Christina Aguilera is closing the year looking forward and looking back. As she prepares to release her first greatest hits package, the singer is planning a new album she describes as "futuristic," with collaborations with the forward-looking Sia, Goldfrapp and Ladytron. "There's no holds barred for anything," Aguilera says. "It's really the future and can go anywhere. It's exciting to challenge myself in that way and explore."
She expects to enter the studio in January with Sia, the eclectic Australian pop singer and sometime collaborator with the atmospheric group Zero 7. "Her voice has a really cool sound to it. It's really gritty and unique," says Aguilera. "I'm not exactly sure what we're going to get when we go into a studio together. There's probably magic to be had."
Until then, fans can hear two new Aguilera songs on Keeps Gettin' Better — A Decade of Hits, which is being released exclusively through Target stores and Target.com. The new tracks — "Keeps Gettin' Better" and "Dynamite" — are joined by updated re-recordings of the hits "Genie in a Bottle" and an electronic-flavored "Beautiful." It marks a dramatic shift from 2006's retro Back to Basics album, which focused on more of a blues, jazz, and soul vibe.
"I feel fortunate enough at 27 years old to be release a greatest hits record, and I'm very proud of the work that I've been able to do, and all the changes that I've made both visually and musically over the years," Aguilera says, noting that she's still "not really able to wrap my head around it. I've just begun my career."
She has also kept busy with a new baby and involvement with Rock the Vote, which featured a get-out-the-vote PSA with Aguilera and her son, Max, swaddled in an American flag. But her career remains in full-swing, without apology. In the song "Keeps Gettin' Better," she openly refers to herself as both a "super-girl" and a "super-bitch."
"I'm running a business," she says, "and sometimes being the boss of your own empire and creation, you have to be assertive. Being a female, that comes with being labeled a 'bitch' and given titles that men wouldn't receive. But if that's what I'm going to be called by being assertive and knowing who I am and what I want out of life, so be it. I wear that label proudly."