Musicology: Album Review by “G Wonfor” Guest writer
After the storming success of Ciaras debut album Goodies in 2005 and the fact that her second album in 2007 The Evolution didn’t live up to the hype of its predecessor there was understandably a lot of hype surrounding Ciaras latest album Fantasy Ride.
Originally set to be a three disc extravaganza of an album showcasing three different genres, Crunktown, Kingdom Of Dance and Groove City. Ciara originally stated that she wanted the third album to take fans on a musical journey , a fantasy ride. Fantasy ride also sees the unveiling of the Super C character, a futuristic, superhero-esque Ciara based on the robotic character Ciara portrayed in the Go Girl video from September 08. Interestingly enough Go Girl does not feature on the Fantasy Ride album unless you can get your hands on the Japanese Deluxe Edition.
The album kicks off with the track Ciara to the stage produced by Tricky Stewart and Brandon Bowles and Co-written by Ciara. it’s a fitting track to kick off the album with the reasoning in the title although the track itself is a real slow melodic song which does not have the same appeal as a blockbuster start to an album as lets say Goodies or Like A Boy would have but either way it suit’s the way Ciara wanted the album to go.
The second track is how I felt the album should have kicked off. Love Sex and Magic is an awesome dance tune, and an excellent collaboration of two of today’s most popular young artists, produced by Mike Elizondo and co-written by Justin Timberlake himself it was a sure fire hit being the second single off the album and reaching number 3 in the UK Chart not to mention Ciara looks off the hook in the video!!
High Price now a welcome return from Luda on this track but I cant help but feel this like a sequel to Oh the last track that he featured on for Ciara, while this tune has everything that a Ciara fan is looking for in terms of its sure to get you moving and its most likely to be an album release, I think its disappointing that they couldn’t bring something a little more fresh to the table just my opinion but see what you think! Now Turn Tables an absolute track , co-written by Chris Brown and Ciara I cant fault this song its one that I’ve gone back to time and time again. Reminiscent of the Truth Hurts – Addictive tune at the beginning and quickly becoming an upbeat anthem, now with all the controversy surrounding Chris Brown who knows if this will ever be a single, but either way its a track!!
Now my favourite track of the album is also the first official release Never Ever featuring Young Jeezy. Sampling from the 1972 track If You don’t Know Me By Now by Philadelphia soul musical group Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. This was a welcome breathe of fresh air, its not often you get to hear Ciara just take it down vocally but this track really hit home with the message and also proved that she really has a sweet voice something she hasn’t really showcased since And I back in 2006.Ciara also was the main write for this track along with Esther Dean.
Following along from Never Ever the next track is a beautiful duet with The-Dream called Lovers Thing. Co-written by The-Dream you cant really go wrong with this track as far as RnB love songs go, fans of the hardcore Ciara party tracks may want to skip through but I recommend a listen first!
Work now I know that Ciara fans are gonna love this track, its featuring Missy Elliott, was co-written by Ciara and Missy Elliott and produced by Danja. Now inevitably this will be a single if not featuring on some kind of soundtrack for step up 3 or something but as with High Price I feel it’s a shame that they cant really bring anything new to the table, too reminiscent if 1,2 Step and just about every Missy song out there!
Now I love Pucker Up produced by Darkchild you have an amazing club track here, its fresh and its got attitude, and any song with the lyrics Kiss My Swag is definitely worth a play. Same goes for G is For Girl (A-Z) Co-written by Justin Timberlake and Ciara, another party anthem it reminds me of Beyonce’s Diva. Interestingly enough Ciara did cover Diva for a Fantasy Ride mixtape in anticipation for the album.
Produced by Tricky Stewart and written by The-Dream Keep Dancing On Meis another slow jam with an interesting twist as it is a love song disguised by what most people associate with Ciara, and that is her amazing dance ability . By no means on level with Never Ever but with such good production behind it not to be overlooked. Tell Me What Your Name Is now not a track I personally enjoyed it sounds like a song maybe JoJo would record, either way it don’t think it compliments Ciaras sound at all and does not really fit in with the feel of the album.
I Don’t Remember Now I love this track co-written by Ne-Yo and Ciara I feel this is again following on from Never Ever in terms of a song with a little feeling and some meaning behind it not Ciara’s strong point but the overall result is really impressive the beat kicking on the second verse makes this track. Just listen!!
If you have the Bonus Disc edition then you have the two bonus tracks Echo and Im On . The first Echo is produced by Danja and co-written by Ciara. As far as bonus tracks go its ok not one of Ciaras best but pretty much in keeping with the album.
I’m On is one of my favourite tracks of the whole album why it wasn’t in the original line up I will never know ,like Pucker Up Its fresh, its sassy and its full of attitude trade mark Ciara and exactly what we have come to expect from the Princess. I was fortunate to see her perform this live and can I just say that the girl is on Point.
Overall an improvement on her last album but whether or not this will go down as the classic that Goodies was still remains to be seen but there is definitely the opportunity for some amazing singles here considering the long list of talent that feature on this record!
Now A big thank you to Guest writer G. Winfor