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Goodies is Ciara's debut album. It was released on September 28, 2004 on LaFace Records.

After writing songs for several established acts, Ciara's talents were noticed by Jazze Pha and she began to work on what became "Goodies."

The album's conception came through the which the title track, created as a female crunk counterpart to Usher's "Yeah" and Petey Pablo's "Freek-a-Leek."

Ciara worked with several writers and producers on the album, including Jazze Pha, Lil Jon, Bangladesh, R. Kelly, Johntá Austin, Sean Garrett and Keri Hilson among others.

With the album, Ciara was hailed as the "Princess or First Lady of Crunk&B." The album uses dance music while utilizing pop, R&B, and hip-hop influences.

It delivers contradictory lyrical content, featuring female empowerment and independence-promoting lyrics in songs like the title track while others show interest in adult activities.

Critics gave the album positive to mixed reviews, commending the "Goodies"-esque songs while deeming others as unoriginal and noting Ciara's limited vocal abilities.

Most critics compared the work to the late singer Aaliyah and also said it had qualities of Destiny's Child.

Commercially, the album was a success. In the United States, it debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 124,750 copies in its opening week.

It was later certified triple platinum by the RIAA. As of June 2010, the album had sold over 2.7 million copies in the United States.

The album also fared well internationally being certified Platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) and Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

"Goodies" earned Ciara two Grammy nominations at the 48th Grammy Awards including "Best New Artist" and "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" for "1, 2 Step."

Album Background[]

In her mid-teen years, Ciara formed the all-girl group Hearsay with two of her friends. The group recorded demos, but as time went on, they began to have differences and eventually parted ways.

Despite this setback, she was still determined to reach her goal and signed a publishing deal as a songwriter.

After leaving the group Hearsay, Ciara earned a writing job via her manager for Atlanta's Tricky Stewart and The-Dream's RedZone Entertainment, penning songs for Mýa and Fantasia among other artists.

According to Ciara, no one believed in her dreams of hearing her own music on the radio until she met producer Jazze Pha in 2002.

Within five months of meeting her, Pha signed Ciara to his Sho'nuff label and they had already recorded five tracks.

About Ciara, Jazze Pha said:

"What was really lacking is the Janet Jackson, high-energy dance [music]. Ciara fills that void. She's pretty, she can dance, she can write music, and kids love her. Everyone loves her."

Album Production[]

After graduating from Riverdale High School in Riverdale, Georgia in 2003, Ciara was signed by LaFace Records executive, L.A. Reid whom she was introduced to by Jazze Pha.

She began production on her debut album later that year.

In early 2004, Ciara wrote a demo with record producer, Sean Garrett, co-writer of Usher's crunk hit "Yeah."

After hearing a demo, crunk producer Lil Jon, who also produced and was featured on "Yeah", began to work on the full record to have it released on LaFace, which was also Usher's label.[

Originally, Ciara was reluctant to work with the track produced by Lil Jon, reportedly disliking crunk music at first.

However, she decided to use the song to go against the grain and deliver lyrics in contrast of female promiscuity lines delivered by fellow female artists.

To give her a title to stand out, Lil Jon dubbed her as the "Princess of Crunk&B."

Dubbed the female counterpart to "Yeah" and fellow crunk hit "Freek-a-Leek" by Petey Pablo, it looked to capitalize on the success of the previous songs.

In addition to working with Jazze Pha, whom produced most of the album, Lil Jon, and Garrett, Ciara worked with several other Atlanta-based writers and producers including Bangladesh, Johntá Austin, Jasper Cameron & others while featuring collaborations from Atlanta's T.I. and Ludacris. R&B singer R. Kelly wrote and produced a track.

When talking about the album's theme, Ciara said it was universal, stating:

"It's about everybody. You'll have songs with different emotions, happy, sad, 'my heart is broken.' What everybody goes through."

On her success with the preluding title track, she said:

"I'm very content right now. I take everything a day at a time. Every time I hear good news, I'm shouting out, 'Praise God.' Everybody around me is so excited, I still haven't got it. I haven't really felt it like they're feeling it for me."

Composition[]

The album consists of bouncy dance music mixed with crunk & combined with either R&B, pop or hip hop music.

The ballads on the set utilize Ciara's breathy vocals as the uptempo pieces. The lyrical content varies on the album.

Songs like "Goodies" issue a message of female empowerment and abstinence & this is contradicted as she hints at teasing sex.

Slant Magazine compared this to Britney Spears-esque "layer of tease to the mature" in her early work.

Utilizing influences from 80's dance music, qualities of the work of Destiny's Child and Aaliyah are evident.

"Goodies" is heavily influenced by male counterpart crunk song "Yeah" and also has been compared to Kelis's "Milkshake."

The song makes use of a repeated whistle, "faux operated vocals" in parts and a western guitar riff near the end.

"1, 2 Step," which continues the club music theme, is built around a simple dance and features Missy Elliott in a pas de deux.

According to Mike Pattensden of The Times, "owes plenty to classic New York electro."

"Oh," a downtempo song, features a heavy bassline and has been called "brooding electronic grind." According to Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian, "sounds like R&B reimagined by Gary Numan."

"Pick Up the Phone" was described as a rip-off of Aaliyah's "Rock the Boat" by Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine.

"Next to You" (written by R. Kelly) is part of the album's second half of ballads, and was said to capture "Ciara's youthful indecisiveness."

The song "Hotline" features a "funky clap" and beatboxing.

