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Saturday, January 10, 2004  
Next Year's Best This Year's Jam From Last Year (Last Year's Edition)
Justified and Dutty Rock were both given the plaudits they deserve, both throughout the course of the year generally and also through being included in various 2003 'best of' lists, despite being released in 2002; but an album that should also have had people scrabbling to get it remembered at the denoument of the cycle, and which seemed to be either purposefully or accidentally ignored/overlooked is Stripped.

Aguilera's behemothic trip through the pop landscape takes in hip hop, power ballads, filthy shagrock, funky techpop, clumsy drum'n'bass, overwrought dramatics, overt sexuality, pointless interludes, incongruous guest spots and just about everything else you can imagine. It's at least the equal of Justified in terms of quality (if not style - Xtina regularly chooses full-on histrionics and melodrama over cool-quotient image-manipulation [i.e. no Neptunes or Timbaland here to make her look relaxed and credible]), with at least as many hits (which cover more bases), and it continues to sell by the bucketload; so why's it not been as inspiring of critical laudation?

And to actually engage with the header for a second - what's gonna be this year's Best This Year's Jam From Last Year? I suspect Busted at the moment, with a few appearances from Kelis perhaps...


1/10/2004 09:17:00 am


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

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