "culmination of everything I've experienced up until this point ... I've been through a lot since the release of my last album, being on ('The Voice'), having had a divorce ... This is all sort of a free rebirth for me." She further said "I'm embracing many different things, but it's all feel-good, super-expressive [and] super-vulnerable." Aguilera continued to say that the album would be about "self–expression and freedom" because of the personal struggles she had overcome during the last couple of years.
Speaking about her new material during an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2012, Aguilera said that the recording process for Lotus was taking a while because "I don't like to just get songs from producers. I like them to come from a personal place ... I'm very excited. It's fun, exciting, introspective, it's going to be great". Recorded at MXM Studios by Shellback in Stockholm, Sweden, "Let There Be Love" was written by Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Bonnie McKee, Oliver Goldstein, Oscar Holter and Jakke Erixson. It was produced by Martin and Shellback. Aguilera's vocals were recorded by Oscar Ramirez at The Red Lips Room in Beverly Hills in California; the background vocals engineer was Sam Holland. Programming and keyboards were carried out by Shellback and additional keyboards were performed by Holter, Erixson and Martin.
Aguilera explained how she and Max Martin had met early on in her career, but it was a creative and mutual decision not to collaborate with each other at that stage in her career as she wanted to explore different avenues. However, she felt at this point in her career with Lotus, it was the right time to work together, stating:
I definitely don't go the straight and narrow path, and you know, I definitely kinda like to experiment and collaborate. And so, I think it's taken me and Max this long to work together because of that, because what he does is genius and he is a classic hitmaker. But when I was coming out it was at a time when we had the huge pop explosion, and he was all over radio and I just wanted to work with others like Linda Perry and do that route and do "Beautiful" and songs like that. We built a level of respect for each other. So at this point, coming together, especially embracing my true pop-starness, at this point in my career having come full circle, I was able to really truly embrace it, and embrace him. He gave me the freedom to really sing on these songs, and have a little more creative freedom because I heard he is a stickler for melody and a melody king and I was scared, I was like 'Oh my God! I won't be able to collaborate here.' But he couldn't have been more great, and this is a really fun song, super up-tempo. It's probably the most dancey-ish song on my record, but it's called 'Let There Be Love' but it's free and representative of what this album is about.
Composition and lyrics
A 19 second audio sample of "Let There Be Love"
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"Let There Be Love" combines a multitude of genres. It is a dance-pop, electronic dance music (EDM), and pop music song. It also contains electronica and trance influences. It lasts for a duration of three minutes and 22 seconds. The instrumental consists of "a propulsive beat and chewy synths", as well as "loud drums" and "overwhelming" electronica. According to Kitty Empire for The Guardian, the song is "about as formulaic as club pop gets" but "resonates effectively." Andrew Hampp for Billboard compared the song's instrumental to two songs recorded by Usher, "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" and "Scream", both of which were produced by Martin. He also noted that Aguilera was probably aware that the "Let There Be Love"'s melody bared strong resemblances to the songs, which most likely prompted her to spend "the last minute wailing all over the place." Aguilera "roars" the lyrics "Let there be let there be love/ Here in the here in the dark" over trance beats and projects a "saucy" tone as she sings ""Hit the right spot, making my eyes roll back."
"Let There Be Love" garnered positive reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine for Allmusic complimented Aguilera's approach to the song, writing that she sounds "comfortable" and "fresh," while Andrew Hampp for Billboard wrote that it is a club friendly song but does not show much personality. Chris Younie for 4Music thought that it is obvious from the "initial stabs of synth" that "Let There Be Love" will resonate "Ibiza type" beats. He continued to write that Aguilera had managed to create a "dance anthem" without the assistance of Calvin Harris. The Huffington Post writer Mesfin Fekadu thought that Martin's production of "Let There Be Love" was superior to "Your Body", citing it as "typical" but potentially successful on radio. Jim Farber for New York Daily News praised the song, writing that it is "a prime disco diva anthem".
MTV News writer Christina Garibaldi praised the uptempo track, writing that its "heavy beat" and "sultry lyrics" were perfect for people to dance to in nightclubs. Jenna Hally Rubenstein for MTV Buzzworthy noted that it is easy to become addicted to listening to "Let There Be Love", and that Aguilera's vocals "prevail above the noise." Both Sam Lanksy and Mike Wass for Idolator reviewed "Let There Be Love": Lanksy predicted that the song had the potential to be a "monster hit", and complimented Aguilera for not over singing the song, which he described as "epic." Wass shared Lanksy's sentiments and elaborated that the production serves as the "perfect destination" for her "powerhouse pipes". Michael Gallucci for PopCrush thought that the song was not quite as good as "Your Body" and described it as "typical pop." However, he criticized Aguilera's vocal performance, stating that her "big voice" should be able to be heard above the instrumental.
Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani thought that "Let There Be Love" would have been a better lead single choice than "Your Body", as she felt it would have ensured Aguilera a greater comeback. Cinquemani described the song as "a virtual hybrid of recent club bangers by Rihanna, Britney, Katy, and Ke$ha." Robert Copsey for Digital Spy thought that the song's weakness is also its strength, describing it as "a massive clubby raveathon that is ultimately throwaway, but in the best possible way." Annie Zaleski for The A.V. Club criticized the song as "faceless Top 40 EDM." Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly found the "bouncy peace-flag-waver" lyrics of the song contradictory and difficult to comprehend because of "a bonus track called 'Shut Up' that invites the haters to 'suck my [dick].'"
