Song of the Day #54: ‘Mercy On Me’ – Christina Aguilera

Here’s a song that I’m tempted to refer to as a guilty pleasure based on who’s performing it, but that wouldn’t be accurate. Far from guilt-worthy, this is an extremely well-written and well-performed song that’s close in spirit to the work of some of my favorites.

I don’t really know what to make of Christina Aguilera. When she hit the scene as a kind of response to and capitalization on the Britney Spears phenomenon, I dismissed her as another pop tart with looks in place of talent. But the truth is she was a victim of her marketing. She’s got a voice better than any of the mega-stars out there, and puts the showier artists like Madonna to shame.

Now, I don’t generally care for that sort of thing. Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion… all that big voice anthemy ballad stuff. So even when Aguilera’s voice was unleashed I didn’t pay much attention.

But her Back to Basics album changed that. It’s a 2-disc collection with songs inspired by the big band, jazz and swing era. The album does have some weak tracks but much of it is sultry, nuanced and deep.

This song, ‘Mercy On Me,’ is one of my favorites. She definitely gives her pipes a workout here but I’m more drawn to the great piano line and the moody verses. If you told me it was written by Fiona Apple and not Linda Perry/Christina Aguilera, I’d believe you… and that’s very high praise coming from me.

9 thoughts on “Song of the Day #54: ‘Mercy On Me’ – Christina Aguilera

  1. Dana says:

    I do find her a bit more intriguing and substantial than the others you referenced to whom she is compared, and i certainly hear the Fiona-esque elements of this song. Not sure I would gravitate to listening to huge amounts of her music because I rarely care for “big voices.”

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve always appreciated her work for Mulan 🙂 I didn’t realize she had done an album of these type of songs. Usually, I’m a sucker for such collections, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’m surprised not by how “big” her voice sounds here but how mature it sounds. It makes me wonder where I was when she grew up. I like this song and this sound quite a bit — big voice and all.

  3. darek says:

    first let me say that you cannot go wrong with gospel/blues type songs, but this is a decent song. i have always liked her voice but not the songs she’s been given to sing.
    if she keeps this up i might actually go buy one of her cds.

  4. Excellent news regarding Christina Aguilera’s world tour coming over to Britain. I hope Leona Lewis will appear with her in the concert events over here.

  5. Rolf Dingie says:

    Christine Aguilera is really pretty and she’s great at singing! She is really gifted! She actually got somewhere than Britney Spears

  6. I was born on the same day as Christina Aguilera back in 1980 and have followed her very closely. She is a brilliant singer.

  7. Jesse Alsman says:

    Christina Aguilera is a terrific singer. I love her song You Lost Me. I keep watching the video in my computer. She looks awesome!

  8. Denae Uno says:

    It will be good to watch Christina Aguilera in person. I love her video on You Lost Me. She is my idol and there is no one can replace her in my heart. She is the best!

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