The opens with the sultry, "Ciara To The Stage" which pulses with its synthesized glory and Ciara's broiling vocal work. A very unusual start to an album with such an epic title, maybe because a 'Fantasy ride' starts off slow and then accelerates-- I don't know, but I was expecting something upbeat. Next up is the single we all know and love "Love Sex Magic" with Justin Timberlake, which I loved way before it became a hit single, and that love still goes strong.
Unlike Evolution, Fantasy Ride is pretty heavy on its features. "Turntables" with Chris Brown is a pretty good cut, thumping a catchy bassline, also incorporating a futuristic element to it. "Work" with Missy Elliot, features a fetching kinetic beat, Ciara's rap off on the verses are pretty entertaining. "Lover's Thing" with The-Dream, is more slow... well very slow, indulging in a lighthearted sensual vibe, "Never Ever" with Young Jeezy, which was one of the albums failed fist singles, is another slow cut, supporting an amiable melody --one of my personal favorites.
"High Price" with Ludacris has proved a winner amongst other fans, but I have yet to get into it, it reminds me of "Oh" from the Goodies album, which also featured Ludacris, but was million times better. "Keep Dancin' On Me" seems like a grower, but for the moment does nothing for me, a bland handclap and click with bits of synth.
The best track on the album is "Like A Surgeon", which has to be among the best single R&B tracks I've heard all year. Rocking a melodic, amalgamated structure, powered solely by Ciara's strong vocal. "Pucker Up" is another winner, employing a bleached electronic sound, advocated by acres of synth and camera-flash effects. The album closes with the very mellifluent "I Don't Remember," which I think should be a ballad, instead of a mid-packed handclap and click number.
Fantasy Ride is nowhere as innovative as Evolution but it makes for a good R&B album, despite a couple duds, it holds up well when you only take into consideration it's killer tracks.
Best: Love Sex Magic, Like A Surgeon, Turntables, Never Ever