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on May 11, 2009
I don't know what album the other reviewers are listening to but I absolutely love this album! I think it has a good mix of sexy dance songs and slow jam tracks. The album did not take long to grow on me and I find myself dancing to all the fast dance songs. There are some awesome tracks on this album! I never skip a track while listening to it. It's amazing. There are also some great guest appearances on this album!

Bottom Line - I understand that everyone has their own opinion but I think you should try things out for yourself. Preview the album and you will hear how awesome it is and you will want to buy it!!! :)
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on May 15, 2009
Review:
In her third offering, Ciara takes her fans on a "fantasy ride" that hits many highs and lows. The overly hyped and continuously delayed album boosts many radio friendly songs and potential hits. One of the album's downfalls is the lack of cohesiveness. This might be attributed to the album's original formatting of having three different discs representing various musical styles, which later became scraped. The album's formatting change resulted in all concepts being placed on one disc.
Aside from the lack of fluidity, this 13-track album offers a little something for everyone. Listeners' ears will be subjected to Ciara's alter ego, "Super C" softly crooning over seductive mid-tempo ballads and heads will bob along to the album's contagious club bangers with the catchy hooks.
If listeners are looking for the growth and "evolution" with Fantasy Ride, they will be slightly disappointed.

Strongest points:
The album's aggressive and dance driven beats allow this album to standout. The album enlists production from many of the industry's "it" producers. This includes: Justin Timberlake, Tricky Stewart, The Dream, Rodney Jerkins, and Missy Elliot. In addition, the many collaborations found on the album helps to give the "swagger" Super C was aspiring for. Cameos include: Justin Timberlake (Love Sex & Magic), Chris Brown (Turntables), Ludacris (High Price), Missy Elliott (Work), Young Jeezy (Never Ever), and The-Dream (Lover's Thing).

Weak Points:
Ciara, aka Super C's vocal delivery is at most sub par. Vocally Ciara seems to exhibit a lack of growth. There is no differentiation between Ciara and Super C. Ciara's voice remains monotonous and at times is almost inaudible over the infectious production. In actuality, Ciara and Super C both become lost in the production and merely sit in the background. For the longest Ciara has been fighting for her own identity. Throughout her career she has been compared to the likes of Janet Jackson and even the late Aaliyah. Many songs throughout the album actually are very reminiscent of Janet's Discipline era. For instance, I Don't Remember is very similar to Janet's Rock With U. The lyrics at times are very superficial and lack depth and intensity--G is for Girl, Like a Surgeon, and High Price.

Highlights:
Ciara to the Stage, Love Sex & Magic, High Price (the operatic vocals gives the track an unique flair), Never Ever (possibly Ciara at her best), Work, When I (Bonus Track), and Keep Dancin' On Me.

Rating: 2.5/5
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on August 1, 2015
This album is a dance-pop hidden gem. All of the singles were badly chosen and are the least interesting songs on the album, not exactly bad, but nothing exciting. The rest of the 8-9 songs are really fantastic. Music that gets you really pumped and in the zone. For those who like to feel sexy and in charge. Highlights for me are Work, Pucker Up, Turn Tables, and High Price. On the same vein as Britney's Blackout album.
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on May 7, 2009
Some of it is hit, some of it is miss. Know that I'm gonna be totally honest here. I'm not a huge fan of her but I have liked some of her songs in the past. I never really respected her for her voice because although it's pleasant, she has next to no range meaning she can't really do anything amazing with her voice.

But I know that she's not about that. She's just supposed to give you a good time. And I'm basing my rating off that. What I liked, I tell you about. And what I didn't, I'll definitely tell you about.

One last thing - I see that some people don't like this album. I think it's far from perfect but CiCi fans can find something here that they like (besides the singles).

