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Music Review: Christina Aguilera - Liberation

Christina Aguilera Liberation

Uneven albums and a long stint as a coach on TV’s The Voice kept Christina Aguilera from cementing her status as one of pop’s most gifted singers. Now she’s broken free and found her way with this, her eighth album and first in over five years. Mixing hip-hop, reggae and dance elements with her signature power ballads, the 15-track collection is Aguilera’s unwavering statement of independence and self-discovery. Always adept at picking collaborators, she teams up with Kanye West on the infectious “Accelerate” and “Maria” and with Anderson. Paak on the edgy “Sick of Sittin.’” “Right Moves” is a sexy island-flavoured workout, while the Julia Michaels-penned “Deserve” is an anguished r&b confessional. But it doesn’t get any better than “Fall in Line,” Aguilera’s feminist duet with Demi Lovato, and the gorgeous ballad “Unless It’s With You.” Soaring, surging and at times touchingly tender, the latter confirms Aguilera as the emotional queen of powerhouse vocals.

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