Monday, May 18, 2009

Fantasy Ride Ciara

Multi-platinum star Ciara returns to the scene with her high energy third album, Fantasy Ride. Having sold over seven million albums with her debut, Goodies, and follow-up, The Evolution, Ciara raises the stakes with Fantasy Ride. Packed with energetic beats, dynamic production, and provocative lyrics, Fantasy Ride secures Ciara the top spot as a superstar performer. Features production by Justin Timberlake (who also appears on the single "Love Sex Magic"), Rodney Jerkins, Tricky, Polow Da Don, and Danja. Also features appearances by Missy, The-Dream, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Chris Brown, and T-Pain.
In her third offering, Ciara takes her fans on a "fantasy ride" that hits many highs and lows. The overly hyped and continuously delayed album boosts many radio friendly songs and potential hits. One of the album's downfalls is the lack of cohesiveness. This might be attributed to the album's original formatting of having three different discs representing various musical styles, which later became scraped. The album's formatting change resulted in all concepts being placed on one disc.
Aside from the lack of fluidity, this 13-track album offers a little something for everyone. Listeners' ears will be subjected to Ciara's alter ego, "Super C" softly crooning over seductive mid-tempo ballads and heads will bob along to the album's contagious club bangers with the catchy hooks.
If listeners are looking for the growth and "evolution" with Fantasy Ride, they will be slightly disappointed.

Strongest points:
The album's aggressive and dance driven beats allow this album to standout. The album enlists production from many of the industry's "it" producers. This includes: Justin Timberlake, Tricky Stewart, The Dream, Rodney Jerkins, and Missy Elliot. In addition, the many collaborations found on the album helps to give the "swagger" Super C was aspiring for. Cameos include: Justin Timberlake (Love Sex & Magic), Chris Brown (Turntables), Ludacris (High Price), Missy Elliott (Work), Young Jeezy (Never Ever), and The-Dream (Lover's Thing).

Weak Points:
Ciara, aka Super C's vocal delivery is at most sub par. Vocally Ciara seems to exhibit a lack of growth. There is no differentiation between Ciara and Super C. Ciara's voice remains monotonous and at times is almost inaudible over the infectious production. In actuality, Ciara and Super C both become lost in the production and merely sit in the background. For the longest Ciara has been fighting for her own identity. Throughout her career she has been compared to the likes of Janet Jackson and even the late Aaliyah. Many songs throughout the album actually are very reminiscent of Janet's Discipline era. For instance, I Don't Remember is very similar to Janet's Rock With U. The lyrics at times are very superficial and lack depth and intensity--G is for Girl, Like a Surgeon, and High Price.

Ciara to the Stage, Love Sex & Magic, High Price (the operatic vocals gives the track an unique flair), Never Ever (possibly Ciara at her best), Work, When I (Bonus Track), and Keep Dancin' On Me.


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