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CIARA The Evolution
 

CIARA The Evolution

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(The Evolution is here! The Special Limited Edition includes Ciara's Evolution of Dance DVD. Watch closely as Ciara shows you how to do her hottest moves. The album features "Promise," "Get Up" featuring Chamillionaire and "Like A Boy." Special guest appearances include 50 Cent and Lil Jon.)

Sexy, edgy R&B diva Ciara -- she of "Goodies" single and Goodies album fame -- is back in the house. The 21-year-old siren has taken the challenge of her 2004 breakout success and met it in style. Hence the album title: The Evolution. And hence the album's fantastic chart success: No. 1 on the Billboard 200 (Goodies, as great a debut disc as it was, "only" made it as high as No. 3). But numbers aside, here's a disc of great quality and spirit that fulfills the high promise of its predecessor.

The thematic thread of the album -- Ciara's evolution as both person and artist -- is woven nicely through the fabric of the 18 tracks, which include several monologue interludes in which she shares insights she's gained in the past couple of years. And in the tradition of her "crunk"-style R&B rep, Ciara turns to old friends like Lil Jon and 50 Cent to help out with some flows. Something she does a pretty good job of herself, when she chooses to drop some rhymes. Best of all, you get a mix of booty-kickin' party starters and deeper emotional fare.

Speaking of party starters, that's precisely how the disc opens. Lil Jon cranks up a mad dance rhythm with his shouted refrain "I bet you wan' it crunk!" at the start of "That's Right." It's typical Lil Jon and paves a perfect path for Ciara to come in and smooth things over with some sweet vocals... and a little rapping of her own.

On the single "Promise," a slow and romantic ballad, she exhibits one of the talents that have taken her to the top: when she sings, it's like she's singing just to you. And it's the same when she uses spoken passages: "I mean everything that I say/ From the bottom of my heart/ I will never, never ever hurt you/ I open my heart."

The album's other charting single thus far is the popping "Get Up." At once sultry and dance-worthy, it uses some electro trimmings (a Ciara signature) and a snappy rap from Chamillionaire. The girl's weakness for electronic indulgences is also in evidence on one of the disc's catchiest cuts, "Get In, Fit In." This one is the artist's follow-my-lead song about avoiding blind conformity: "Everyone wants to be like the other/ Look around and you will discover/ Take a chance and try something different/ Don't be scared you might make a difference."

The gems don't stop there. You also need to check out the hypnotic "Bang It Up" with its rave overtones and retro breakdancing roots, and the awesome dance joint "Make It Last Forever" with its shaggy beat, faux brass and sugar-sweet harmonies.

Ballads, dance joints, flashes of rap and down-n-dirty crunkin', Ciara brings her whole game on The Evolution. As a follow-up to a hugely successful debut album, it supplies a lot of answers. But it raises one very big question: just how good can this girl get?

By Adrian Zupp

1. That's Right - Featuring Lil John

2. Like A Boy

3. The Evolution Of Music (Interlude)

4. Promise

5. I Proceed

6. Can't Leave 'Em Alone - Featuring 50 Cent

7. C.R.U.S.H

8. My Love

9. The Evolution Of Dance (Interlude)

10. Make It Last Forever

11. Bang It Up

12. Get Up - Featuring Chamillionaire

13. The Evolution Of Fashion (Interlude)

14. Get In, Fit In

15. The Evolution Of C (Interlude)

16. So Hard

17. I'm Just Me

18. I Found Myself
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Last Updated: 17 Dec 2007 19:13:31 PST home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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