ain’t no other man
Ain’t No Other Man is a song recorded by Christina Aguilera for her fifth studio album, Back to Basics (2006). It was sent to US contemporary hit radio on June 6, 2006, by RCA Records as the lead single from the album. The song was written by Aguilera, DJ Premier, Charles Martin Roane, Kara DioGuardi and Harold Beatty, while production of the track was handled by Premier. “Ain’t No Other Man” incorporates pop, R&B and funk genres with elements of soul,blues and jazz music. Lyrically, the song was inspired by her marriage with Jordan Bratman in 2005.
Upon its release, “Ain’t No Other Man” received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented Aguilera’s new musical style and deemed it as a stand-out track from Back to Basics. It won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2007 ceremony. Commercially, the track peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of 1.7 million copies. Internationally, it reached the top five in territories including Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
An accompanying music video for “Ain’t No Other Man” was directed by Bryan Barber. The clip jumps back in time, depicting Aguilera as her then newly established alter ego Baby Jane. The video received mostly positive feedback, with praised the mature image Aguilera had adopted. It earned four nominations at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year. Aguilera performed “Ain’t No Other Man” during several television performances, including the 2006 MTV Movie Awards and the2007 NBA All-Star Game. The track was also included in the set list of her Back to Basics Tour (2006–07).
Following the release of her fourth studio album, Stripped (2002), and several collaborations, Aguilera decided to incorporate elements of 1930s and 1940s musical styles in her follow-up album project. She commented that she wished to revolve as an artist and a visionary in between production of the records. Aguilera sent letters to various producers that she hoped could help her with the direction she was taking for the project, encouraging them to experiment, re-invent and create a modern soul feel.
The final product, her fifth album Back to Basics, comprises two discs. For the first half disc, Aguilera collaborated with “more beat-driven” producers including DJ Premier and Mark Ronson, who incorporated musical samples into many of the recordings. She described it as “kind of a throwback with elements of jazz, blues and soul music combined with a modern-day twist, like hard-hitting beats”. The contents of the second disc were written and produced solely by Linda Perry, Aguilera’s longtime collaborator. Aguilera had first collaborated with DJ Premier after hearing his jazz-influenced work with Gang Starr. She revealed that she was impressed, and she also wanted to make jazz-influenced materials. Aguilera stated that she was unsure if DJ Premier would accept the offer, having been his first time working with pop music. Premier later agreed and commented,
I was surprised I got that call ’cause of our differences in the audiences we hit, but I’m always up for challenges and trying something new … She described what her album is about and then she sent me some CDs of what type of stuff’s been inspiring her to make the record, and it happened to be a lot of stuff that I grew up on in the early ’70s, ’cause I’m 40. Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Marvin Gaye,Esther Williams, all kinds of different things. Once I saw that’s the vibe she wanted, I still had to make it sound like the way my beats thump and stuff but still give her the atmosphere she’s trying to bring out on the singing side.
Ain’t No Other Man was written and produced by Aguilera, DJ Premier, and Charles Roane, with additional songwriting provided by Harold Beatty and Kara DioGuardi. It is a pop, R&B and funk song with elements of old-school soul, blues and jazz. Thus, the song is a mixture between old-school and contemporary materials, according to Aguilera herself. The track contains two samples from “Hippy Skippy Moon Strut” by David Cortez & The Moon People, and “The Cissy’s Thang” by The Soul Seven. Its instrumentation incorporates keyboards, guitar, drums, percussion, and horns. The arrangement of the instruments on “Ain’t No Other Man” was described as “raw” and “ass-shaking”. Several critics complimented the mixture between old and modern materials; Jody Rosen from Entertainment Weekly claimed that the jazzy melody from the track suited Aguilera perfectly, while Jody Rosen of The Guardian deemed the melody of “Ain’t No Other Man” “fun” and “crispy”.
Critical response to “Ain’t No Other Man” was positive. Dan Gennoe of UK Yahoo! Music called it an “ass-shaking” and “sweety back-in-the-day soul” song. John Murphy for musicOMHcompared Aguilera’s vocals on the track to Carey’s. He further wrote that the song makes “you sit up and take notice” and deemed “Ain’t No Other Man” “the best pop/R&B crossover” since Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love”. Jody Rosen from Entertainment Weekly wrote that the track “whizzes past at such a furious pace”, while Kelefa Sanneh for The New York Times praised the song as “the album’s glorious, mile-a-minute hit single, which proves once again that no one can roar like Ms. Aguilera”. Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine deemed “Ain’t No Other Man” as one of the best tracks on Back to Basics in his album review for Back to Basics. Jenny Eliscu for Rolling Stone was positive toward the song, selected the track as one of the best materials throughout the first disc. Writing for The Morning Call, Len Righi commented that “Ain’t No Other Man”, “Understand” and “Slow Down Baby” “put her at Aretha Franklin’s doorstep”.
