Ciara follows her Basic Instinct on her fourth album, in stores today. Executive produced by Tricky Stewart and The-Dream, the disc marks a return to her roots, with the sensual “Ride” and dance floor-pounding “Gimmie Dat.” Now the R&B chanteuse faces her critics. Find out what they thought below.
Entertainment Weekly: Always a strong singles artist, Ciara has struggled to find enough memorable material to fill an album. She comes closer than ever on her fourth full-length, Basic Instinct. B+
USA Today: Tricky Stewart, Mark Pitts, and The-Dream are the producers of note, but they’ve failed to come up with enough stimulating hooks and beats to convince. What they have concocted is sometimes incompatible with their client’s soft, breathy, (and pleasant) pop voice. 2 out of 4
New York Daily News: When you have a voice this bare, it’s up to your writer/producers to make the records hit. But overseers C. (Tricky) Stewart and Terius (The Dream) Nash haven’t found riffs, or beats, steely enough to play off Ciara’s slack tones. 2 out of 5
The Washington Post: The fine, thumping “Gimmie Dat,” with its booming bass, offers a through-line to Ciara’s crunk past. On the title track, she laments time spent on the red carpet instead of in the studio. It’s a personalized mea culpa that’s meant to make it okay to like Ciara again, a feat that remains beyond her limited powers of persuasion.
The Boston Globe: The singer works with hit-makers The-Dream and Tricky Stewart on several tracks; unfortunately, it seems they’ve saved their best hooks for their next gig. Some songs are tart and have attitude (Basic Instinct [U Got Me],” “Girls Get Your Money”) but many are nondescript.
BBC Music: Basic Instinct is vibrant, addictive, and sleek, a calling card for modern R&B shorn of filler and gauche imitation. It’s come late, but [the album] is one of the best R&B albums of the year.
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Ride,” “Heavy Rotation,” “Speechless,” “Turn It Up”