Not featuring anyone? What would the international market think?…
Chuck Eddy: My name is not Susan. And I’m not Lisa. They call me Quiet, but I’m a riot, Mary-Jo-Lisa, always the same. That’s not my name.
Dave Moore: Middle-of-the-road midtempo synth ballad with pleasantly sighing, short of breath chorus should further facilitate people not having any desire whatsoever to actually hear this album. I recently saw the deluxe version of Fantasy Ride going for some absurdly high price (see, you have to pay double for two of the good songs, “Echo” and “I’m On”) and couldn’t help but think this album would have done better as a shelved promo-only obscurity. If I’m going to pay that much to be disappointed, I’d at least appreciate the air of collectible fetishism.
Michaelangelo Matos: Haven’t given Fantasy Ride more than an initial spin but it sounded promising. This track, though, is a hair too subdued to work for me the way I’d prefer it to.
Hillary Brown: I guess this is kind of sexy, but it’s this very polished “sexy” thing that Ciara always seems to have going on, with the splits and the leather outfits and the fancy hair, and she really could stand to get mussed a bit, yes?
Al Shipley: Evoking the luminescent glow of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” previously resulted in Ciara’s greatest record ever, “Promise,” so it’s not surprising to see her grab at that magic again, this time a little more explicitly. I thought “Never Ever” was the token “Promise” retread for this record, but I have no problem with another, because these kind of sweetly cooing midtempo songs always go over with me better than the crunk bangers she built her career on.
Anthony Easton: The voice is plaintive, obsessive, and emotionally raw, the generic R&B sound beneath it reinforces the jetsetting blankness, the Ballardian ennui of it all.
Martin Skidmore: This seductive number has an odd sense of tension: she’s picking up a guy at a club, but the pauses in the chorus give an almost menacing atmosphere, which is strange for such a small singer. Perhaps it’s the snaps over the lush music, I’m not sure. Whatever the case, for me she is one of the most interesting performers of the decade, despite her limited vocals, and this is immensely compelling.
Martin Kavka: Dr. Luke has finally written a great slow jam, sparing us the pain of ever having to listen to “I Will Be” again. It’s got the sweetness found in post-Jehovah’s-Witnesses Prince as well as the energy found in pre-Jehovah’s-Witnesses Prince. When the chorus comes in, my heart beats just a little faster. Ciara doesn’t add anything to it, though; she might as well be Anonymous Guide Vocalist.
Ian Mathers: Despite loving some of her singles, I still have little to no opinion on Ciara as a singer/performer – as long as the synths are good enough, I don’t care. She is at least good enough to pick productions that she sounds awesome over, and “Tell Me What Your Name Is” is no exception.
Alfred Soto: If Amerie plays the moderate negotiator, then Ciara is the ice-cold yin to Rihanna’s red-hot yang. Ciara announces “I don’t want to waste my time” like she’s mimicking the sign-off music before your laptop switches off. The arrangements bleep and blare in that retro-future way. Not bad at all, but it just sits there.
Matt Cibula: I’m in 100% summer mode right now so I’m giving this song a bit of a break; it’s not the greatest or anything, but it contains a bunch of summery noises that I like and I could see it soundtracking a summer roadtrip movie where three friends find love…in the most unexpected places!