Album Review: ‘Ciara’

ciaraReleased: July 9th 2013

Label: Epic

Purchase: Amazon | iTunes

Rating: 4/5

I truly enjoyed Ciara’s debut and sophomore albums but to be honest I went to sleep on her previous two. But now, her fifth studio album definitely has me wanting to pay attention to her music again. The self titled fifth album has concepts swaying from sex, love, being bold, and having fun. It’s actually quite tolerable as rudiments used aren’t all in your face and vulgar. Ciara does a rather classy job bringing forth tracks otherwise deemed as raunchy, and soars satisfyingly on more laid back mellow songs. There’s also some experimenting going on, with the presence of reggae, dance, a little bit of rock, and some electro pop even. A track by track will give you a better idea of how I’m feeling towards the album: 

I’m Out is a great opener. Nicki goes hard, Ciara goes hard, the song is all about celebrating the fierceness of strong confident woman. This sounds more like a duet than a featuring but I can accept that. On the other hand, the music video has no concept aside from two ladies showing off their fashion sense, with the exception of some actual dancing and a water scene with no substance. But, it is nice to look at. 

 Sophomore is my favorite song on the album. The track is sensual, groovy, addictive, you name it. It’s that good. I like the play of words and Ciara’s harmonizing. It is a must to play this one loud in your car, in your home stereo. But just don’t confine it to only your earplugs because trust me, you won’t get the full impact of that hypnotic beat on a baby music player. The song, obviously, is about the man admiring Ciara’s body, as well as how good her love-making skills are. In my interpretation that is. And while I love this song, I’m not really liking Body Party, which is weird because everyone else seems to adore this song. Anyhoo, Body Party is influenced by that old school r&b sound that couples bump and grind to. And there’s no denying Ciara must have had fun recording this one because not only is it co-written by her significant other, the lyrics flow towards him. 

Keep on Looking is a response to the haters. I like it. Ciara’s here to stay and she makes it known in this one. Its a great motivational track to listeners as well, especially if you have people trying to bring you down and saying you won’t and can’t make it. Not exactly a selling point, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

I enjoyed listening to Read My Lips. Been a while since I heard a Rodney Jerkins production and I’m with his work on this track. Read My Lips isn’t exactly modest, none of the songs about sex are, but they’re all pretty much tastefully done. I didn’t feel queasy or anticipated the end of the song, I rocked to it from start to finish. It could possible stand as a single with club goers. 

Where You Go is a sweet, acoustic driven, mellow love song performed by the r&b couple. Yes, in case you missed it, Future is Ciara’s significant other and his participation on this track is just lovely. I swear he has really dope hooks and his island swag is beyond sexy. I also love the transition from this sensual love song into the next track, which is all about how much she loves her man. 

Super Turnt Up is a unique track on the album, not because it has a catchy hook and a groovy combination of instruments. But because Ciara features another side of her artistry. Her rap was indeed super turnt up on this one. Then again, Ciara blew me away when she began showcasing her skills by the third album. She just sounds really good spitting. Too bad her skills aren’t very appreciated in the music industry. Whatever the case, Super Turnt Up is another favorite of mine.

The opening beat in DUI is really catching. It pulled me in right away and I love how the sound kept pumping throughout the track, keeping me hooked. I see this mid-tempo being another single as well, but the one thing that kept tugging at my side while listening to the song is how it reminds me of Drake’s Marvin’s Room somewhat. That aside, love the lyrics, love the concept of being overly in love that she can’t think straight. And once again, I’m feeling the music production.

You can tell there was much effort placed in the transition of tracks on the album because it moves from uptempo, slow and sensual, to upbeat and fun. With that said, Livin’ it Up is great for mainstream. It’s perfect for the summer; all I want to do is smile listening to this one. And as much as I enjoy Nicki’s segment, I feel like it wasn’t necessary for her to appear on the album a second time. Still, it’s a really really good song. I’m smelling album seller here.

Overdoes has similar dance elements like the previous, with a bit of electro and a 80’s vibe. It concludes the standard version of the album and I’m happy with that decision because it’s also great for summer and has mainstream appeal. It’s a cute, sweet, bubbly song that you can’t help but love and rock out to. By the end I’m singing gimme more Ciara.

In the end, I say again this is a really good album with catchy songs. Ciara still has that grimy element rooted in her music that fans know her for, and I love how it shines throughout the album. All in all, it’s certainly worth your listening to. The artist is still here and she deserves some acknowledgement for her hard work. Stop sleeping on Ciara people. I’m out!


Track Listing:

01. I'm Out (ft. Nicki Minaj)
02. Sophomore
03. Body Party
04. Keep On Looking
05. Read My Lips
06. Where You Go (ft. Future)
07. Super Turnt Up (ft. Ciara)
08. DUI
09. Livin it Up (ft. Nicki Minaj)
10. Overdose


*This review is  based on the opinion of the writer and does not represent the views of EY as a whole.

What do you think of Ciara’s latest?

Images Credit: Ciara’s Facebook

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