Christina's Making Beautiful Music

Linda Perry helps Aguilera take next step

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Christina Aguilera has finished recording four songs for the follow-up to her 1999 self-titled debut album. The tracks -- "Beautiful," "Cruise," "Make Me Over, Don't Make Me Over" and one yet to be titled -- were recorded with producer Linda Perry, the former 4 Non Blondes frontwoman who collaborated with Pink on Missundazstood.

"'Beautiful' is going to win a Grammy," Perry predicts. "I just know it in my heart. It's such a beautiful song -- no pun intended."

According to Perry, Aguilera is taking a more organic, harder-edged approach on the new songs. "It's so different from her," Perry says. "There's not a trace of Christina Aguilera on these songs. I know that she's got to do something incredible in order to survive. People have been waiting for her record, and she's got an amazing voice on her. The trick with her is to get her to use it differently."

The response from Aguilera's record company and management has been positive too. "I was afraid that they were going to go, 'Um, this is too left-field for her,'" Perry says. "They didn't, and I'm really excited about that. It shows that she's definitely taking control of this record. She definitely knows what kind of record she wants to make, and her management and her company are letting her make it."

Aguilera is also working with Glen Ballard, who has produced albums for Alanis Morissette and the Dave Matthews Band, and with Scott Storch, a little-known producer in Dr. Dre's camp.