Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
June 03, 2003
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Christina Aguilera argued that for her latest album Stripped, the telos was a divorce from the pubescent coating that contractual obligations had forced upon her. so she promoted the work as though it was to represent a kind of emancipation or catharsis. but really, that's not it. it's about the skank. i'm not saying that her eponymous debut was any better--'Genie in a Bottle' made me want to join the NRA on occasion--but her follow-up seems to be a false kind of emancipation. unlike, say, Goldfrapp who made sexuality into an art on Black Cherry (see prior review), Stripped was just 'dirty pop.' so it looks like she went from an idol for 12-year old girls to a toy for 21-year old guys. it bothers me that she felt as though the only way to abjure herself of that unfortunate history was to skankify (yes, that's an ad lib) herself.

but...Jewel didn't at all have to do that. though i never really liked her previous works--frankly i thought they were so histrionically lugubrious that i couldn't find a corpuscle of enjoyment--i did appreciate the fact that she did them honestly. i believed that my picky criticisms were testament to her artistic dilligence and authority; it wasn't possible for me to dismiss her entire work as feckless. then there's 0304 Jewel who seems to be a clone from Atlantic. the video for the first single 'Intuition' is...well...confusing. is she ridiculing the uber-marketing of the music industry or is she merely marketing herself? between the obvious jabs at beverage and clothing companies one can't help but noticed the fact that it's a pop song, music meant specifically for quick satisfaction. then there's the song titles: 'Run 2 U,' '2 Find U,' '2 Become 1,' 'Yes U Can,' 'U and Me=Love.' WHAT?! i'm sorry but phonetic dictation went out of style with AOL version 6.0. it's surely not fitting for a 29-year old [former] folk singer-songwriter. then there's Jewel herself who, for the sake of the music, had to undergo a complete makeover including dance moves, skin-tight clothing, and new skank batteries. i swear, this album would be funny if it weren't so tragic!!

Release date: June 3, 2003
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Rating: 1.0 / 10