Sputnikmusic’s Amanda Murray was very positive, choosing the song as one of standout tracks from the album, writing that the song “is the most successful blend of the two time periods this record straddles”. Spence D. for IGN praised the track as one of the songs from the album that “are the ones that rule the roost the most”. Stylus Magazine critic Thomas Inskeep praised the mixture between the old-school and contemporary style on the song. He also called it a “sexy, sassy” song and “one of the year’s best pop singles”. Mike Joseph of PopMatters chose “Ain’t No Other Man” as one of the materials that are perfect for Aguilera to “ride on top”. Sean Daly for Tampa Bay Times labelled the song as a “club-scorching marvel of dance-club breathlessness and brassy blasts”. Dorian Lyskey from The Guardian provided Back to Basics a negative review, however Lyskey was positive toward “Ain’t No Other Man”, calling it “the tune of summer”, a “brilliant” song and comparing the track to Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love”.
At the end of 2006, Rolling Stone ranked “Ain’t No Other Man” at number 18 on their list “Top 100 Best Songs of 2006”. Charles Aaron for Spin placed the song as the third best single of 2006, deeming it “blass-blasting”. At the 2007 Grammy Awards, “Ain’t No Other Man” earned Aguilera a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song also earned a BMI Award in 2008.
Ain’t No Other Man debuted at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 during the week of June 24, 2006. In the following week, it raised to number 13. On July 8, 2006, “Ain’t No Other Man” reached number nine on the chart. In its fourth week charting, the song reached number six, which became its peak. It became Aguilera’s first top-ten hit on the chart since “Beautiful” (2002). At the end of 2006, Billboardranked “Ain’t No Other Man” the 32nd most successful hit of the year. On the Billboard Pop Songs chart, the track peaked at number eight and remained there for a total of 20 weeks. The song was a major hit on the US dance market, peaking atop the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. “Ain’t No Other Man” was recognized as the eighth best-charting single on the Hot Dance Club Songs of 2006 by Billboard. On August 15, 2006, the track was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping more than one million digital download copies in the country. It was also certified gold for 500,000 master ringtones sold in the region. As of September 2012, “Ain’t No Other Man” has sold 1.7 million copies in the United States alone.
The accompanying music video for “Ain’t No Other Man” was directed by Bryan Barber and was choreographed by Jeri Slaugher. After seeing a trailer of Barber’s film project, Idlewild, Aguilera wanted to make a video which is directed by him. Discussing about the director, Aguilera explained why she wanted to work with him, “It intrigued me that this man, Bryan Barber, had been very locked into and had surrounded himself with this whole world of the ’20s and ’30s era, and it made me think that he could understand what I’m trying to do conceptually. I needed to get the right director who shared my vision”. At first, Aguilera planned to make a black-and-white video and shot it in her living room for Barber and Slaugher. “I had acted out the entire video in my living room. I used my fireplace as a makeshift stage and the staircase as the pool table where I would stand”, said Aguilera. According to Barber, Aguilera was very involved in the making of it. The whole team seemed like they were doing a movie more than a music video. On June 21, 2006, the music video for “Ain’t No Other Man” was premiered on MTV’s Total Request Live.
Throughout the music video, Aguilera portrays her alter ego Baby Jane, a nickname that Nelly once gave her. The clip jumps back in time, begins with a car with a license plate reading “Baby Jane” stopped in front of a bar in a dark street in California. In front of the bar, a man is smoking a cigarette. The scene at this time interspersed with the melody of Aguilera’s song “I Got Trouble”, which is played as if it were on the radio with minor noise. Then, she comes out on high heels and classic outfits with a hat. After the car door is closed, the song begins, and Aguilera starts dancing with her male and female dancers while singing the song. On the first chorus, Aguilera is in a dressing room, wearing her bra and making up with the help of her dancers, and also receiving flowers from a stranger.
During the second verse, Aguilera appears in red outfits and listens to music with silver gramophone headphones. While singing the second chorus, Aguilera is in front of photographers, and she continues to sing, wearing fur encrusted with silver dress, with the scene she wears gold dress overlapping each other. Afterwards, Aguilera appears with white and black outfits and continues dancing during the chorus. At the bridge, she walks through the bar and finds her lover. After finding him, she pushes him down on the chair, then she jumps to the billiards table and continues to sing while the chandelier above her head began to explode and spark fireworks. When the chorus sounds again, she appeares with silver dress and makes the bar awakened, dancing. Toward the ends, the club becomes empty, and gentle Aguilera performing “I Got Trouble” again, lying on the piano while the people in the club watch her.
Christina Aguilera Video: Ain't No Other Man
Category: Video Clips