Why? Because, once you get to grips with the frustrating sequencing – tough R&B stuff at the beginning, ballads packed together in the middle, purest pop rushes to finish, riskier material on the bumper edition bonus disc – it becomes clear that Bionic has a terrific strike rate. In fact, nearly everything here comes complete with a proper pop chorus – what else would you expect from a former Mouseketeer? - and those Sia collaborations are as close to subtle as this self-proclaimed 'Prima Donna' is ever likely to come. Even Aguilera's more dubious musical choices seem to succeed - 'Woohoo' may be a gimmicky dancehall/R&B hybrid with icky lyrics about cunnilingus, but it's a catchy gimmicky dancehall/R&B hybrid with icky lyrics about cunnilingus. "Licky licky yum yum" indeed.
The album's best moments tend to come when Aguilera teams up with a collaborator from pop's leftfield edge. Co-written by Santigold, 'Monday Morning' sounds like a great lost cut from No Doubt's Rock Steady album; the Ladytron-produced 'Birds Of Prey' is brooding synth-pop par excellence; and 'My Girls', a punk-poppy hook-up with the Le Tigre ladies, is just an absolute blast. In fact, so impressive are Bionic's successes that it's easy to forgive the odd dull interlude like Linda Perry's drippy 'Lift Me Up' or the flaccid Latin-pop of 'Desnudate'. Did Xtina really think she could titillate by telling us to get naked... eight whole years after the 'Dirrty' video?
So, kudos to those collaborators then, but the truth is that none of this would come off were it not for Aguilera herself. She embarrasses herself plenty here – the nadir being her Megan Fox-like boast that she makes herself "so much wetter" on 'Vanity' – and at times she's not even terribly likeable, but this shameless attention-seeker never comes close to losing our full and undivided. Over 23 tracks and 80 minutes, and even when crooning a tune that's actually called 'Sex For Breakfast', that's no mean feat – not too far off 'Bionic', in fact.
> Click here for our guide to Christina Aguilera's top ten tunes