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August 17, 2009 | by  | in Music |
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Ciara: Fantasy Ride (LaFace Records)

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Fantasy Ride is Ciara’s third album. Known for being a tomboy, it finds her looking at her persona from several different angles. On ‘Never Ever (ft Young Jeezy)’, she takes a soft approach, rethinking a relationship that’s not going anywhere, while on ‘Like a Surgeon’, she uses metaphor to talk herself up the way a rapper would: “When it comes to love / I’m like a surgeon.” These contrasts are carried through into the rest of the album. Some of Ci’s old faithfuls return to continue building on functional relationships that produced some worthwhile music in the past. Missy Elliot appears on ‘Work’ to find the same magic from ‘1,2 Step’ (2004). Ludacris drops in for a verse on ‘High Price’, with the same sing-song effect that gave Ci’s ‘Oh’ (2004) hood “credibility”, however it doesn’t quite hit the mark in the same way.

As time goes on it seems that Ciara’s music is getting increasingly caught up with the production side of things, and as a result is now lacking in the swagger/attitude that made her so chill to begin with. This swag (which she refers to quite a bit on ‘Pucker Up’) spilled over into several tracks on The Evolution, like ‘Promise’ and ‘Like A Boy’ but has becoming increasingly hard to detect since she started playing hook girl for artists like 50 Cent and Bow Wow.

On the whole Fantasy Ride is pretty average. Given that the visual content of her videos is usually the driving force behind the reception of her music, this could also be a leading factor in her less than skyrocketing album sales (the clips for this album are either whack or just straight up tacky). If she’s going to talk about new directions and personal growth through music, perhaps she could start looking at different issues from her other albums rather than paraphrasing past lyrics and camouflaging them in distracting beats and melodies.

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