Likes: I’m Out, Body Party, Where You Go, Overdose
Overall: Catchy and fun, but no artistic growth or lyrical strength
After two ill-performing albums that received a luke-warm response from fans and critics, Ciara seems to be on the ricochet with her latest self-titled effort. With musical production (from Mike Will Made It and Soundz, among others) that nicely fuses her hip-hop/R&B roots with her pop desires (i.e. “Fantasy Ride”), the album’s tracks are much catchier and sound less cheap than those of the previous “Basic Instinct.” The rhythm is balanced and incredibly interconnected, as it weaves between the drawing (ex. “Body Party”) and hard hitting (“I’m Out”). The greatest disappointment, however, is that Ciara has not conceptually matured in the 9 years she’s been in the business. Nearly 30 (she’ll be 28 in the fall), her lyrics still reflect a college sophomore whose giddily crazy over her “here right now” boyfriend and discovering her sexuality. Adding onto the growing list of post-debut self-titled albums this year, if Ciara is trying to make an artistic statement with the title, I’m left to conclude the statement is she’s not going anywhere from here. “Ciara” is a great pre-party, “just for fun” album, but if you’re looking to come away with something, try another artist.