On the eve of the release of her fourth album, Ciara stood attentive, watching her choreographer run through moves for a planned performance of her single “Gimmie Dat.” It was well after midnight when the songstress arrived at a rehearsal studio in Burbank. She’d just flown in from filming promotional appearances in New York, and without time to shake off any jet lag, she joined in with the army of dancers awaiting her.
Though in later conversation, the 25-year-old was steadfast in her optimism, there is a lot riding on “Basic Instinct.”
Her offering on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” -- for which she was prepping -- and later in the week, “Lopez Tonight,” would be the first time fans saw televised performances for the album that hit stores the same day of her planned Ellen spot –- and they were already buzzing about the seeming lack of promotion.
And after a revolving door of release dates and a slew of poorly received leaked tracks –- paired with the underwhelming reception of the albums’ predecessor, “Fantasy Ride,” excitement, and patience, seemed to be waivering among her fans on popular urban music blogs.
“Even though ‘Fantasy Ride’ didn’t sell as much records as all my other albums, you have to recognize the time that we’re in. We’re in a time where records don’t perform as strong as they used to,” she said after wrapping “Lopez Tonight” a few nights later. “However, I’m very proud of that album … but creatively, I wanted to go back and throw my sneakers back on. The inspiration was really about taking it back to basics, to where I first started. I wanted to make sure my core, core fans got to connect with me. But it doesn’t mean [‘Fantasy Ride’] was wrong, or it wasn’t good.”