May 05, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

Ciara: Fantasy Ride

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Cici’s third ride is a bumpy one 

Ciara
Fantasy Ride (LaFace/Zomba)


Since mid-2008, the journey of Ciara’s Fantasy Ride, has been a rocky one. First, her ambitious three-disc concept was nipped. Then the T-Pain–assisted first single, “Go Girl”—now just a UK and Japan bonus track—proved too slippery for popular grasp. And finally a rather prolific series of leaks spilled onto the Web causing a series of push-backs for her third album. Needless to say, Ms. Harris has felt the cuts and scrapes of a strenuous trek. Now, at long last, the Fantasy Ride has begun and the former “Princess of Crunk&B,” who cemented her commercial might in 2004 with the double-platinum Goodies (LaFace/Zomba) and again in 2006 with The Evolution (LaFace), knows just what to do to heal a blow: dance it off.


Ciara is most comfortable in the nook of choreography-driven tracks. From the snappy electro-pop acrobatics of “Work,” to the hyper-operatic harmonies of “High Price,” Cici has the dance floor aglow—this is the type of show we’ve come to expect from the slinky 23-year-old. And though the fun and games are entertaining, lines like, “I should be an Iraq shawty, cause I am the bomb,” are over-heated and trite. What Fantasy Ride lacks are the career-defining highs of songs like “Promise” and “Like a Boy,” songs that were romantic and indelible and altogether original. Second single “Love Sex Magic”—originally leaked as a Ciara-free track scrapped from a forthcoming Justin Timberlake album—is soaked in a familiar funk. “Ciara to the Stage” comes closest to the ardent yearning of “Promise”—she even hollers that song’s title to jog your memory—but ultimately it doesn’t measure up.


And for a woman who has been accused of Beyoncé forgery, Ciara might’ve benefited from a bit of emulation. Super C, who Ciara calls her “inner strength and more aggressive persona," dominates here with an androgyny so intense it could make the average male R&B vocalist sound like a sissy. Though Bey’s Sasha Fierce shined with moxie and conceit, she knew when to take a seat and usher in her vulnerable half. Super C opts for the blunt and swingy Polow Da Don-produced “Never Ever,” a wafting duet with The-Dream called “Lover’s Thing,” and the spacey Ne-Yo–penned ballad “I Don’t Remember.” But they’re just a peephole into a Ciara the public has yet to hear more from: the real woman.

Fantasy Ride hit stores on 5/5/09

Fantasy Ride's Track Listing


1.    “Ciara to the Stage”
2.    “Love Sex Magic” feat. Justin Timberlake
3.    “High Price” feat. Ludacris
4.    “Turntables” feat. Chris Brown
5.    “Like a Surgeon”
6.    “Never Ever” feat. Young Jeezy
7.    “Lover’s Thing” feat. The-Dream
8.    “Work” feat. Missy Elliott
9.    “Pucker Up”
10.  “G is for Girl (A-Z)”
11.  “Keep Dancin’ on Me”
12.  “Tell Me What Your Name Is”
13.  “I Don’t Remember”

Article tags: CiaraFantasy RideReviews 

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Comments

1.

kjo1022 says:

its a good album my favs are: 'Turntables' with Chris Breezy, 'Never Ever' with young jeezy and maybe others but my all time favorite is Turntables, i just love that song with CB

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