Ciara album satisfies fans awaiting her growth

Ciara has returned with her much-anticipated sophomore album. “The Evolution” is the followup to her 2004 triple-platinum debut album “Goodies.”

When “Get Up” hit the airwaves this summer, it marked the beginning of Ciara’s return and left eager fans wanting more. This album satisfies the people who waited to see Ciara evolve as a songwriter, producer and all-around entertainer.

This multifaceted superstar took a more hands-on approach, having writing and co-producing credits on the majority of the tracks.

The album starts off with the Lil Jon-produced track “That’s Right,” which is laced with his trademark baseline and ad-libs. Although the track is good, it falls short of the energy and teamwork the two had on “Goodies.”

The highlight of “The Evolution” comes from “Promise,” a song in which the 21-year-old singer taps into her sultry side and evokes the style of a pop/R&B icon. Ciara sings about looking for someone special to call her own and promises to be there for him in return.

“There’s nothing I won’t do/ To spend my life with you/ I’ll give my all to you/ I promise that I will never lie to you boy.”

The album is 18 tracks of up-tempo dance songs, ballads and interludes. Stand outs include “C.R.U.S.H” and “Make It Last Forever,” which samples Rob Base’s 1988 hit “It Takes Two.”

On “…Forever,” the Atlanta-based performer tries her hand at rapping, once again borrowing pieces from “It Takes Two” for her framework.

“I came to rock right now/ I’m CiCi and I can set it down/ I am internationally known/ and I’m known to rock a microphone/ Because my hips is crazy/ I mean outrageous/ The voice is lovely/ Cuz I’m contagious like/ The way I rock that show/ Shots to place down and now get low/ Let’s go.”

With certain lyrics on the song “My Love,” listeners may think she was referring to her ex-boyfriend, Bow Wow.

“Cause if you only knew what I felt for you/ You would have held on tighter/ Fought a little harder/Been a little smarter. And now you’re gonna miss my love/And one day soon you’ll see/ You’ll reach out for me/ Boy you had a keeper/ Didn’t know how to treat her/ Should have felt a little deeper and now you’re gonna miss my love.”

Fans may be familiar with some of the lyrics on the track “Get In, Fit In” from the “Get Up” video, “Get In, Fit In, Get Out, Get Out…say Iche me son.” But the song is one of the low points, if not the lowest of the album. The song takes on a rock/pop sound that isn’t as pleasing as previous tracks.

Much like her first album, Evolution is replete with collaborations from some of the biggest names in the music industry. This album has production from Polow Da Don, Lil Jon, Rodney Jerkins, Jazze Pha, Will.I.Am and The Neptunes.

50 Cent is featured on “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone” and Chamillionaire is in “Get Up.”

While there were some, this album does not have that many standout dance hits, but the ballads compensated for the lack of club bangers.

It’s an all-around evolution for Ciara music-, dance- and fashion-wise. She has truly evolved from princess to Queen of Crunk N’ B.

Grade: B