Ciara's sixth studio album is, conceptually speaking, about perspective. After her much publicized relationship with rapper Future went south, the new album is about Ciara's life as a single woman, as a mother and as a maturing individual who finally realizes how much her own mother did for her. As an artist, Ciara has been someone who, for some reason, hasn't been able to attain Beyoncé or Rihanna's level of status, despite all the buzz and popular singles. Jackie, while good, might not be the album that makes it happen, either.
Jackie features various song permutations of "I'll be alright" and "He's going to regret what he missed out on." Track "Jackie (B.M.F)" warns that there will be "no subliminals" and this album is just telling things like it is — she's moved on and it's all good. The mainstream pop-centric "That's How I'm Feeling" features Pitbull and the welcome presence of Missy Elliot, but it's ultimately an average "make you move"-type number. "Lullaby," "Fly" and "Dance Like We're Making Love" are trademark Ciara songs in terms of an Atlanta "ATL" crunk groove and two-step tempo — in other words, cool, but nothing we haven't gotten from her before. "I Bet" is probably the track that most closely addresses her last relationship with ex-fiancé Future, and the conflicting "hate you/love you" and "I upgraded you" narrative that follows makes for an intriguing song.
And then there are dance numbers like "Give Me Love," "Kiss & Tell" and "One Woman Army," likeable tracks designed for the dance floor. Closing track "I Got You" is a classic Ciara ballad — a tad over-processed, but it will likely tug at the heartstrings all the same. Jackie is unlikely to vault Ciara into the stratosphere, but it's a solidly produced effort that features an artist comfortable with who she is both privately and as an artist. (Sony)
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