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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Aguilera doesn’t rely on others’ opinions to see herself as “Beautiful.” Adversity makes her stronger and wiser on “Fighter.” “I’m Okay” reveals the ugliness and pain of domestic abuse. “Soar” encourages listeners to take flight, overcoming insecurity and doubt. Despite flaws, other tracks value unconditional love (“Loving Me 4 Me”) and relational transparency (“Impossible”). “Can’t Hold Us Down” defends a woman’s right to voice an opinion and demand respect from men. Unfortunately …

Objectionable Content

Its empowerment message urges females to be proudly promiscuous. Sexual material abounds. Some is implied, such as when Aguilera complains that a guy snores in bed (“Underappreciated”) or that another bedmate devours her (“Walk Away”). But it also gets explicit. “Dirrty” uses dancing at a bar to introduce “naughty” sensual activities (the goal is “sweatin’ till my clothes come off”). She gives in to a Latin lover on “Infatuation.” “Get Mine Get Yours” is all about casual sex with no strings attached (“We make love, but don’t fall in love”). Profanities such as “bulls—” intrude. CD art (obscured here) features suggestive and immodest photos.

Summary Advisory

“The Voice Within” tells fans to trust their hearts. If Stripped is the evidence of Aguilera trusting hers, it proves beyond Jeremiah 17:9 that it’s a lousy idea.

Bob Waliszewski
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