1. -Ciara Hit The Stage- Definitely one of the strongest tracks here. Probably number two. It's got a nice vibe. The production is pretty cool. B-

2. -Love, Sex, Magic (Feat. Justin Timberlake)- Not the worst song but definitely not really feeling the beat. Sure, you guys have heard this one before. It's her current single. You either like it or you don't. D+

3. -High Price (Feat. Ludacris)- Wasn't a fan of the beat at first but might get you bouncing. Ludacris' part is fine but it's the beat after all that carries this song through. B-

4. -Turntables (Feat. Chris Brown)- This song, from the get go, is weird. The sample is annoying and repetitive. Just wait till you hear it. I don't even know what the song is about really. Nonsense to me. D-

5. -Like A Surgeon- This is the second song that Ciara takes on herself. This beat is better than Turntables. The lyrics are fun. It's sad Ciara barely had a hand in any of these songs (save for one bonus track according to Wikipedia). She's a songwriter for heaven's sake! C

6. -Never Ever- I wasn't crazy about this song before. I only liked the chorus. But I like it now. Even Young Jeezy's part fits in nicely. This is by far the best song with a guest star. The only thing I don't like about this song is that Ciara tries hard to be heard, like she has power in her voice at moments, and she doesn't. But it doesn't really take away from the song. Perfect first single. B

7. -Lover's Thing (Feat. The-Dream)- I must admit I'm no fan of The-Dream. Some say he's underrated but I say he's overrated. He just doesn't have that appeal to me. He's just another contemporary R&B singer on the charts. But to get to the song, it's not bad. They make an alright duet. C+

8. -Work (Feat. Missy Elliot)- Just doesn't compare to One, Two Step in quality. I don't really know what else to say. It's not horrible. It's actually listenable but it's not great. The beat probably saves it. C-

9. -Pucker Up- Produced and written by Darkchild, it's something that would fit right in, in a movie with a crazy night bar scene. And not just your typical bar either. It's OK I guess. But lyrically repetitive. C-

10. -G Is For Girl (A-Z)- Not crazy about this one. Would skip it if I was you. D-

11. -Keep Dancin' On Me- An improvement over "G", this song is more laid-back. A nice welcome. C+

12. -Tell Me What Your Name Is- Produced by the same guy that co-produced Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" I was a bit shocked before I actually heard the song. It's nothing like that song just so you know. -wipes off sweat- One of the better songs. C+

13. -I Don't Remember- co-written by Ne-Yo and company, I actually liked the name of this song for some reason. It sounds like a song that would have depth. But does it? Well for Ciara, I think it's safe to say yes. It's a slower song about not remembering the night before. The production is futuristic and simplistic. C

Artwork: (the Superhero theme is awesome. She looks GREAT!) A+
Inside Artwork: N/A
Lyrics: C-
Beats: C-
Songs: C
Overall: C

If you are unsure about the CD, check out the best songs first.

Never Ever, Ciara To The Stage, High Price (the beat is fire for dancing) Tell Me What Your Name Is and Lover's Thing (in that order).

end note: This is not a CD I would buy. I would definitely download what's good and then call it a day. Great cover art though!^^
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on May 18, 2013
Following the very strong "Evolution" album, many fans were eager to see what Ciara would come out with next. Unfortunately, her third release got off to a messy start with lukewarm reception to singles and confusion over the album format. Initially, this album was intended to be a three-disc set, with songs divided according to their style: Dance, Crunk, and "Groove City" which was supposed to be similar to Evolution. However, this idea was later scrapped, and the album was instead released as both a standard disc, and a 2-disc deluxe version. The album was also based around the concept of Super C, a sort of superhero alter-ego for Ciara that was featured in the video for original lead single "Go Girl", a track which did not make the final album. This concept also ended up not being especially evident throughout the album, aside from the cover art. Despite all the confusion, the final product that Ciara put out ended up being quite strong.

The album begins with the sensual "Ciara to the Stage" (originally titled "Explode"), reminiscent of her hit single "Promise." Although it is pretty unusual for an artist to begin an album with a mid-tempo track, this one was a wise choice. This track is one of the strongest that the album has to offer, showcasing Ciara's talents for intimate yet classy tracks. The bridge in particular is well done, taking on more of a spoken-word style. "Love Sex and Magic" featuring Justin Timberlake is another strong track that suits both artists perfectly. Although it is somewhat more upbeat than the previous track, it follows a similar mood. This track would not have sounded out of place on Justin's FutureSex/LoveSounds album, causing some criticism that Ciara was trying to change her sound just to get a hit. It is certainly a different sound for her, but it generally works, although listeners who do not like Justin Timberlake's typical style are not likely to be impressed. "High Price" is a more experimental track in the sense that Ciara takes more risks with her vocal style, singing in an almost operatic style that her voice can't quite handle. This track has Ciara reuniting with Ludacris, who she first collaborated with on her debut. This track can be very hit or miss, depending on whether the listener likes the vocal risks. Overall, the track works quite well however Ciara's is not quite right for the style she is attempting.

