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-appeared in OMG! Magazine Volume 2 Issue 13

It must be hard to be a pop star these days. Milk expires fast, but pop stars expire faster. One year’s icon is the next year’s obscurity. America has always loved to see people fall from grace but a cycle that used to span decades is now condensed to months. I’ll put my life savings on the table if anyone wants to make a bet regarding Ke$ha’s career longevity.

The latest victim of the pop jaws of death is Christina Aguilera. After a four year absence Xtina has returned with an album that made headlines for not selling very well. While “Bionic” isn’t nearly as bad as critics (and sales figures) would lead you to believe it’s interesting to watch the public’s herd mentality slaughter Aguilera’s integrity. Upon a close listen “Bionic” actually reveals itself to be a daring (and perhaps slightly uneven) effort. One must question her record company’s choice of singles. Both “Not Myself Tonight” and “Woo Hoo” prove to be the album’s weakest and most dated moments. Had the collaborations with LadyTron and MIA been chosen as lead singles perhaps the mass public would have received the album with more warmth.

One point of contention among the Aguilera haters is the accusation that she is trying to mimic the persona of the younger Lady Gaga. While browsing Christina’s career portfolio these claims hold little water. Christina Aguilera has always been a bit daring with her fashion. It’s unfair and cruel to diminish this now-veteran pop singer to the role of mere copy cat. It is interesting to witness the role reversal that is now occurring in the pop arena. For years people have claimed that young artists were just trying to ape their elders. When Madonna came out many people called her “The New Deborah Harry”. Only in this new generation of pop are older performers being accused of copying the ones they influenced. It wasn’t like this before. Not once when she tried to make a comeback was Debbie Harry ever accused of trying to be like Madonna!

Pop music will always bear the influence of the generations before it. Rihanna has shades of Grace Jones. Beyonce has shades of Tina Turner. Lady Gaga was obviously influenced by Madonna. I hope it is not a new trend to discredit established pop stars by accusing them of trying to be younger performers. If this is the case, Gwen Stefani is going to have a rude awakening the next time she releases new music. Will Gwen be accused to trying to be like Ke$ha?

It will be interesting to see the direction pop takes in the next few years. Until Gwen comes out with her next album at least we’re able to enjoy the new Madonna video “Alejandro.”n