Christina Aguilera – What a Girl Wants

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.

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One Response to Christina Aguilera – What a Girl Wants

  1. RBerman says:

    This was actually the second version of the song. The first version ( was even more in Monica/Brandy teen R&B territory rather than Mariahland. Both seem far from Britney Lolita territory, despite the midriff top. Note once again the prominence of acoustic guitar sounds, instead of the spacey percussion effects and gospel ending of the later single version which you linked.

    The chorus does a neat little trick with a six beat segment in that it repeats similar lines, but the first time around the downbeat comes on “wants” and “needs” but the second time around the downbeat is on “what” and “what” instead.

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