"Turntables" took a risk in a different sense by featuring Chris Brown, who at the time was still in the midst of his domestic violence case against Rihanna. Fans worried that Ciara's decision to include him as a guest would reflect negatively on her. Regardless of Chris's personal issues, the track is another rather strong offering. The lyrics are quite simple, with Ciara asking the DJ to keep her dancing all night. The two artists complement each other quite well. "Like a Surgeon" is another suggestive track, using a hospital metaphor that unfortunately comes across as far too heavy-handed. Stylistically, this track has received numerous comparisons to Janet Jackson and Aaliyah. This track lacks the subtlety that makes so many of Ciara's sensual tracks work. Although some may enjoy the metaphor, the lyrics are not quite strong enough to make it work effectively. "Never Ever," on the other hand, is a strong mid-tempo, and the first official single from the album. This is the first track that really gives Ciara's voice a chance to shine with its toned down production. Young Jeezy's rap does not contribute very much, however. Lyrically, this is one of the most relatable songs that the album has to offer. "Lover's Thing" is another track that has received mixed responses from fans. Although this is far from the most memorable track that the album has to offer, it is solid filler. It also has some of the strongest lyrics that the album has to offer, with Ciara and The Dream singing about a relationship that is reaching it's end. This is probably one of the album's most underrated tracks.

"Work", on the contrary, is a song that demands immediate attention and quickly became a fan favourite, with good reason. Although the repeated chanting of the word "work" can get a little irritating at times, the rest of the track more than makes up for it. Ciara's delivery sounds confident, and she does not become overshadowed by the production. Missy Elliott also provides one of the album's better guest appearances, with a rap that suits the track perfectly. "Pucker Up" is another track that works primarily because of Ciara's delivery. Lyrically, this track has Ciara addressing her critics and telling them to "kiss my swag". This is the kind of track that can easily come across as phony. Luckily, the combination of strong production and an even stronger performance from Ciara makes this track work unexpectedly well. "G is for Girl" is another track that was risky simply because of the lyrics. Any track that goes through the entire alphabet needs to have exceptional production and/or delivery to make it work. Luckily, this track once again has both. The lyrics are quite weak if listened to closely, however the rest of the track makes up for it enough. It is far from the strongest song Ciara has to offer, but it fits the album pretty well. "Keep Dancin' On Me", on the other hand, is a very underrated track as well as a true highlight of the album. This track showcases Ciara at her best, again bringing her back to a more sensual style. Ciara's vocals are quite strong, and suit the mood perfectly especially on bridge. The lyrics are also some of the strongest that the album has to offer. This is truly Ciara at her best.

"Tell Me What Your Name Is" is a slight step down, yet it is still far from a bad track. On this song, Ciara sings about meeting a new guy and wanting to get to know him. The lyrics take on more of a storytelling style, which occasionally makes it sound awkward alongside the production. It is a nice song and a solid contribution to the album, but tends to forgettable. "I Don't Remember" is another track that takes more of a risk but succeeds quite well with it. This track focuses on Ciara trying to piece together what happened the previous night that made her boyfriend leave. Like the previous track, the song takes on a similar style of telling a story through the lyrics however in this case it meshes much better with the backing track. The sparse production gives Ciara plenty of room to showcase her voice, as well as the lyrics. The deluxe edition of the album features two additional tracks. The first, "Echo", is a strong upbeat track. Ciara has always had a talent for catchy upbeat tracks, and this one is no exception. The song once again shows Ciara giving a confident performance. The bridge again is one of the strongest parts. Finally, "I'm On" is another upbeat track that showcases Ciara at her most confident. This is another decent track, although the falsetto singing does not really suit Ciara. Unfortunately, she uses that style for the majority of the track. It is a solid ending track, but not the most memorable.

