Wednesday 17 July 2013

Ciara - Ciara

There are two collaborations with Nicki Minaj on ‘Ciara’, bringing together a hip-hop superstar and an underperforming R&B star (despite an impressive discography).  Together, they are an indomitable force in female-led urban music.  The whole album begins with a sisterly call of “ladies it’s your song” on I’m Out, whilst on Livin’ It Up Ciara claims “a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, makin’ up my own rules” before Minaj enters with a rap of sisterly assurance: “they can kick you while your down but you gettin’ up”.  It marks a stark contrast to the bravado rapping of most male hip-hop stars.

Tracks like this ensure that ‘Ciara’ rises above the usual sexy R&B affair – something she’s certainly been guilty of in the past.  In fact, ‘Ciara’ sees the singer swinging from overtly sensual (as on lead single Body Party that will have you sweating more than the current heatwave), to aggressive and dominant (Keep On Lookin’ in particular, with its repetitive chorus of “keep on lookin’, boy what I got you can’t have”).  Throughout, she coos and swoons in a manner that’s suggestive without being slutty.

The production is consistently of a high quality, maintaining current trends for a synth heavy, moody, futuristic feel.  Super Turnt Up features harsh siren calls beneath glittering synths, Ciara turning in a fierce vocal delivery in the middle eight.  Where You Go brings a more introspective moment at the album’s centre, Ciara repeatedly calling “where you go?” above a shimmering concoction of synths and guitars.  Livin’ It Up, meanwhile, is pure R&B pop with its catchy hooks and fizzing production.

Indeed, with her fifth album, Ciara proves that she deserves far more mainstream pop success than she has previously received.  There’s more to this R&B singer than just endless legs and sexy tunes.  As the title suggests, this is a fresh start - give the singer a chance.


Gizzle’s Choice:
* Body Party
* Where You Go
* Livin’ It Up

Listen: 'Ciara' is available now.