Christina Aguilera got some serious help on her new album -- from her 23-month-old son, Max!
"I had a really hard time being light before," the singer, 29, tells the February issue of Marie Claire about her music standards pre-motherhood. "I'd get a little weird about it being too cliché."
Aguilera tells Marie Claire that her "first record was very clichéd pop -- what everyone else wanted" and that her second disc, Stripped, was "inspired by a lot of pain."
Back to Basics "still had some sort of relation to my past," she says.
Max, who celebrates his 2nd birthday next Tuesday, helped ensure that her latest album, Bionic, sent just the right message.
"[It] is just about the future -- my son in my life, motivating me to want to play and have fun."
That motivation has allowed her to experiment in ways "that maybe I've been afraid to do in the past, to allow myself to go to a place of 'less singing,' " she says. "I'm more vulnerable and more strong at the same time."
Bionic is due out in March, and the first single is tentatively dubbed "Glam."