Album Review | POP

Ciara, ‘Ciara’

After falling off the pop radar, Ciara returns on her fifth record brimming with attitude and flaunting her undeniable sexual magnetism. Since her 2004 smash, “Goodies,” Ciara has had trouble finding the right commercial song and it appears she’s still searching. On 10 tracks she’s assisted by collaborators Darkchild and the ubiquitous Mike Will Made It. The club grooves (“Overdose”) strut with insistent beats but there are richer textures to the love songs. What’s missing is a unique lyrical or musical vision. As the best cut, “I’m Out” with Nicki Minaj proves, CiCi can be defiant and strong. When she goes sensuous, though, she could seduce the peel off a banana (“Sophomore”). Still, we’ve heard these tropes before. She gets overheated on “DUI” extolling her stick shifting skills singing, “I got your hand on my thigh/ my hand on the wheel/ the other I’d rather not mention.” Somewhere Joni Mitchell weeps. Now deep into her career, the real Ciara still proves elusive. (Out Tuesday)

Ken Capobianco


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