First Hit #1: January 15, 2000
Genie in a Bottle garnered some controversy for being too sexual, especially for the very young Christina Aguilera. While long recorded by the time that controversy came to light, What a Girl Wants feels like a response, largely because it’s relatively dull in comparison. It’s pretty similar overall in sound – though the choruses go much more typical in terms of arrangement, feeling like a ballad from a few years ago between the much more interesting verses – but instead we’ve got a song that is just a lot more plain than the first single. Less overt double entendres – though they’re certainly still there – less vaguely sexual moaning, but also less interest and fewer attempts at making Aguilera a distinct voice. She’s got a good voice – and she does some vocal acrobatics to prove it, which neither adds nor detracts from the song – but at this point she doesn’t actually seem to have a voice, a common problem as pop stars concede more power to their producers. A follow up single should be more than just the first single cycled through the wash a few times, and that’s effectively what What A Girl Wants is.