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.