I’ve already waxed poetic about how great Ciara‘s new album is — I heard it in the studio with her a few months ago and it blew me away — and I’ll be reviewing it in full next week, so I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but it’s worth reiterating: This is a really great record, maybe Ciara’s best ever. There are R&B slow burners that manage to feel simultaneously experimental and commercial (not only the lead single “Body Party” but the dizzying Future-assisted “Where You Go”) and shimmering summery uptempos (“Livin It Up” is one of my favorite songs of her career, and “Overdose” is a pure pop masterpiece) and there’s no denying that Nicki Minaj‘s verse on “I’m Out” is the freshest thing she’s done in years.
Ciara has flagged a bit in years past, most notably with the massacre that was Basic Instinct, but this record properly cements her position as one of the most excellent hitmakers in the pop-R&B space. It was time she took it back, and with Ciara, she has. It hits stores July 9, but you can stream it now over at iTunes.