So as promised, Christina Aguilera released the first single from her June album, Bionic, yesterday. The song, “Not Myself Tonight,” is a mid-tempo, slightly Euro-pop-like Polow da Don–produced dance-floor groove that features Aguilera cussing and unconvincingly recounting her bad-girl exploits: She’s “dancing a lot,” shes’ “taking shots,” and she’s “kissing on the boys” and “the girls” (also, someone call the doctor, cause she’s lost her mind). More important, can this please reignite the Aguilera/Lady Gaga mini-feud Perez Hilton got going in the fall? If you’ll recall, after Perez accused Christina of copping Gaga’s style, she attempted to brush off the then-newcomer, saying, “I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.” Ha!
But if Perez Hilton starts taking shots in Gaga’s name again, it won’t be as easy for Aguilera to dismiss the competition. It doesn’t really matter that the single’s not that compelling (as Vanessa Grigoriadis puts it in the magazine this week: “Gaga … throws in our face [that] American celebrities have become very, very boring … the fact that she has done this at the same time that much of the actual music she makes herself is somewhat boring is another feat”). But can Aguilera distinguish herself without every crazy thing she does or wear being immediately compared to Lady Gaga? Or is there still an audience for a more traditional mainstream vocalist? We ask again: In these post-Gaga times, can Aguilera carve out her piece of the pop-star pie?