Boiling Point: Ciara’s Shaky Discography

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When Ciara burst onto the music scene in 2004, she was heralded as the second coming of Janet Jackson and garnered with several invalid comparisons to Aaliyah. However, her career gradually crumbled and the unfortunate 26-year old has already been labelled as a has-been.

Yet, how could an artist who scored an international hit with ‘Love Sex Magic’ just three years ago be so quickly disregarded? The answer to that question isn’t difficult to discern: her music is forgettable.

‘Get Up (Ft. Chamillionaire)’, ‘1, 2 Step (Ft. Missy Elliott)’ and ‘Oh (Ft. Ludacris)’ are some of Ciara’s biggest hits  – all landed in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 – but beyond the occasional spin between old Lil Jon and Ludacris songs in the club around 3am, none of those tunes accumulated sizeable airplay after their initial chart runs. In fact, ‘1, 2 Step’ is probably only memorable because of the “boom kats” references during Danity Kane’s season of ‘Making the Band’. Thank you Laurieann Gibson.

Even Ciara’s most successful tune to date, ‘Goodies’ – her lone #1 single on the Hot 100 – is widely regarded as a record dated to the long forgotten era of Crunk. Honestly, people generally only mention the song while discussing the former glory days of BET’s ‘106 & Park’.

“…what Ciara really needs is a career-defining song.”

Still, this article isn’t geared toward describing Ciara’s former success. Rather, it is about identifying why she was unable to remain a constant in the industry and what she needs to rectify that problem. Indeed, what Ciara really needs is a career-defining song.

Can you name one undeniable classic in Ciara’s discography? Wait, before you scan your iTunes and search Wikipedia for a clue, let’s define the word ‘classic’. It is a song that had a major cultural impact and success that would forever be associated with a certain artist. Examples of such records include Mary J. Blige’s ‘Real Love’, Mariah Carey’s ‘Fantasy (Ft. ODB)’ and Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’.

So, now that you have searched your computer and your deepest thoughts for the answer, I’m sure you couldn’t name a single classic song by Ciara. By the way, I know what some of you might be screaming at the computer: “‘Promise’ is a great song!” That is true but did it really have a major impact or did many people simply enjoy it because it sounded similar to the work of Aaliyah?

“None of Ciara’s songs are memorable and since an artist’s worth is measured by the impact of his/her hits then neither is she.”

That, my dear friends who love me and won’t stampede onto my Twitter page with hateful tweets after reading this article, is the gaping flaw in Ciara’s catalogue. None of her songs are memorable and since an artist’s worth is measured by the impact of his/her hits then neither is she.

Of course, I am not denying that Ciara is an immensely talented performer but we would all be lying to ourselves if we tried to deny the limited scope of her material. Hence, she needs to focus on generating a career-defining song for her next album.

Ciara doesn’t have the largest vocal range or much skill as a singer  but she does have the support of LA Reid. Also, with Diane Warren currently writing songs for her new project, Ciara has the resources at her disposal to finally achieve an artistic breakthrough. Perhaps, she might even generate her own incarnation of Janet Jackson’s ‘Again’!

Thus, Ciara slipped from major relevancy because her songs were hits but none of them stuck. She needs to put forward an undeniable classic that would redefine her career or else she will once again miss a spot Vh1’s list of the 100 Greatest Woman in Music when it airs again in ten years.

Thoughts?

  • Ciara’s Number One Fan

    I much as i am a CIARA STAN !!!
    i have to agree with 95% of this.

  • Trav

    Ciara is a good artist. There’s no denying she is a GREAT dancer. I just can’t really pinpoint why she isn’t going as great as the other females out right now.

    If you sit back and look at it, the likes of Rihanna and Katy Perry just to name a few can’t really entertain like Ciara could and none out of the 3 are the strongest singers.

    I sort of disagree about singles/songs being memorable because for all that’s worth then none of Rihanna’s singles/songs are memorable either, ESPECIALLY her number 1’s minus Umbrella maybe.

    With Ciara’s next studio album, with her saying that it sounds nothing like her past efforts, maybe we’ll finally see Ciara making an impact back onto the charts.

