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Music / Stripped (2002)

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Sorry you can't define me
Sorry I break the mold
Sorry that I speak my mind
Sorry don't do what I'm told
Sorry if I don't fake it
Sorry I come too real
I will never hide what I really feel
No way, oh

Stripped is the sophomore album from singer Christina Aguilera. It is her fourth album chronologically (following her self-titled debut, a Spanish language album with some songs from the first album adapted into Spanish, and a Christmas album), but Stripped is considered to be her second album as it has brand new music and a new direction.

Despite the worldwide success of her first album, Aguilera was unhappy with the bubblegum pop it consisted of, as well of being constrained by the Contractual Purity expectations of a pop princess. Stripped would see Aguilera taking creative control of the entire album and project. Aguilera worked with a number of other artists for the music, such as Alicia Keys, but it was Linda Perry (of 4 Non Blondes fame) would be the biggest influence of Aguilera throughout the recording process and musical direction. The album sees Aguilera singing about sexual empowerment, feminism, love, as well as opening up about her traumatic past.

Stripped was a commercial success, eventually selling over four million copies. The album's themes would end up inspiring a new generation of female singers, as both Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato would specifically name Stripped as a major inspiration for their own music.

Track listing (Standard Edition)

  1. Stripped Pt. 1 (1:39)
  2. Can't Hold Us Down (featuring Lil' Kim) (4:15)
  3. Walk Away (5:47)
  4. Fighter (4:05)
  5. Primer Amor (Interlude) (0:53)
  6. Infatuation (4:17)
  7. Loves Embrace (0:46)
  8. Loving Me 4 Me (4:36)
  9. Impossible (4:14)
  10. Underappreciated (4:00)
  11. Beautiful (3:58)
  12. Make Over (4:12)
  13. Cruz (3:49)
  14. Soar (4:45)
  15. Get Mine, Get Yours (3:44)
  16. Dirrty (featuring Redman) (4:58)
  17. Stripped Pt. 2 (0:45)
  18. The Voice Within (5:04)
  19. I'm Ok (5:18)
  20. Keep on Singin' My Song (6:29)

This album contains the following tropes

  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: Lil' Kim on "Can't Hold Us Down", and Redman on "Dirrty", though "Dirrty" was based on his own song "Let's Get Dirty".
  • Abusive Parents: "I'm OK" is a recollection of Christina's father being abusive to her mother. "Fighter" is also thought to have been about her father's abusiveness as well.
  • Be Yourself: The subject of "Loving Me 4 Me", "Make Over", and "The Voice Within" about finding yourself and being unapolegetic.
  • Darker and Edgier: Stripped is a complete 180 from the Teen Pop of Christina's first album, and the album covers more mature topics as such as abuse and sexual freedom.
  • Female Empowerment Song: "Can't Hold Us Down" focuses on female empowerment and tackles double standards.
  • Genre Roulette: It is a pop album, but delves into R&B, Rock and Latin.
  • Hotter and Sexier: And how. The album was launched with single "Dirrty" and with a very sexually charged video. The video was successful in gaining attention but was still attacked for its imagery, leading to Christina to release the stripped-down ballad "Beautiful" soon after. That didn't stop Christina's image from being very sexual from that point on.
  • Intercourse with You: "Get Mine, Get Yours", as the title and suggestive lyrics suggests.
  • Latin Lover: "Infatuation" is an Obsession Song about a Latino man that has Christina is enamored with.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Both Eminem and Fred Durst made Christina the target of extremely sexist attacks, both implying they had sex with her and that she was "easy", which lead to "Can't Hold Us Down" being the response to that, as well as sexist Double Standards.
  • New Sound Album: Stripped is a radical departure from the Teen Pop of Christina's debut.
  • Sampling:
    • "Make Over" interpolates "Overload" from Sugababes.
    • "Dirrty" is a recreation of Redman's "Let's Get Dirty (I Can't Get in da Club)".
    • "I'm OK" contains an audio sample from the film Dolores Claiborne.
  • Suspiciously Similar Songinvoked: "Impossible" is inspired by Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way," so much so that Christina sang "Ain't No Way" at the 2011 Grammys in tribute to Franklin.