Ciara may not be pushing music itself forward, but she has taken her own steps to evolve into one of the top young women in r&b. The coy attitude of "Goodies" is gone and replaced instead by confidence and independence without sacrificing sexiness and serious party grooves. Pop the CD in your player and get ready for dance and romance.
Ciara Maximizing Her Assets
Singing is not Ciara's strongest skill. Whispery vocals were enough to carry her arresting first hit "Goodies," and a vocal style that at times borrows heavily from Janet Jackson while at other moments follows in Beyonce is quite fine when you have the hooks and production talent that Ciara can bring to the studio. Lil' Jon kicks off the set introducing Ciara on the crunktastic "That's Right" and the intensity rarely lets up. Ciara's breathlessness delivering "Like a Boy" is intoxicating while her current hit "Promise" is one of the year's top slow jams. Rodney Jerkins helps Ciara revisit the classic "It Takes Two" hook on "Make It Last Forever," and will.i.am delivers his usual classic pop-soul blender approach on the inspiring "Get In, Fit In."
Top Tracks on 'The Evolution'
- That's Right featuring Lil' Jon
- Bang It Up
- Get Up featuring Chamillionaire
- Get In, Fit In
The Evolution comes packaged with a bonus DVD disc that is worth viewing. Since one of Ciara's great assets is her dancing skills, enhanced by a naturally athletic build, it's not surprising she takes the opportunity to dig deeper into her approach to dance. While it is difficult to see a grand evolution here from other music video dance numbers, the choreography and execution in the two videos included here for "Promise" and "Get Up" is undeniably hot.
If you have the body and level of fitness to keep up, Ciara also takes you through instruction sections for dance moves included in each video. Slow, sexy moves are called for in the "Promise" video, while uptempo athleticism fits "Get Up." It all looks easy when Ciara does it, but, for the average viewer, the rewind button on the remote will come in handy.
Get In and Fit In
The Evolution plays out with brief narratives from Ciara spelling out explicitly the message she wishes to deliver in the album. The accumulation of her statements on dance, fashion, music and "C" amount to the well-worn but always welcome message to be yourself and be confident. Ciara is herself a living example of reaching success with that approach. Reportedly, as an early teenager she wrote down her goal to be a successful singer and then doggedly pursued each step to make the dream come true. This gives the songs "Get In, Fit In" and "I'm Just Me" significantly more resonance than they might have otherwise. Ciara's evolution as an artist has just begun, but she is clearly holding our attention.