Overall Mark: 4/5

Aside from all the confusion surrounding the release of this album, Ciara managed to pull together yet another strong album that showcases many of her strengths. It is still unclear how exactly the whole superhero concept fits into the final product, since there does not seem to be much distinguishing Ciara from "Super C". What remains even more questionable is if this album would have worked so well if it really had been separated into three distinct sections. Although that decision makes some sense for allowing fans to choose what style they most wanted to listen to, it seems likely that each of the three discs would have been quite short. The decision to instead blend all three into an album worked exceptionally well. "Fantasy Ride" as a whole is a surprisingly cohesive album that manages to combine multiple styles. Although there are few true standouts throughout the album, the entire collection plays as a solid whole. This is a highly underrated album, and one that really shows Ciara at her best on several tracks.
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on May 20, 2009
I feared the worst for this album when it kept getting pushed back, for one. Then when 'Go Girl' failed to make noise, and the follow-up 'Never Ever' as well, I was just done. 'Love Sex Magic' was a decent rebound, but it was more than clear that it was a possible left over from Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds album and a desperate attempt to draw people in last minute. And it still hasn't generated anything compared to the singles on her last two albums. When I saw the cover I was even more mortified. And from my years of listening to music, you know you're in for a crap of an album when there are tons of guest appearances noted (with the exception of a few). The original concept of a 3-CD set crossing different genres of music and her alter ego 'Super C' was a bit exciting for a young lady who is clearly the heir to Janet Jackson and Aaliyah's throne, but looks like someone by the name of Beyonce beat her to the punch.

All jokes aside, this CD is disappointing and really all over the place. I expected so much more. It seems that she tried too hard and just lost focus and sight of what she wanted in the end, which could be at the fault of the label. Up-tempo cuts like 'G is For Girl (A to Z),' 'Turntables' f/ Chris Brown, and 'Work' f/ Missy Elliot are not the cream of the crop and all over the place musically. Ciara overdoes it on 'Ciara to the Stage' and 'Keep Dancing On Me,' and 'I Don't Remember' is a horrible attempt to recreate a theme perfectly created by Britney Spears's 'Blur.'

'Tell Me What Your Name Is' and 'Pucker Up' are tossups, but there are some high points. Two of the singles that have already been released make the final cut ('Go Girl' isn't featured for some strange reason but included on the Limited Edition CD/DVD as a video only) and are to Ciara's standards vocally and musically. The-Dream puts her in her comfort zone with the opera-like 'High Price' f/ Ludacris and the duet with himself on 'Lover's Thing.' 'Like a Surgeon' has a Prince-esque type of vibe similar to how she won people over on her sophomore album with 'Promise.' The two bonus tracks on the Limited Edition CD/DVD, 'Echo' and 'I'm On' are phenomenal and should've replaced the weakest tracks on the main album. Even 'Click Flash' from the Sex and the City The Movie Soundtrack is worthy. With these songs it puts in prospective how the vibe of the album would've been had she stuck it through because they are classic Ciara R&B/Pop bangers.

This album is definitely the worst of the three. I expected her to progress even more with the positive response from her sophomore release, but this is below the bar she set by far. I guess every artist has that one album that just wasn't on point for whatever reason and this is Ciara's unfortunately. Thank goodness she's in her early 20s and still has a long career ahead of her.

