Twenty years ago today, Christina Aguilera released her breakthrough single Genie in a Bottle and while her career has had many peaks, honorary mention to Dirrty from her vastly underappreciated 2002 album Stripped, she's had to pick up from the failures of 2012's Lotus and 2010's Bionic, dusting herself off on Liberation.
Lead single Accelerate, which was produced by Kanye West, is a tectonic hip-hop song at its core, shifting gears and tempos while rappers Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz lay a gritty backdrop with Aguilera taking control.
Instead of treating this album as an Olympic opening ceremony for her voice, Aguilera plays restraint and it suits her. Apart from Fall In Line, the shaky duet with Demi Lovato, the larger-than-life ballads we're used to hearing from her take the backseat. Her voice trickles over woozy dancehall beats on Right Moves and on the playful Like I Do, she flirts with 25-year-old rapper GoldLink, teaching him all she knows.
With producers like Anderson Paak and MNEK on board, the pace has been reset for Aguilera. She might be 20 years a pop star but with Liberation, she's finally found her voice.