  • lexi

    TRENT! I am dying at that GIF!
    also, I think you hit the nail on the spot there. No further comments needed

  • Ismokeuchoke

    I disagree Ciara whole Goodies album was a classic honestly in my opinion i mean the whole album was just full of singles at a time when females were all beginning to follow Beyonce foot steps she took a whole nother approach and created her own lane a lane that females such as Cassie, Keri Hilson, Brooke Valentine and others have followed in. I still to this day listen to And I, Ooh Baby, Next To You, The Title, Promise, My Love, and others. Ciara problem is the same thing that made her a success is the same thing that has made her a failure as of late when she came in she was Ciara now she is trying to be Beyonce and Rihanna if Ciara went back to her roots to who she is as a artist then we would see improvment but i dont think she even knows who she is at this point

  • lexi

    @Trav Katy Perry and Rihanna make hit after hit after hit any way possible. Ciara makes a hit (like Ride) then goes away for a bit, so even though all 3 of their music is forgettable the KP and RIH are more consistent

  • Americanboi

    You said everything I’ve been saying. I cant see her CHOOSING to move past this “crunk” era. I believe she could have a career similar to Ms Jackson, but she won’t allow herself to. My roommate is a hardcore Ciara Stan and I told him right when she dropped Ride she has peaked. She’s not going to go any further then what she’s gone! Crunk is OVER. She needs to find another avenue. But…even with that said she tried that with Love Sex & Magic…an ppl didn’t respond….so maybe she is a lost cause…

  • Yes.

    I have to agree with all of this article. Promise was Ciara’s best single to date material wise, but it did not last long at all.

  • Jeremy87

    Some artists have IT some dont.. everyone cannot and will not be great!.. Trent that GIF is murder!.. Lmao

  • Niki

    Agreed. I’m actually rooting for her to comeback with a knock out single or two but the two “leaked” tracks we heard a month or so ago are not the T and I hope they are not indicative of what’s to come! However, to say Rihanna and Katy Perry don’t have memorable hits?????? Come one now!

  • crying at the giffff

  • Malachi

    The Irony that the first comment on the post is a Ciara fan who agrees with 95% of the article. SNM.

  • Cliff

    i think she tries too hard to be different, i miss her music.

  • Jay Jay

    Main difference between Ciara vs Rihanna & Katy Perry or any other leading female artist out right now is that Ciara didn’t have the same promotion or tools that was given to her peers. All of them artist’s had writing camps, full force promotion and radio support. Ciara had all of that on her first two albums and then things went left.

    The songs that leaked a couple months ago “Swim” and “Be out” are songs that has been recorded from her previous albums and Ciara herself confirmed that on twitter

  • carl

    I don’t think I agree with Trent entirely, I think Ciara is lost artisically though as after the first 2 albums everything went kind of cloudy, I just hope her new album has the perfect balance of R&B/Pop/whatever else she has planned. As LA Reid is backing her now she has no reason to flop. Third strike and I’m joining the rihanna navy *sigh*

  • Eharris

    I agree that she does need a career defining song, however I do feel musically her albums have progessed from album to album. Even though Basic Instinct flopped super hard,it had some great songs besides Girl Get Your Money , I hate that song. I dont want to compare her to anyone but I think all of her albums are better than Rihanna’s and I feel Ciara is the better artist

  • sunshine

    I Agree and Disagree. I think the main problem Ciara had is the support from a Team. As a Fan Ive followed her story and I know since she came out she has been dealing with getting a solid team. Her 1st song “Goodies” blew up fast. She didnt have a chance to form a solid group of people around her. She was with Shonuff,laface then jive. Most artists that are successful today have a strong label and team helping them every step of the way. Ciara has been quite frankly, A loner. I think Ciara does have music that is memorable or has the potential to be memorable. But when your music doesnt get promoted like other artists what do you expect? People only remember songs like “Single Ladies” because theyre super repetitive with simple lyrics and gets played on the radio every 5 mins! Thats the easy route! I Think Ciara tries to go for different angles with her music, She doesnt want to follow suit with whats out there already, and she shouldnt. Hopefully Ciara finally has the strong foundation she needs because she definitely has the talent. If Britney Spears and Janet Jackson are considered “pop icons” I dont see why Ciara cant be one too. She sings and dances better than both of them to be honest. What they have that she doesnt is people to give her the hottest music and loyal people helping with the business part. Ciara has what it takes. Based off of the people she is working with in the studio now and this New Label, I think her Fifth Album will be her best ever.

  • okkk

    Ciara needs to go pop and leave the crunk n b alone. Rihanna is a perfect example of the route she needs to go. Huge pop song then follow with a smooth r&b/pop punch.

