"Keeps Gettin' Better" is a song by American singer Christina Aguilera, taken from her first greatest hits album, Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits (2008). It was released on September 9, 2008, by RCA Records as the only single from the album. The song was written and produced by Linda Perry, with additional songwriting from Aguilera. After giving birth to her son Max, she looked to "come up with something new and fresh", developing a "futuristic" era of her career. "Keeps Gettin' Better" is an electroclash and electropop song, and was inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol and Goldfrapp. Its lyrics portray Aguilera as a superhero.
Upon its release, "Keeps Gettin' Better" received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At a time when dance music was becoming increasingly prominent, the song was criticized for its lack of originality, but was deemed "catchy" and a welcome change from Aguilera's fifth studio album Back to Basics (2006). It became Aguilera's highest debut on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number seven. The song additionally topped the US Hot Dance Club Play chart. Elsewhere, it peaked at number four in Canada, while charting inside the top twenty in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
The accompanying music video, directed by Peter Berg, features Aguilera in an editing room, producing the music video on a green screen. Using the equipment there, she creates several characters, including a blonde 1960's inspired hippie character, another based on Catwoman and a futuristic blue-haired version of herself. Aguilera debuted the song during a live performance at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Wearing a catsuit, she sang a remixed version of her debut single "Genie in a Bottle" (1999), before performing "Keeps Gettin' Better". Aguilera also performed the song during a promotional tour for the album, and as part of a medley of her greatest hits on the 36th Annual American Music Awards.
Directed by Peter Berg, the music video for the song is said to have been influenced by films Minority Report and the James Bond series, and was conceived to show Aguilera "through time and fashion in an homage to her 10-year career" according to a statement by her label. Popjustice saw the music video in progress on October 22, 2008, in the edit they reported that the music video was produced on a green screen, but the concept of the video was to be Aguilera in an edit suite pressing various flashing buttons, editing what was her own music video. Aguilera herself discussed the production of the video, saying "I really enjoyed making the video for 'Keeps Gettin' Better', being an artist who likes to play around with different looks, it was a lot of fun to portray various characters within the same shoot." The music video debuted on iLike, an online music service on October 27, 2008
SynopsisThe music video starts with multi colored, digital waves which then merge into a scene where Aguilera is sat in an editing suite overlooking a sound and edit board. Pressing flashing buttons, multiple large screens stand in front of the desk and correspond to her choice of button selected. The first images shown on the screens feature Aguilera as Catwoman, a futuristic blue haired character, and a 1960s influenced hippie before focusing on the 60's inspired character. The blond character is shown to be holding an old fashioned handheld video camera filming scenes of high rise buildings, all the while showing shots of Aguilera editing the on screen projection. The blond hippie inspired character is then seen in a second setting, riding a bicycle through a grassy field at times performing dance movements to the song and lip-synching.
Aguilera then takes a touch screen Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone from her pocket with an image of a futuristic blue haired character, after producing a scene of a convertible car, she inputs the character from the phone onto the screen and into the car and the blue haired character is then shown driving. Aguilera then produces silhouettes of a catwoman style figure, until Aguilera as the catwoman character is shown, wearing a leather catsuit with cat ears, lighting bolts shoot from her hands until another scene featuring the same character shows her alongside a black motorbike holding a gun. Shots of both the blue haired character and catwoman lead to a scene featuring a blond Aguilera moving inside of the screens accompanied by multi-colored digital waves, before shots of the catwoman style character on a motorbike, shooting the gun are presented. Shots of the different scenes including one of Aguilera at the desk accompanied by a toy robot are shown finishing as Aguilera turns the screens off.
Gil Kaufman from MTV News called the video "geektastic". Popjustice also gave the video a positive review, saying: "The video's a riot of costume changes, makeovers, multiple 'scenarios' and Christina even seems to look like she's having fun. We'd sort of forgotten the single was even coming out, but the video makes it all seem quite exciting." The Sun commented that "has done the impossible – made the blue rinse sexy". Anna Pickard from The Guardian heavily compared Aguilera to Britney Spears in the video, saying: "We're at a final count of four Christinas to five Britneys. [...] We can't be seen to have achieved a perfect Xtina/Britney balance. [...] We'd probably need a guest appearance from Madonna for that". She also felt that "the 30-second Target advert is better than the whole video. But still: any release that makes it compulsory to type 'Christina Aguilera Keeps Getting Better' is surely a clever ploy".
Live PerformanceAt a press conference in Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Aguilera confirmed that she would be performing at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards on September 7, 2008. She discussed about allowing her newly born son, Max, to watch the performance, saying: "This will be his first time watching me perform on television, but only for a little while because he's not really allowed to watch television yet. I'll make an exception for the VMAs." Aguilera discussed the concept of the performance beforehand saying: "You're going to get a first look and a first listen at my new image and my new sound. The last album, the style and sound was about vintage glam — this one is all about the future". The performance began with Aguilera standing in a tower of neon-lit boxes, singing "Genie 2.0" while wearing second-skin leather catsuit accessorized with silver armbands, a black-leather cat mask, black cape and platinum-blond hair. Then, she began performing "Keeps Gettin' Better". Nick Levine from Digital Spy called the performance "sassy, slickly-choreographed".
Aguilera made an appearance at the Thisday Africa Rising at the London's Royal Albert Hall, where she performed several old hits and "Keeps Gettin' Better". She also performed the song as part of the tour in Kiev, Ukraine, on October 20 and 21. The last date was held on October 24 in Abu Dhabi, at the Emirates Palace Hotel. On November 23, Aguilera promoted her greatest hits album by performing at the 36th Annual American Music Awards. She opened the show with a seven-minute medley including six of her greatest hits. Los Angeles Times ' Todd Martens commented about the performance: "Things get started in familiar territory, with an Aguilera medley, the first of what is sure to be many whiplash-inducing musical performances this evening. But unlike her MTV VMA run-down, Aguilera backs into "Genie in a Bottle" rather than opening with it. [...] Opening with the ballad allowed Aguilera to flex her vocal muscles, but the zipping between songs never allowed her - or her background dancers - to catch a groove".
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