The Voice Inside – Christina Aguilera

I’ve never been a Christina Aguilera fan at all, not her records or her image or anything. But this is really terrific. Obviously I knew she had a strong voice, but I didn’t think she had the wit or sensitivity to use it really well. I was wrong.

This starts as a simple little ballad, and the vocal faffing around is mostly kept to a minimum, singing the notes in straightforward fashion, but with feeling. There is some technical gimmickry on the odd word but it’s not too much. Then it builds and builds and in no time Christina has reached power levels beyond the grasp of 99% of others and she keeps going, and by the time very late on when a gospel choir fires up in the background and she nonetheless finds even more force (this isn’t just volume, it’s texture and character and feeling in the voice) to still dominate, I was completely won over. It’s one of the best vocal performances I’ve heard in a long time.

I said something about this record the other day, and guessed that she’d still look completely terrible in the vid, but I just saw that too and I’m wrong – classily filmed B&W, simple little silvery dress, black hair, looking sexy, the camera just pointed at her and staying there, but best of all she acts the song well. This is tremendous stuff, and makes me feel like listening to her other records again, see if I feel differently about that, as I really don’t know if I will.