  • Jay Jay

    @ Sunshine

    Couldn’t agree more

  • EbbieD

    @ Sunshine I’m sorry, but Ciara isn’t messing with Janet as a dancer. She’s mainly a hip roller!!! SORRY!! And Janet has an extensive vocabulary which makes her a writer and a great one at that!!!

  • Girrrl

    How did you know I was saying Promise to my computer? I’m not even a Ciara fan but I loved that song. Ciara seems like she has just the same amount of talent as the average pop star, I don’t get why she has been flopping. I hope she does another track like Go Girl. Even though it flopped I thought that was an original direction for her.

  • Xavier

    I agree with the article. Honestly the only time I really see/hear Ciara’s music mentioned/played is when I’m scrolling through the shuffle in my playlist. I might listen to one or two but I keep going. It’s not that they’re bad because I like them actually (first two cd’s) but they really don’t stand the test of time. Argue what you want, many of the aforementioned artist and numerous other artist have at-least one career defining song that when you think of them comes to mind. IMO Beyonce- Crazy In Love, Rihanna- Umbrella.. etc. Even Ashanti, who is not big in terms of relevance right now, has Foolish which charted 10 weeks at number one and still garners her some sense of relevance. Ciara’s left her lane that she could have really built upon and been successful. Listening to Ciara’s most recent efforts, it sounds forced and just not her.. like she’s trying too hard. I may be wrong but that’s why I see/hear.

  • @Sunshine and @Jay Jay I 100% co-sign with y’all. Ciara was mistreated and they let her fall. Big time. You can have a classic but if it doesn’t impact the charts, then its not a classic. That’s how it is. Ciara is the 3rd Black artist who runs the music business. I just hope L.A Reid is giving her all the support she needs. I’m telling you. This bitch is gonna slay the shit of y’all.

  • R@@

    I agree in some areas others I don’t…..I’ve been watching Ciara’s career since she started…I do believe that she needs that song that define her career, what artist doesn’t? Ciara had the A list of writers and promo for her first two albums. When L.A left her label to be head of Island def jam that’s when things went LEFT….Ciara has GREAT music that has not been heard ex:Like A Surgeon, Heavy Rotation, Keep Dancing, Turn It Up etc….SHE just need a machine behind her and NOW that her and L.A are back together I can see this NEXT era big because L.A. Reid signed her and he knows how to mold her and brand her as an artist. Since she confirmed that she’s taking her time and she’s getting more aggressive with her writing and actually producing some of her songs on this new album I do believe that she is taking this very serious.I’ve always rooted for her and I think this NEW album is going to be the ONE that everyone can have a sigh of relief…So we will all have to wait and see how this is turns out because she is to talented to not be up there with whats hot.

  • LindseyMari

    I felt like so many people telling her to go back to the “Goodies” sound was a suicide move though. You can’t just simply re-create that sound when you’re no longer that person with the same team/producers. Goodies worked in 2004 because of the popularity of the whole Crunk era and Atlanta was poppin’, but music not the same environment anymore. In my opinion, “Basic Instinct” was huge step back from ‘The Evolution’ and ‘Fantasy Ride’ (which was actually a quality album but lacked promotion and proper singles). My suggestion would for her to craft some amazing pop/dance songs to really get folk’s attention.

  • Diane

    The fact that she has had two flop albums and people still put her in the same competition bracket as Bey and Ri should tell you how well she could do if the right team was behind her promotionally and creatively.

  • I won’t say her music is forgettable That not right But I’ve always said she needs to find her “Again” her “umbrella” no1 really checked for rihanna until that song But many songs Are very good and are Classics But If there is gonna be no Push to promote it Its gonna fall flat that’s true The evolution is amzing even Fantasy ride! No one forgets the Goodies How can you forget that days? I’m a Xtina stan and I will never forget 1 2 step and the dance move she does in there! Ciara was never shoved in Our Faces Like Beyonce and Rihanna was Her music always done the talking Hell Goodies stayed at 1 for 7 weeks! But she needs to fine songs with CATCHY hooks That’s what rihanna and bey do. The 3 of them are of the few Leading Black ladies of our time

  • Why do ppl act like Ciara has always had a Great TEAM ?she never really had! Ciara team Fucked up evolution era already Did You guys Forget how The evolution WW release was fucked up It was only released moths after than that in The US and its singles died down! Ciara does not have a Great Team She Has Never Had a WW campaign like Bey or rihanna hell her promo in the states hasn’t even been anything good Her LABEL fucked her up. To prove she has never had a stable team She Moved from Shon uff Laface Jive etc She Needs Catchy songs and A Good Label That’s ALl the rest she got IT

