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Christina Aguilera MEN Arena, Manchester

Posted by LA ARGENTINIDAD ...AL PALO en noviembre 25, 2006

Christina Aguilera has spent the year since getting married trading in her old sexy and raunchy image for something usually described as «demure and sophisticated». Out went the sexy lingerie and X-rated career moves which gave her the nickname X-Tina, in came flowing ball gowns and an album of 1920s influenced big ballads titled Bad To Basics. Now though, she appears to be going back to basics.

No se puede mostrar la imagen “” porque contiene errores.

She appears on a flight of stairs in a white suit topped off by a chic trilby. Moments later a silken white number is teasingly slashed at the thigh. Clothes are gradually hurriedly removed until she is finally left in an outrageous pair of hot pants. The message seems to be that X-Tina is, in the words of her funkiest numbers here, Still Dirrty.

At least that is one thing that can be gleamed from a show that is more baffling than her bill from the laundry. It divides into three sections: «1920s» features stills of Billie Holiday alongside the 1960s star Otis Redding, while the big dance tracks suggest that Holiday was actually making big-lunged R&B in the 1990s. «Duke Joint» seems to fulfil no other purpose than allowing X-Tina to mount a piano wearing a glittering red dress.

The musical selection is equally confusing, as big hits like Genie In A Bottle are omitted in favour of album tracks that the crowd barely know. All are delivered in a similar Mariah Carey tinnitus-inducing wail and the subject matter, generally, is that X-Tina is fantastic, is tough, is a victim and still enjoys sex – though hopefully not at the same time.

Only Oh Mother varies the forced party tempo, suggesting that the worst things about domestic violence is the appallingly schmaltzy songs that people can sing about it.

But the section called «The Circus» finally crosses the line into unadulterated folly. Girls on trapezes, and fire throwers, accompany X-Tina, who sings Dirrty on a rocking horse. Maybe the message is that married life plays strange games with pop stardom, or that sex can be utterly hilarious. It’s possibly best not to ask the poor chap hauled up for a whipping, who must be more concerned with just how he is going to sit down in the next week.

· At Newcastle Arena, Friday (Box Office 0870 3800017) and touring.


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