Christina Aguilera has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.
The singer is gearing up for her upcoming eighth studio album “Liberation” (out June 15) ― her first in six years ― by dropping lead single “Accelerate” and an accompanying glitter-soaked video on Thursday.
The track, featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz, is a stripped-down reinvention of a classic Aguilera sound. Produced by none other than Kanye West, the single is more hip-hop-inspired than her previous record, 2012′s “Lotus,” with a drumbeat primed for summer, but still features some iconic Xtina vocal accents.
“Accelerate, c’mon babe / pick up your speed,” she sings on the sultry song’s chorus. “Stamina, fill me up / that’s what I need.”
In the music video, Aguilera is bathed in a honey-like substance as she serves the camera face in alternating black-and-white and technicolor setups. Her aesthetic is consistent with the fresh-faced makeover she showed off on the cover of Paper Magazine earlier this year, stripping away the heavy makeup for a more effortless look.
Aguilera has been teasing her new era for years ― fans have even made compilation videos of her dodging questions in interviews ― as she’s put music on the back-burner to appear as a judge on the “The Voice” and other projects.
“I was longing for freedom,” she told Billboard about shooting the reality competition series. “I would just take everything off ― the makeup, all of it ― and would blast hip-hop, or Nirvana, ‘Creep,’ Slayer. Anything like that to get me out of that zone, that TV mode.”
During her “time off,” however, she still managed to release some new music, including the disco song “Telepathy” from Netflix’s “The Get Down” and a feature on Pitbull’s “Feel This Moment.”
That drive to break free of expectations, self-imposed and otherwise, seems to be the impetus for the new album.
“My existence has no expiration. This is my liberation. This is our liberation. Be liberated with me,” Aguilera said in a clip during a show in Baku, Azerbaijan, over the weekend. “It’s time for a liberation … as one: a liberated nation.”
Starting out in the industry when she was just 10 years old, Aguilera had long been beholden to the tastes of executives, manufactured competition with other pop stars and album sales ― her last album was also her worst-selling ― but now she’s taking matters into her own hands.
“I felt super label-driven and confined [being] commercially successful,” she told the outlet. “And as great as it looks on the outside, I’m such a truth girl that if I’m not happy with something, I just can’t do it anymore.”
Take a look at the full “Liberation” track list below, which unfortunately does not include the singer’s long-promised duet with Pink. Instead, we have collaborations with artists like Demi Lovato (!) and Keida & Shenseea.
- Searching For Maria
- Sick Of Sittin’
- Fall In Line feat. Demi Lovato
- Right Moves feat. Keida & Shenseea
- Like I Do
- Don’t Need It Anymore (Interlude)
- Accelerate feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz
- Unless It’s With You