  • Only relevant cus a Boom back wtf? Wtf is boom back? 1.2 step stayed at #2 for weeks just behind mariah “we belong together” its a Classic

  • Carl

    TBH, I agree with some points but not all. First Ciara’s main problem has been promotion and marketing. Her team have never really known what to do with her after The Evolution. They’ve always been sucky with single choices, Goodies had like what, 4 singles? The Evolution had a lot of songs that could of been plugged but they were releasing them months apart etc. I feel like on her 3rd album they tried to make her compete with Rihanna and the other pop girls to give her that breakout but they couldn’t find the balance in her sound or image. She was the down south, dirty tomboy that climbed on top of cars and then comes out with Love, sex and magic? I think by that point, her core fans found it hard to identify with. It’s like looking up to someone who came from the same hood/area/background as you and watching them evolve into someone you kinda don’t know anymore. Also I think it’s unfair to say she doesn’t have any classics/career defining songs is unfair. Many artists don’t, I don’t think Chris Brown does have anything I would necessarily call a classic or ‘career- defining’? Neither does Kelly Rowland, Keyshia Cole, Fantasia etc. So if you’re gonna do it for Ciara you should do it for everyone because she has more memorable songs than a lot of other artists IMO. I just hope for this next album she finds a balance, cos for me I LOVE hood Ciara, dancing Ciara more than pop. She, however needs that balance and she’s proved she can do it in the past so I don’t see why she can’t again. Chris Brown is doing it the right way, he’s kept his urban fans but managed to find the pop-crossover. I’m rooting for her.

  • TheAmbassador

    THE CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *SQUELCHES*

  • CIARALOVER

    @Carl I understand what your saying! alot of ppl didn’t like Ciara doing POP but me personally I been a HUGE FAN since 2004 and will continue to be. As a FAN I just continue to support what she does! Every artist Changes their Style and music as time goes by. Im pretty sure you have seen this with OTHER artist not just ciara. But I really hope she establishes herself in 2012 🙂

  • Ciara Stan 21

    AND WHAT IMPACT DID RIHANNA MAKE!? the reason of Ciara’s slump is her lack of label support. And that’s the truth. There needs to be something constantly promoting the artist for them to remain relevant in pop culture. Beyonce is a perfect example of this. If Ciara does get the proper label support this time, the world will see her true potential and talent.

  • Leo

    THAT CAT GIF!! AHAHAHAHA

  • THE GIF

    Oh wow.

    I have felt so bad all day and that has me dying in here omg. I AM ROLLING

    ROFLLMWM]EPOMFAEKMMF

  • lamina

    Ciara made the mistake of thinking that whispering and talking on a track would equal success no a recording artist is suppose to have the ability to Sing i.e good sounds coming from their larynx , I suggest you get the testicles you still have removed as the the heavy secretion of testosterone is hindering your vocal range. One Woman Army will not sell as cannot perform a fundamental aspect of being a recording artist which is singing. This time round you cannot blame everyone else for your poor sales and rant on facebook. Get some singing lessons.

  • let the truth be known

    She needs more fans point blank. There has to be more than a good song for one to like an artist. Personality and style are just a few. Ciara has neither. Yeah yeah i know in front of a camera she appears so sweet, but you can see that it is fake, sorry Ciara stans. Lastly, her singing….She can have the best producers in the world work with her but as long as her vocals are not that good, it ain’t gonna work. Believe or not her vocals were passable on some of her old songs that i liked. Oh well time will tell.

  • Gemtee

    I agree with most of what Trent said. I am a fan of Ciara’s music i enjoy listening to her songs from time to time but do I think she has that it factor? Yes. Can she hold her own against other pop acts in music? I think she can and will in due time. I think some ppl or fans of other huge pop acts like Rihanna or Beyonce lady gaga always come for Ciara or say things like “oh I didn’t even know she still had fans” or the usual “is she still alive” but one of the reasons why I am a fan of Ciara is because through all the confusion and disappointment and embarrassment she went through with basic instinct I saw and see a strong determined woman who truly believes that she will someday become a world wide entertainer. Ciara is the type of person who will not give up no matter how many times she has a hard time achieving the success she craves for, failure is only giving up. I believe in Ciara and I know in my heart that she will redeem herself and become the worlds most talented entertainer of all time it will happen just wait and see 🙂