The refrain of Ciara’s recent single “Body Party”—“my body is your party”—accurately captures the artist’s state of mind on her new album, Ciara.  One of the first thing she sings is, “I just been through a breakup, but its ok. . . he gonna regret the day he left me.” She’s getting her groove back, and part of that is finding someone else to groove with.  As Ciara puts it, “Get out on the floor/ get your sexy on.”

Ciara debuted in 2004 with Goodies, which went triple platinum and earned four Grammy nominations. Her next album, Ciara: The Evolution, also went platinum and number one on the pop charts in 2006. But since then, Ciara has struggled. Despite working with reliable pop hit makers the Dream, Tricky Stewart, and Ester Dean, neither her third or fourth releases hit platinum, and her most recent, Basic Instinct, failed to even crack the top 30, after three albums had made it to number three or higher on the charts.  To an extent, the pop world left her behind.

But as Ciara is quick to assert, she’s “ready for this ride,” so “saddle up.” The Dream, Tricky Stewart, and Ester Dean are nowhere to be found.  Now Ciara is working with people like the producer Mike Will Made It, who’s had a hand in Kanye’s “Mercy,” 2 Chainz’s “No Lie,” and Rihanna’s “Pour It Up,” all of which made it into the top twenty five in the last couple years. The rapper Nicki Minaj adds verses to two tracks as well. Out with the old, in with the new.

Ciara works mostly in the mid tempo, bouncing forward over the buzzing synths and chattering drum machines that make up most of the R&B on the charts these days, sitting somewhere near the corner of R&B, hip-hop, and whatever is hitting in the clubs. On the slower side, “Body Party,” slinks and snaps its way towards the release on the chorus, bearing a definite resemblance to Jeremih’s “773-LOVE,” also produced by Mike Will Made It. Like a general, Ciara issues orders and commands (“read my lips, read my lips, baby get all up on this”); unlike a general, she occasionally plays hard to get simultaneously, “what I got you can’t have.”

Towards the end of the album, Ciara gets tired of foreplay and shifts things into high gear with “Livin’ It Up,” not to be confused with the Ja Rule hit of the same name, and “Overdose.” The change in pace is accompanied by a change in theme, from sex to faith, “I don’t believe in much but I believe in you,” and different instrumentation, with the addition of a synthesizer that sounds like a steel drum and a bit of radio-friendly guitar. Any powerful singer could be belting this song, though that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective. Ciara may work her way back into popular favor with the proper blend of sex and dance. But she should play hard to get more often—not with her body parties, but with her music.

Previous Post
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Categories

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: