Fantasy Ride (Deluxe Version)

Fantasy Ride (Deluxe Version)

Though tastes may tend to favor hot singles these days, there’s still something very appealing about a comprehensive album. Vocalist/cowriter Ciara's third full-length Fantasy Ride fits the bill as an experience to enjoy end to end — with the emotional highs and lows, uptempo club jams, and smooth ballads balanced just so. Ranging in emotion and corresponding style from sassy (the confident and flirty opening track “Ciara to the Stage”) to vulnerable (“Never Ever,” which incorporates the Gamble & Huff classic “If You Don’t Know Me by Now”), Fantasy Ride can serve as the perfect road trip mix. The guest contributions (Justin Timberlake, Ludacris, Missy Elliott) add to the diversity, and the album benefits from having both potential single-type tracks — the high-energy “Turntables” with Chris Brown; the electro-twang of “G Is for Girl (A-Z)” — and deeper cuts such as the menacing “Like a Surgeon” and the unashamedly romantic “When I.”

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