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Back to BasicsBack to Basics available on iTunes

Christina Aguilera Back to Basics

Another big album out this week is from pop princess Christina Aguilera. Or should we say pop queen? The former Mouseketeer is all grown up, and she shows it on Back to Basics (though not grown up in that "Dirrty" way). Rather, the classier Mrs. Bratman attempted to make more classic pop standards like the ones she grew up listening to. The first disc, produced by DJ Premier, is more club-oriented pop music. But the second features live instrumentation and a big band sound, and was produced by Linda Perry, whom Jim refers to as the modern Diane Warren. The problem, according to Jim and Greg, is not that she cannot sing — in fact, she sings a little too well. They wish she had showed a little restraint and didn't feel the need to show off her impressive pipes so much. Another problem is what Christina chooses to sing about: Both hosts wish she would stop feeling so sorry for herself and her celebrity existence. Nevertheless, Jim and Greg think there are a handful of songs worth checking out. Back to Basics gets two Burn Its.

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Go to episode 38
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Music News

First in the news, the state of Illinois may impose a tax on digital music and film downloads in order to help bail out its $13 billion deficit. If the legislature approves Governor Quinn's proposal, Illinois would join 19 other states that currently have such a tax and be able to get $10 million revenues annually. Per usual, this has prompted partisan debate, but Jim and Greg doubt either party is much concerned with the music fan's perspective.

One of rock's biggest stars, Paul McCartney, is going indie. The former Beatle has announced a plan to take his solo catalog from major label EMI and move it to the independent Concord label. McCartney previously worked with Concord as part of his now defunct Starbucks Hear Music deal. EMI is one of 4 big music companies dominating the industry these days, and as Jim and Greg explain, these labels depend on back catalog revenue. It takes little overhead to repackage an album from an artist like McCartney, and they can reissue it over and over again to new consumers.

Jim and Greg next discuss rapper Guru who died last week. The hip hop artist moved to New York City just in time for the genre's golden age. He developed alongside Public Enemy, Run DMC and Tribe Called Quest, to name a few. Guru joined up with DJ Premier to form Gang Starr, a duo with a revolutionary sound fusing rap with jazz. This, along with his fluid vocal style, made Gang Starr one of hip hop's most influential acts. To honor the late artist, Jim and Greg play "Jazz Thing," a track from the Mo' Better Blues soundtrack featuring jazz musician Branford Marsalis.

Go to episode 230