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Christina Aguilera - 'Not Myself Tonight'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:32 UK time, Sunday, 16 May 2010

Christina Aguilera

I do love a self-defeating song title, me. I loved it when One Night Only released a song called 'Just For Tonight' (reiterated their band name); I loved it when Paul Weller released the most generically Paul Wellery song of his entire, massively varied back catalogue, and called it 'The Changingman'; and now I love that Christina Aguilera has released a song which deliberately encourages us, her audience to think back to the days when she was the girl who put the rrs in dirty, and called it 'Not Myself Tonight'

I mean, clearly you ARE yourself tonight, dearie. Your old self. We know. We've seen it before.

(Can't show you the video. Hoo MAMA!)

I think part of the problem is the trajectory of her career. The way she handled the transition from Disney show-off, to throatal hooterizer, to glistening sex wrestler, to '40s jazz trollop has been so perfect, ending on a note of "and this is really me" and a break to have a baby. Now she's moved back into that electrosexy thing, and it feels like her first properly backwards step.

It's a bit like the absence of a rowdy house guest, who you miss when they're not there and then they come back and you realise your tolerance muscles have got a little flabby since you last spent time together. Certainly watching the video requires an extra layer or two of protective skin on your eyes, but that's only to be expected.

In the end, what with all the whispering and sexymoaning and shoehorned-in swearing, what with the one-riff monotony and the sense that Christina is chasing after modern R&B, rather than the other way around, there's just something a bit too eager for attention about this as a comeback song.

The good bits are great - harmonies and chorus, basically - and Christina is in fine voice as you'd expect, but there's no escaping the feeling that she's only getting up in our collective grill once again with the sexy and the 'tude because she wants to prove she still can. And that's great, I just wish she could also prove why it's important that we know this.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: May 17th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Digital Spy says: "After a few spins it becomes clear that this is far from a flop."

The Prophet Blog says: "Not Myself Tonight' is literally the club banger to end all club bangers (for the time being at least)."

Pink Is The New Blog says: "I swear I'm not trying to make the predictable Britney Spears comparison but... this song kinda sounds like a Britney Spears song."


  • Comment number 1.

    Fraser, is that a deliberate reference to Spaced in the review, or am I giving you too much credit?

    If it's deliberate, I think I may love you even more than I did before.

  • Comment number 2.

    Fraser, you've hit the nail on the head when talking about Christina's comeback. It's a bit of a step back when this song is supposed to be from a "futuristic album".

    Glad you gave a shout-out to The Prophet Blog in the other reviews section (so glad its back!). It is the (second) best music blog out there!

  • Comment number 3.

    Lol my first ever post.

    Anyway, in my opinion I think that the song is really good, though similar has been done before. Indeed, Aguilera's dulcet tones make this song a cracker, I would have given it 4 stars.

    However, the video is too Lady GaGa-esque. The whole wardrobe burning, lady fondling, S&M premise is very similar to that of Bad Romance and tbh the Aguilera isn't helping herself since people had previously said that she is trying to copy the Lady. Even her poses in the video were very similar to GaGa. Tut tut...

  • Comment number 4.

    Welcome RahRah. Yeah I had initially given this 4 stars myself, I think it sounded like it would make a splash when it was first released but after repeat listens, I just find the song quite boring which hasn't boded so well for Christina. The song started out at #23 before slipping to #49/

    The video is garbage as far as I'm concerned. Xtina is clearly trying to cause controversy but hello - sex acts (both hertrosexual and homosexual), S&M, creepy make up, wardrobe burning, churches - all done before in pop videos - and with much better purpose.

  • Comment number 5.

    I think I understand Liam's boredom with the song - its almost too radio friendly that it gets stale quickly. I'm a sucker for radio friendly songs lately so I love this.

  • Comment number 6.

    ^^^Oops, that comment was supposed to go on the B.o.B. thread. Fail on my part.

  • Comment number 7.

    Its not very good on first listen a bit weak but after a while...It gets worse. I think she should stop singing bad songs. Dirty was good - my mum like that one

  • Comment number 8.

    Omds, I only have ne thing to say about this song and it's overkill of a video.


    When I heard people were comapring her to Lady GaGa I just thought what a load of rubbish, Christina can stand on her own to feet without weird costumes or shoving the sex act in your face.

    But then I saw the video and re-thunked my thinkings. Christina has the voice which should make all other artists think 'Why do I bother?', but even though she giving the old pipes some welly and show-casing her stunning powerhouse vocals, the video detracts from the enjoyment of the song in my opinion. Every time I see the video, I find myself concentrating more on the unnecessary S&M PVC and Gimp balls rather than the song.

    I think the song is a grower, but it most certainly does not need that video. It's just too much.

    3 stars.

  • Comment number 9.

    When you have had NUMBER 1 singles as brilliant as Genie in a Bottle , Lady Marmalade , Beautiful and Dirrrty , a comeback single after a long time away , has got to be in their league or even better .

    Sadly , this song isn't , and in a commercial sense , this will fail to make the top 10 singles chart .

    It sounds generic , will struggle to embrace a lot of radio stations , and to me is a major disappointment .

    Hope the next single charms me .

  • Comment number 10.

    Christina's next single will be Woo-Hoo featuring Nicki Minaj. It's very urban...and sexual.

  • Comment number 11.

    I might like it then , I do like "sexual!"

  • Comment number 12.

    Don't we all! But the song isn't futuristic at all. It actually sounds similar to her Lil' Kim collaboration from 2002's Stripped - Can't Hold Us Down.

  • Comment number 13.


    I hate her and everything about her, ever since 'BedRock' - which, incidentally was crap - everything she's done or even said makes me dislike her more and more.

    But, on another note, announcing a second single only a week after the UK release and two after the US one, does this mean her record label know this song isn't going to do that well?

    Christina should know better than to collaborate with Nicki Minaj, I hope she doesn't try to rap in it, oh dear, Lord I think I may have given up on Flop-tina. There. I said it. I wish I could say she was better than that but, a comeback should be AMAZING; she really wasn't herself when she thought 'Not Myself Tonight' would make a good comeback single.

  • Comment number 14.

    Agreed - this song is not good enough for a comeback

    I agreed with one of the other blogs that compared to Britney. This sounds like a filler track from the Blackout album. What was Christina thikning of making a comeback with a song/style that mimics other bigger artists already out. She was doing the reinvention thing previously for each album, which worked for her, but this is regurgitation of other artists. shame.

    however, next track with nicki minaj - personally i think it's better, will get better responses in clubs, but not sure about the charts.

  • Comment number 15.

    please don't go back to being 'dirty' it is and always was disgusting.

  • Comment number 16.

    nicoley, you're gunna LURRRRRRRRRRVE 'Woo-Hoo', Christina's sexed-up, eupemistic follow-up to 'Not Myself Tonight'.

    A gander at Christina's 'Woo-Hoo' anyone?



  • Comment number 17.

    To be honest Dirrty is still the best song she's ever done, not sure about Woo Hoo though doesn't Nicki Minaj just sound exactly like Missy Elliot?

  • Comment number 18.

    I despise nicki minaj heavily.
    This was a terrible song for a comeback, sounds like she's been digging in gaga's and britney's reject pile.
    The video isn't too bad in my opinion, a little desperate, but hey, has anyone seen the "Te Amo" video? That just a bad...albeit a little subtler

  • Comment number 19.

    @17 what?!? What about ain't no other man? Classic


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