CedricCed | May 7, 2015
Ciara is feeling self-serving on her sixth studio album ”Jackie” via Sony Music Entertainment / Epic that has the princess of crunk R&B living the life she wants freely without constraint. This time around, her sound is different from previous albums leaning on modern pop furthering her commercial success. Further, Dr. Luke produced four tracks on this album undoubtedly leaving evidence into the direction she was seeking for pop radio success. Hopefully, the plan for a more radio friendly does not alienate urban fans.
The opening choice, “Jackie (B.M.F.),” is a menacing pit bull waiting to chase the haters. In a vehement attack she says, “If you been through / what I’ve been through / man you be talking this shit too.” The bite to the neck is an expressive purpose, “F**k a blog / I ain’t holding back / I’m going long.” Princess C gets intensely personal saying, “All this hating on me / need to go find a job,” as the drums heighten as she rips the chorus, “I’m a bad motherfucker.” She sets the mood and addresses all the haters in fully dressed swagger.
Polow Da Don is a fool for the song, “That’s How I’m Feeling,” which features Pitbull, Mr.Worldwide, and Queen of hip-hop, Missy Elliot. In due time, this song shall morph into the biggest commercial hit for Ciara since “1, 2 Step.” Polow is back and winning with the production made for the carefree summer vibe and if not released then what a shame and a huge uppercut to the rib. Nevertheless, Ciara flirts with potential suitors,”I might just go with you tonight.” The fun vibes run rampant even Pitbull chimes in for a new tagline, “Excuse me baby, but life is a deck of cards and you my ace.” Missy Elliot misbehaving in the club raps, in her verse, “I might drop it low and pop a cartwheel / see me poppin’ and poppin’ and jumpin’ like a Coupe de Ville/ ain’t no stoppin’, we rockin’, we got our drinks on chill.”
“Lullaby,” hides an imminent vocal from Ciara and showcases, the album’s trail into the sexier and provocative woman who is to follow. As a mellow production, it is certainly one of the album’s few urban tracks. The hook trails in the standard “I’m singing you this lullaby, lullaby, lullaby.” A standard composed 808 two-step backdrop puts late night grind time into mind; “Sleep / It ain’t never felt so sweet / undercover like the water baby / We be swimming deep.” The voice is very expressive conveying that “When the lights go out” rest assured “I can be your Mayweather baby knock you off your feet.”
Ciara waves in lust on appealing record, “Dance Like We’re Making Love,” waiting for the beat to…”Dance like we’re making love / As soon / As our song comes on.” In a united presence, Dr.Luke composes an arrangement meant to seduce the senses into dancing to the beat in unison. “Dance Like We’re making Love,” is an indispensable part because it assures to move album units throughout the summer months. The arresting beat is steadfast and memorable, leaving a lasting impression.
During runway, ready song, “Stuck On You,” Ciara warns the guy, “There is no limits to where we’re going, baby.” Production contributes a voluptuous nostalgia that is flawlessly seducing: “Yes, I wanna get stuck on you tonight.” Guitar riffs truly bring that badass attitude to the record causing a fierce strut as she impresses this guy, “Don’t’ you know we’re just getting started. It is a fun ride here and recruiting Lady Gaga on the pop remix would just elevate the record for maximum adds on Top 40.
On next track, “Fly,” in a radiate brilliance, speaks, “If you have any fears / Let’em go.” Fortunately, this song is one of the best tracks on the album because, of the old school production from Polow Da Don. The production is uplifting just like the lyrics about releasing a relationship with no positive outlook, “Fly / For the first time in a long time / Let you go.” As a single it probably wouldn’t work in the current pop market but it sure makes for a great album track, nonetheless.
Betting that on R&B cut “I Bet,” that this unfaithful boyfriend will finally respect his woman, “Soon as I start loving somebody else / Somebody better than you.” A simple and elegant production push for that 90’s R&B essence where love heartbreak takes center stage, showcasing the subtlety inside the vocal delivery. Appears CiCi is sneaking her real niche for always sneaking in excellent R&B number on each album.
Trouble free of that one-sided love she is in search of brand-new love on “Give Me Love.” Producer, Dr.Luke, catches our attention like a new Kim K post on Instagram including brilliant contemporary components of alluring trance music. The chorus hits the beat like an old Madonna record, “Give Me Love or nothing at all.” Inside the lovely romantic “Kiss & Tell,” Ciara presses to tell somebody “About the way you do / My body babe.” It fits in perfect after the previous record as it is a much slower way of pronouncing young love’s thrilling embrace.
Inside tune “All Good,” it sounds like an homage to the very missed Janet Jackson because, it sounds just like a track she would record. Further, it reminds me of like a country-western pop song from outer space surprisingly working together for the benefit of the message of; feeling good. It’s definitely, unlike anything she has ever recorded before and more pop radio suited than anything else on ‘Jackie.’
Under mysterious number “Only One,” a moody vocal pop vocal delivery has her asking, “Why do I / Why do I still want you, after all, the things that you do?” And already knows deep inside, “I know you won’t be committed to me / Tell me why I, choose to stay / There is no else but myself to blame.” In the end, her spirit marches on as a One Woman Army with more strength and self-love for seeking her true happiness. Leaping head-first into new beat on the anthem, “One Woman Army,” she admits, “Need a strong man by my side.” But comes equipped with rules, “If you want my love / you better march to the beat / Fight for my love / Better stand up for me.” Next, genuine unconditional love moves the soul inside closing number, “I Got You.” The chorus flows of commitment; “I’ll crawl over broken glass / I will stand in the flame / Take the bullet, Take the blows / I will take all the pain.”
In closing, ‘Jackie’ is a solid artistry of contemporary Pop and just a dose of R&B on very few tracks. Jam packed with amusing narratives and fun, modern commentary that are certain to connect with the younger demographic who listen to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. The Atlanta native is in a more pop-friendly state of mind to appropriately illustrate her relationship conflicts on songs built for Kandi Koated Nights and nights out in LA because, missing are the signature DNA urban Atlanta hits. Nonetheless, the album is a pop candy treat and should sustain interest until her next project.
Grade: 82 = B-
‘Jackie’ BEST: “Jackie (B.M.F.)” “That’s How I’m Feelin’” “Dance Like We’re Making Love” “Fly” “I Bet” “Give Me Love” “Kiss & Tell” “One Woman Army” and “I Got You.”
‘Jackie’ FILLER: “All Good” “Only One” and “Lullaby.”