The music video for "Let There Be Love" was premiered on Aguilera's official channel on YouTube on August 29, 2013. The clip was official released few hours after she posted a 2000-word thank you message to fans on her official website on August 28, 2013. A part of the letter reads,
I may get quiet at times, but when I do have something to say, I mean every word. I decided to share my thoughts with you at length and tell you openly how I feel. Thank you for filling my soul with melody and song … lyrics and love … and giving me a safe place I feel comforted in being brave enough to always bare my soul and come from an honest and genuine place. Be fearless enough to be a conversation piece … Speak your own truth… As always, thank you for accepting me for who I am. Being human – flaws and all.
The music video for "Let There Be Love" was filmed in a DIY style. In the music video, Aguilera is seen in her one-piece swimsuit with the world "love" written all over it. It also featured guest appearances from Nicole Richie, Christina Milian, Chris Mann, Aguilera's son, Max Bratman, and her current boyfriend Matthew Rutler. The video begins with Aguilera' message, "Hey everybody Chrisitina here just thanking you guys so much for filling my life and my heart with so much love continued throughout the years... Standing by me, I appreciate all your support, this one is just for you". Everybody is seen joking around with another friend as they make the "L" sign for "love" with their hands, as well as holding up signs with positive messages such as "Don't judge", "Equality", "Racism sucks", "Accept", and "Amo a mi hijo gay" ("I love my gay son"), while Aguilera's son Bratman "excitedly" "shows off his dancing chops". At the end, Aguilera blows a kiss to the camera.
Upon its release, the music video for "Let There Be Love" garnered acclaim from media outlets. Lily Harrison from E! Online labelled it "nothing short of adorable". Similarly, John Walker for MTV Buzzworthy named it "flawless". New York Daily News writer Rachel Maresca complimented on Aguilera's new figure, "she looks happier and healthier than ever as she bops around smiling ear-to-ear in swimsuits showing off her trimmed-down figure", while Allison Takeda from US Weekly commented that Aguilera's look in the video is "slim and gorgeous". Writing for the Daily Mail, George Stark commented that perhaps the clip "might enjoy a new lease of life". According to Sam Lansky for Idolator, the video's message is a "soulful, and completely inexplicable, letter to her fans thanking them for their undying love". Malene Arpe for the Toronto Star was positive toward the clip, calling it a "perfect antidote to a week of thinking about the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke porn circus". She continued, "Aguilera's new video is so sweet and innocent and full of goodwill towards humanity, it will make you forget all about twerking and foam fingers and the inherent greasiness of Robin Thicke". Nina Terrero for NBC Latino compared the video for "Let There Be Love" to Aguilera's previous video for "Beautiful" (2002) for the same positive portrayal of the LGBT community.
Aguilera performed "Let There Be Love" for the first time at the 40th American Music Awards on November 18, 2012, held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. As one of the first singers to be announced as a performer at the award ceremony on October 19, 2012, Aguilera sang "Let There Be Love" as part of a medley with two other tracks from Lotus: "Lotus Intro" and "Army of Me". During an interview with MTV News, Aguilera revealed what the performance would be like and the creative direction behind it:
It's very exciting. It's definitely going to be a reflection of what Lotus means to me. If you take that album cover and give it a little performance twist, I'll bring that album cover to life, so it's going to be really fun. I can't give too much away about the songs, but it's definitely going to represent the album because the album is very multilayered. It doesn't represent 'Your Body' as a single tone. It has its ballads; and everything comes from a very sincere, deep–rooted place whether it's having fun or being vulnerable.
Wearing a "fuller–figure" "cinched in corset" designed by The Blonds, who also design outfits for Lady Gaga, Leah Simpson for the Daily Mail wrote that Aguilera put a "sexy twist on patriotism with a star–spangled bodysuit and managed to get a few pulses racing in the over–the–top ensemble." The performance featured dance routines and dancers wearing "torture bags labelled the words 'Freak' and 'Queen' over their heads." Bruna Nessif for E! Online described the performance as "interesting," and noted that the theme "to celebrate everyone for who they are" was similar to the moral content presented on Gaga's album Born This Way (2011). As Aguilera finished her set, she was joined on stage by Pitbull to perform his song "Feel This Moment", on which she is a featured artist. Aguilera also performed "Let There Be Love" with her team of aspiring singers on The Voice, a singing competition on which she is a coach.
Credits and personnel
- Recorded at MXM Studios, Stockholm, Sweden.
- Vocals recorded at The Red Lips Room, Beverly Hills, CA.
- Songwriting – Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Bonnie McKee, Oliver Goldstein, Oscar Holter, Jakke Erixson
- Production – Max Martin, Shellback
- Recording – Shellback
- Vocal recording – Oscar Ramirez
- Background vocals engineer – Sam Holland
- Programming and keyboards – Shellback
- Additional keyboards – Oscar Holter, Jakke Erixson, Max Martin
Upon the release of Lotus, "Let There Be Love" debuted on the South Korea Gaon Single Chart at number 132 during the week of November 11 to 17, 2012. In the United States, the song debuted at number 44 on the Dance Club Songs chart on February 18, 2013. It reached number one with the issue dated June 1, 2013. With "Let There Be Love" attaining the number one position on the chart, it upped her total tally to seven number-one songs, and the second from Lotus to reach the peak, after "Your Body" in December 2012.
|South Korea (Gaon)||132|
|Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)||5|
|US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)||2|
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