Basic Instinct Ciara (CD)
Ciara says she wants to go back to her original sound with her new album Basic Instinct. Although this means the listener gets plenty of R&B, her latest offering comes across as predictable.
Ciara has always favoured the use of heavy electronic beats to support her vocals, and the opener Basic Instinct (U Got Me) doesn't break with tradition. A long, aggressive rap section proceeds to tuneful vocals, revealing some of Ciara's emotional range. But the rapping obscures her breathy singing, which only emerges more than halfway through the track.
Throughout the album, complicated synthesised rhythms tend to dominate, drowning out Ciara's voice. Heavy Rotation, an enjoyable R&B number, would have had greater impact if the vocals had been brought to the fore.
Basic Instinct leaves us in no doubt of Ciara's potential. Turn It Up is a catchy party tune, which owes much to guest artist Usher. Ciara's flawless switches between rap and vocals on the song highlight the skill she sadly fails to demonstrate on the rest of the album. When she slows down for You Can Get It, she can't seem to carry the ballad well enough.
If you're looking for background party music, this album is fun enough. But we expect more from the woman billed as the 'Princess of Crunk&B'.