Various Artists, "Burlesque: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"

Album Review

The soundtrack to "Burlesque," Christina Aguilera's first star vehicle, could be a continuation of her 2006 album "Back to Basics." And why not? It showcased her distinctive flair for the big band style. The soundtrack comes on the heels of Aguilera's 2010 set "Bionic," the singer's noble attempt at the current radio sound, which has fared less well sales-wise. On "Burlesque," Aguilera tackles jazzy Ella Fitzgerald and vampy Mae West covers, doused heavily with pop schmaltz. Her second collaboration with songwriter Sia Furler, the ballad "Bound to You," rings just as true as their first, on "Bionic." With her first new material in seven years, "Burlesque" co-star Cher belts out a defiant Diane Warren ballad ("You Haven't Seen the Last of Me") in her alto growl. And Marilyn Manson gets a songwriting credit on "The Beautiful People," a new dance number including his original's unmistakable drums and guitar riff. All together, it's a campy celebration of diva-dom and an over-the-top, triple-threat performance.