Watching both new videos from Christina Aguilera and Gabriella Cilmi today, played back to back, was a little bittersweet. Both You Lost Me and Defender are touching, moist and, yes, 'rawer and more vulnerable' than forgetting your condoms for an orgy with the local ivory poachers in Kenya.
Unfortunately, it could not be more apparant that these two A-list divas are not quite striking a chord with radio stations and record buyers alike. Whereas Madame X crammed in as much shit on her album as possible, Cilmi kept it simple by focusing on juicy melodies that are let down only by a frumpy mid 90s production makeover, which admittedly I am very fond of as a style given the glossy electro that squeazes out guey deposits such as Love Me Cos You Want To, What If You Knew (which does its best to rip off Sex On Fire) and the faintly-whiffy Superhot.
Above: more moist than a forgotten tampon, gritty grimacer Defender won't get past the borders of the top 40 without a grenade of pelting remixes.
Both videos are moody affairs. Glib Gab's clip looks like a hidden level of the vintage PC game Doom, as she strips off and wanders through various corridors asking for trouble, only it's the singer herself who appears to be at the recieving end of someone off-camera shooting their load on her with considerable aplomb. I am only disappointed that the video's best scene isn't Gabriella getting her fake tan on. It is almost ironic that Cilmi at least does have a decent enough hit under her belt from this campaigh, but despite the bulldozing chorus I'm not that blown away by On A Mission as I was by the yodelling middle-8 from Xtina's shoplifted ensemble of disparate hooks thrown together on Not Myself Tonight.
And on the other hand, poor Christina pays tribute to Cyndi Lauper's True Colours video with some flashy invert moments of spiritual salvation. It is this woman's ballads that make the biggest statement on Bionic and she blew it not releasing this first with a vdeo that was able to visualise the lush and misty particles of a melancholia 'somehow' found neglected by a peice of film that is admittedly impressive with its colour transitions and star sparkles of 'magic, eugh' etc. At least she has the decency to cop a feel of the male model's pecs as she pretends to push him away - being married to a hobbit and pretending to be bissexual can't be much fun you know.
Speaking of enjoyment, the heroic Hex Hector remix is the most hilarious peice of dance since the same DJ tarted up Diana Ross' Until We Meet Again, so you can't say the singer doesn't have a decent sense of humour to see her through the dark ages of her career.