If you know me, or if you’ve been reading the blog, its no secret how much I love and appreciate Christina Aguilera. While this most likely won’t be the last time she shows up as the choice for Song Of The Day, this is definitely an excellent way to start off: with “Cruz.” This track, which Christina added onto the setlist European leg of her Stripped Tour after declaring how much she loved singing it, is just simply classic popular music at its absolute best proving all you really need for an incredible song is a piano, guitar, and an incredible voice.
I know that whatever review I do of this won’t do it justice, but I’m going to do my best. Just had to preface that for when we all work our hardest and tweet this to Christina (you know she’s on Twitter right? @TheRealXtina) and she ends up reading this. Now…
The opening of the song sets up everything perfectly. No instruments, just several layers of vocals singing the chorus’ simply perfect words,
I’m leaving today. Livin’ it. Leaving it, to change.
A motto you can relate to on so many levels whether you’re leaving a bad situation for a good one, hoping or praying to be brought to a new place, changing an attitude or belief, or really any type of shift in your life. You’re leaving.
Then there’s just one piano note. Just one. Before a restrained, soft-voiced Christina sets the beautiful scene:
Slowly drifting, into a peaceful breeze. Tongue-tied and twisted, are all my memories.
And then drums come in with a harder sounding piano to finish up this first verse where the vocalist sings of celebration for this change that is finally coming.
The first chorus then comes in with, unexpectedly, just Aguilera on the chorus singing those same lines we heard in the first chorus hitting much harder as if she’s not totally confident with herself, but is still the one voice that believes she’s living it and leaving it toc change.
The second verse then moves on with a newfound confidence as you notice all the beauty in the world and the excitement of this new challenge and world start becoming apparent. Soon you are at peace with yourself with the line “cool, calm, collected is the child that lies within.” As you realize its your inner self, the true you, that needs this change.
The second chorus comes strong with an array of back-up vocalists giving that extra push for Aguilera’s chorus showing even more confidence until we get to the bridge, which starts off a little unsure with the lyrics:
But somehow I’ll miss. I think, I’ll really miss it. One day…
Until coming back strong again complete with the back up vocalists and Aguilera wailing lines that never rang so true:
I turn on the radio and I’m feeling like I never felt before. I turn off the memories of yesteryears and broken dreams, I’m free. Finally free.
And then she begins a stripped down, soft voice first line of the song again “Slowly drifting, into a peaceful breeze…” before moving into the absolute powerhouse ending that has Aguilera doing some of her best signature ad-libs along with an electric guitar added to the mix now making the piece truly hit an absolute climax of musical genius in the track written and produced by Christina and long-time collaborator Linda Perry.
The song then ends, again unexpectedly, with the lines of “But somehow I’ll miss it, I think I’ll really miss it, one day…” giving an indication that yes, maybe we’re still scared and unsure about the situation, and maybe one day it’ll be better to think that was the path to go, but in the end, that day is not today and you must push forward.
This song has helped me get through so many different obstacles in my life whether it was making a huge transition in my life, cutting people out of my life who weren’t good, and needing the confidence necessary to accomplish exactly what I want and what will make my life better.
Yes this Song Of The Day post is extremely personal, but with what I’ve been going through recently and what day today is, it’s exactly what I needed and wanted to share with everyone and has made me feel 94,000% better. I hope you find a similar connection to this song, or you can tell me what song “Cruz” is to you that is so important to you.