|Song by Christina Aguilera|
|from the album Lotus|
|Recorded||2012Westlake Studios (Los Angeles, CA);|
|Lotus track listing|
"Lotus Intro" is a song recorded by American singer Christina Aguilera for her seventh studio album, Lotus (2012). Written by Aguilera, Dwayne Abernathy, Candice Pillay and Alex da Kid, the song is about her rebirth as an artist, and is a representation of the symbolic nature of the Lotus Flower. "Lotus Intro" was created from Aguilera's passion for "chill-out" electronica music, and incorporates electronic and electronica styles. A sample of M83's "Midnight City" was originally included in the demo, but was ultimately not cleared.
Upon its release, "Lotus Intro" garnered mixed reviews from music critics; some complimented its hypnotizing melody, while others stated the song's name is misleading, as the track is a full-length song, and not a short introduction. Aguilera first performed "Lotus Intro" at the 40th American Music Awards on November 18, 2012, as part of a medley with Lotus tracks "Army of Me" and "Let There Be Love". Upon the release of the album, the song debuted at number 165 on the South Korean international singles chart, selling 1,898 copies.
Background and recording
A 19 second sample of "Lotus Intro"
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After the release of Aguilera's sixth studio album, Bionic (2010), which failed to generate sales, she divorced from her husband Jordan Bratman, made her acting debut in a film called Burlesque and recorded its accompanying soundtrack. The singer then became a coach on NBC's singing contest show The Voice and appeared as a guest vocalist 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 she wanted to record her seventh album, stating that she wanted high quality and "personal" songs to record. 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 continued to say that "I'm embracing many different things, but it's all feel-good, super-expressive [and] super-vulnerable." She further expressed 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 on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2012, Aguilera revealed that the album was taking a while to record 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". "Lotus Intro" was inspired by Aguilera's passion for "chill-out" electronica. Recorded at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California by Josh Mosser, "Lotus Intro" was written by Christina Aguilera, Dwayne Abernathy, Candice Pillay, Alexander Grant, and it was produced by Alex da Kid and Dem Jointz. Aguilera's vocals were recorded by Oscar Ramirez at The Red Lips Room in Beverly Hills, California, while Aguilera and Pillay conducted the vocal production. Mike Delo Rio contributed additional vocals on the track, and J Browz added additional strings. The original demo of the track included a sample of M83's "Midnight City", but it was not approved and therefore not included on the final version.
Composition and critical reception
"Lotus Intro" is an electronic music song which lasts for a duration of 3:17; it was inspired by Aguilera's passion for electronica. It has a "hypnotic" yet "dark, serious" tone which develops and matures as it progresses, depicting Aguilera's rebirth, similar to the life cycle of a Lotus Flower. The track opens with tribal chant by Aguilera, who sings the line "Rise up lotus, rise/ This is the beginning" over a "heavy" hip hop beat. Aguilera sings the lyrics "I look at my reflection and embrace the woman I've become/ The unbreakable lotus in me, I now set free" over electronic "bleeps and beeps". Some of the opening lyrics, including "Rise up/ This is the beginning" and "Leave the past behind", serve as a mission statement for the rest of the album. Despite claiming to "submerge from hurt, pain, broken pieces" and "leave the past behind/ say goodbye to the scared child inside," Andrew Hampp for Billboard felt that the singer "still has a few scores to settle." According to Robert Copsey for Digital Spy, the singer explains how the a Lotus Flower is "the unbreakable flower" in the lyrics "To the sky I rise/ Spread my wings and fly". He further wrote that the listener could be fooled by the title "Lotus Intro", as it is a full length song and not a short introduction. Sarah Godfrey for The Washington Post was critical of Aguilera's vocal performance, writing that although the singer's strength is her voice, she sounds "modulated beyond recognition".
Aguilera performed "Lotus Intro" 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, Aguilera sang "Lotus Intro" as part of a medley with two other tracks from Lotus: "Let There Be Love" 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 over their heads with the words 'Freak' and 'Queen' printed on them. 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, the singer was joined on stage by Pitbull to perform his song "Feel This Moment", on which she is a featured artist.
Credits and personnel
- Recorded at Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
- Vocals recorded at The Red Lips Room, Beverly Hills, CA.
- Songwriting – Christina Aguilera, Dwayne Abernathy, Candice Pillay, Alexander Grant
- Production – Alex da Kid, Dem Jointz
- Recording – Josh Mosser
- Vocal recording – Oscar Ramirez
- Vocal production – Christina Aguilera, Candice Pillay
- Additional vocals – Mike Del Rio
- Additional strings – J Browz
|South Korea (Gaon)||165|
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- Godfrey, Sarah (November 12, 2012). "Album review: 'Lotus' by Christina Aguilera". The Washington Post. Katharine Weymouth. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- Warner, Kara (October 9, 2012). "Christina Aguilera Teases AMA Performance Inspired By Lotus Cover". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- Simpson, Leah (November 19, 2012). "Christina Aguilera is unapologetic about her curvy figure as she spills out of two costume changes at the AMAs". Daily Mail. Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- Nessif, Bruna (November 18, 2012). "2012 American Music Awards: Best & Worst From the Show, Plus Full Winner's List". E! Online. E!. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- "South Korea Gaon International Chart (Week: November 11, 2012 to November 17, 2012)". Gaon Chart. November 17, 2012. Archived from the original (The URL will open up the South Korea national singles chart. To view international, click the right hand box out of three above the orange 'number one' position. Then above the chart table on the right, select 2012 instead of 2013 and then select November 11 to 17, then at the bottom of the page, click 101-200 chart position link) on December 19, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2013.