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First Lady of Crunk-N-B Displays Her "Goodies"

Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08

If you expect this review to reveal an album that brings new aesthetic ground to the world of contemporary R&B, I suggest you put this review down, and play Jill Scott's latest release. But, if you are looking for something to hum along to, dance to and enjoy without thinking too hard about the content, you have found your album in the Sho'Nuff/LaFace recording artist, Ciara's, debut release, "Goodies."

The 18-year-old beauty from Atlanta has been dubbed the "First Lady of Crunk-N-B," a fitting title considering her first single, the Lil' Jon produced "Goodies," is a certified smash. While the song does recall previous Lil' Jon produced tracks, such as Petey Pablo's "Freek-A-Leek," and "50-11," it is still so catchy and infectious that you cannot resist the temptation to hum along.

The same can be said for much of the album. With "Goodies," Ciara sticks to the standard subject matter that consumes most of radio today- the ode to thugs in "Thug Style," the city of Atlanta in "Oh" featuring Ludacris, and the word baby in "Ooh Baby." Each song confirms the suspicions that Ciara's handlers intend to play it safe and make sure this album appeals to as many as possible.

The only noticeable difference is Ciara's attitude towards sex. In both "Goodies" and "Next To You," a duet, ironically enough, with R. Kelly, Ciara finds herself not as willing to go down the same road as many of her female R&B peers. Though this may be alienating most of the male population, in a world of R&B where Black femininity is often solely measured by one's sexuality, it is refreshing to hear songs where the female artist is not giving it up.

Ideally, this is the type of record that many of those who like to go on about what's "wrong" with the music industry would point to as the prime example of how fluff sells at the expense of material with substance. However, with "Goodies," those feelings aren't resonating. "Goodies" is not groundbreaking, but that was not Ciara's intention. Instead, this record is focused on getting you "crunk," and Ciara definitely aims to please. "Goodies" may not have the legs to stand the test of time, but it is definitely an album to enjoy in the moment. Grade: B

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