I expect to see her revamped and in normal form whenever the next album drops, but this simply is not her best work. Could've been a lot better.
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on May 9, 2009
I really think that Ciara has a lot of talent, but this CD was not the greatest at all. I'm quite disappointed that she took all this time to come up with a luke warm CD. I would have to give this one a C- for sure. The song with Ludacris called "High Price", she sings in this opera like tone. I don't understand why the producers, record company, and even herself thought that was okay. I couldn't even listen through the entire song or CD. I tried twice and failed!!! I was quite astonished by it totally. Frankly, I tried twice to listen to the CD and just couldn't do it. Maybe I'm jumping the gun here too soon, but I just didn't like it at all. Ciara performed on Saturday Night Live the 2 songs that are currently being played. I must say she did good job in her live performances. You have the ablility to make some changes to the arrangements to the songs, and she did good. But, it doesn't change my grade of C- for Fantasy Ride. Ciara let's step it up on the next CD. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!
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on May 6, 2009
I find it funny how anyone can comment on production, songwriting, lyrics etc. Especially if that isn't your profession?! Artists, producers, songwriters and record labels work very hard to give the audience something that they can enjoy. Ciara happens to be one of those artists of many in the industry who isn't going to please every single one of her listeners. It is true that after hearing a song over and over again, you just might like it! Or maybe not!
At first when I listened to some of the songs that leaked, I was a bit puzzled to say the least. But after hearing the album in it's entirety, I get where Ciara went with creating "Fantasy Ride." Either you get it or you don't! I commend her on taking a huge risk with Fantasy Ride and there are millions of people around the world who will dance and support Ciara no matter what the reviews say. Sometimes, you have to get into it for yourself before making a decision off someone else's opinion. Even mine and I love the album!
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on March 22, 2014
I would say it was far more consistent than Basic Instinct. Not to mention, it had better vocals too. It just sounded better and more livelier to me. I felt more pumped on this one. It's not really all that bad as people make it out to be. It had really good, catchy tracks for the most part. Most of the songs were sonically more appeasing than the ones on Basic Instinct. High Price sounded a lil bit over the top with the operatic vocals. Turntables sounded really good. Like A Surgeon is decent. Never Ever is my favorite. I love how the lyrics samples "If You Don't Know Me By Now". "Lovers Thing" kinda felt reminiscent of Diana Ross "Missing You" with the extra, cutesy background sounds. Work, G is for Girl, and Love, Sex, and Magic are easily the best dance tracks on here. They really want to make you move to the rhythm. I would say the only tracks I would get rid of is the Britney-sounding "Pucker Up", "Tell Me What Your Name Is", and "I Don't Remember". They either had rather boring lyrics or lackluster beats. They just weren't that interesting to me. I like how "Tell Me What Your Name Is" samples "Time After Time", but the lyrics just felt disappointing. Despite those three, it's a good, fun album that is worth giving a shot at.

Top 5:

1. Love, Sex, and Magic
2. Never Ever
3. Work
4. Lover's Thing
5. G Is for Girl
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on December 22, 2009
Ciara's third album Fantasy Ride was originally supposed to be some sort of concept album with three different "sections". That idea was scrapped, however, and after months of delays, the album came out earlier this year, and since I already heard her first two albums, I decided I might as well listen to this one.

Truth be told, there are only a few songs on this album that really stand out, two of which are "Love Sex Magic" and "Lover's Thing". The latter features The-Dream singing in an unconventional way: NORMALLY -- and I wonder why he doesn't sing this way on his albums. Speaking of Dream, it should be no surprise that there are a couple of selections on here written by him and his partner Tricky Stewart, but the only really decent one is "Keep Dancin' on Me". "Like a Surgeon" didn't do anything for me, and the Ludacris-assisted "High Price" is skippable (especially when C does that "you know me" part).

"Never Ever", the first U.S. single as well as one of the only ballads on here, does a nice job of interpolating Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "If You Don't Know Me by Now" (Jeezy's appearance really isn't needed though). That's about it, though. Most of the rest of the songs are mindless club tracks, like "Pucker Up", "Turntables" and the ridiculous "Work" (the latter two songs feature Chris Brown and Missy Elliott, respectively). "Ciara to the Stage" is one of those cases where the chorus sounds like it's chopped-and-screwed but it isn't, and "G is for Girl (A-Z)" tries to cleverly interpolate the alphabet but fails (for a successful take on that idea, check out Nikka Costa's "Till I Get to You"). And the limited edition version of the album features two additional tracks: "Echo" and "I'm On", which are both okay (in fact, the beat to the latter sounds almost identical to the beat to "Love Sex Magic").

In short, Fantasy Ride isn't a terrible album but it would only sound good in the club, so if you don't feel like steppin' out, you can do without it.

Anthony Rupert
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