“I’m not cocky,” Christina Aguilera explains in her new disco banger, “Vanity.” “I just loooove myself, bitch!” Thanks for clearing that up, Xtina. Humility has never been this lady’s problem — on her last album, the 2006 double disc Back to Basics, she was in way over her head aspiring to be a jazz singer, comparing herself to Billie Holiday and John Coltrane. But she’s a lot more fun now that she’s getting her Lady Gaga on instead. She goes for an electro makeover on Bionic, dressing in Gaga-style robot glam and cranking up the Auto-Tune.
Bionic has her friskiest synth beats since the days of “Genie in a Bottle,” with surprisingly punk-minded collaborators like Le Tigre, Ladytron and M.I.A. “My Girls” is a hilarious disco anthem where Aguilera gives it up to her new riot-grrrl pals: “My girls wear lipstick while they’re making my beats/They got guitar picks in their purses, Louboutin on their feet.” Things stall mid-album with a string of dull ballads — “Sex for Breakfast” is cold cereal, and “Lift Me Up” is the inevitable Linda Perry snoozer. “I Am” is an intriguingly Björk-ish collabo with Australian folkie Sia. But “Vanity” says it all, especially when the backup chorus chants the wedding march as Christina vows, “I take myself to be my lawful-wedded bitch.” Cheers to the happy couple.