Ciara’s dropping Jackie next week and, to my mind, it’s gotta be a home run. 2013’s Ciara was moderately flush with cuts, but it didn’t seem to go anywhere, whether chartwise or culturally. She’s had a tumultuous year—had her first child with rapper Future, a potential dream team that seemed to go south with the quickness. But now, even though she is a compelling singer with endless jams and the literal best dancer in pop music, your musicianship can’t float entirely on tabloid narratives. Heartbreak narratives, yes; let’s see what she mines. (I want her to win, though, believe me.)

As for “Dance Like We’re Making Love,” the second single from her sixth album: I can’t tell if it’s boring that producers Dr. Luke and Cirkut resurrected the Diwali riddim from ten years ago, or if they know something I don’t about cycles of memory and demand. (Maybe they read my Gwen Stefani post!) Psychically, it feels like a bad look for Ciara to jam on something that recalls Lumidee, who most people know as a one-hitter, but then again it’s not a bad bet to sink your hopes into Dr. Luke, who is basically the evil wizard of making our pop charts sound like that.

Still, though, the essential Ciara-ness of it all pulls through—her voice has never been the most melismatic or trained, but its wispy relatability is all we’ve ever needed, really, and the ascending harmonies on the vocals are very impactful. God, I don’t think Dr. Luke is very innovative at all, but damned if he doesn’t know how to construct a pop song. Conclusion: this will probably fly on the radio; in the club is debatable. Your thoughts?


Contact the author at julianne@jezebel.com.