Tracklisting[]

  1. Goodies (feat. Petey Pablo) (3:43) [written by Ciara Harris, Jonathan Smith, Sean Garrett, Craig Love & LaMarquis Jefferson; produced by Lil Jon]
  2. 1, 2 Step (feat. Missy Elliott) (3:23) [written by Ciara Harris, Phalon Alexander & Missy Elliott; produced by Jazze Pha]
  3. Thug Style (4:25) [written by Ciara Harris, Phalon Alexander & Johnta Austin; produced by Jazze Pha]
  4. Hotline (3:23) [written by Ciara Harris & Shondrae Crawford; produced by Bangladesh]
  5. Oh (feat. Ludacris) (4:16) [written by Ciara Harris, Andre Harris, Vidal Davis & Christopher Bridges; produced by Dre & Vidal]
  6. Pick Up the Phone (3:48) [written by Ciara Harris, Phalon Alexander & Johnta Austin; produced by Jazze Pha]
  7. Lookin' at You (3:35) [written by Ciara Harris, Phalon Alexander & Johnta Austin; produced by Jazze Pha]
  8. Ooh Baby (3:37) [written by Keri Hilson, Sean Garrett & Harold Lang; produced by Flash Technology]
  9. Next to You (3:13) [written & produced by R. Kelly]
  10. And I (3:53) [written by Ciara Harris & Adonis Shropshire; produced by Adonis Shropshire]
  11. Other Chicks (4:21) [written by Ciara Harris, Lakiesha Miles & Demetrius Spencer; produced by French]
  12. The Title (4:21) [written by Ciara Harris, Jasper Cameron & Skip Scarborough; produced by Jasper Cameron]
  13. Goodies (Remix feat. T.I. & Jazze Pha) (4:21) [written by Ciara Harris, Sean Garrett, Jonathan Smith, Phalon Alexander & Clifford Harris Jr.; produced by Lil Jon]

Singles[]

The title track *featuring Petey Pablo) was released on June 8, 2004.

Conceived as a crunk female counterpart to Usher's "Yeah," the lyrical content goes against the grain, speaking of abstinence, rejecting advances because "the goodies will stay in the jar."

Critics hailed it as an "anthem of the summer" and one of the best singles of the year, complementing its dance-feel and beat & the irony of the "clever" lyrics.

The single performed well worldwide, topping the charts in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom and charting in the top ten of other charts, receiving Platinum certification in the United States.

The music video shot for the song features Ciara partying with friends.

"1, 2 Step," (featuring Missy Elliott) was released as the second single, incorporating a hip-hop and dance-pop feel, deriving influences from 1980s electro music.

While topping the charts in Canada, it additionally appeared the in top ten of six other countries, and was certified Platinum or Gold in multiple regions.

The accompanying music video features Ciara and others performing the dance. The song was nominated for "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" at the 48th Grammy Awards.

"Oh" (featuring Ludacris) proclaimed as a love song to Atlanta, was released as the album's third single on March 5, 2005.

Carrying a slow, dark tone, critics noted "Oh" as a standout track from the album.

The song performed well worldwide, appearing the top ten of seven charts, and certified either Platinum or Gold in multiple regions.

The song's music video (whhich is similar to that of "Goodies") takes place at a block party & was nominated for "Best R&B Video" at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.

The album's final single, "And I" was released on August 30, 2005 and only managed to peak at ninety-six on the Billboard Hot 100.

The music video for "And I" is loosely based on the 1992 film "The Bodyguard" and NBA player Carmelo Anthony portrayed Ciara's love interest.

Commercial Performance[]

The album debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, selling 124,750 copies in its initial week.

It topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart before being dethroned by Usher's "Confessions" album

The album had a seventy-one week stint on the Billboard 200, and certified three times-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 10, 2006.

As of June 2010, it has sold around 2.7 million copies in the United States.

Charting at twenty-two on the Canadian Albums Chart, it was certified Platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

The album charted at twenty-six in on the UK Albums Chart and spent twenty weeks on the chart.

It was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry, remaining to be Ciara's sole certified album in the UK.

The album charted moderately in other international countries including the top forty on the New Zealand Albums Chart and Irish Albums Chart.

Critical Reception[]

Raymond Fiore of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B and commented:

"If Aaliyah had lived to make another CD, it might have sounded like Goodies" and said that other album cuts "prove she's no one-track pony."

Noting the singles "Goodies," "1, 2 Step," and "Oh" as standout tracks, Allmusic gave the album three and a half out of five stars.

Steve Jones of USA Today said:

"The voice doesn't blow you away, but as with Goodies, she takes a lyrically intriguing offbeat path from time to time. Though not every song is a goodie, she does have a few treats in store."

Even though he said the album wasn't a perfect work, Azeem Ahmad of musicOMH said:

"The talent is obviously there but if we are to carry out Ciara's wish of forgetting about "the other chicks" then there's some fine-tuning needed. For now there's no direct threat to any other hip-hop divas, but the void left by Aaliyah is still there for someone to try and fill. There's no reason why Ciara can't one day hold her own with the best."

Jalylah Burrell of PopMatters commented that "Goodies is nothing new, but it is executed well."

Although pointing out the flaws of Goodies, Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian said:

"Ciara has no conviction as a sweet-talker but her disconnected style clicks perfectly with the cold, clinical (in a good way) hits."

Mike Pattenden of The Times said: "Goodies has some tasty treats, but they’re all stacked on top of the jar," commenting that Ciara's "whispery, girlish voice that is often relegated to the background by stronger performers, suggesting she is little more than a pretty mouthpiece for Jon and his posse of producers."

Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani compared it to the work to Aaliyah, stating some of it was not up to par with the late singer, but complimented the titular track-esque tracks.

Album Legacy[]

With the release of her debut single "Goodies", Ciara was referred to as the "Princess of Crunk&B."

Allison Stewart of The Washington Post commented that she has a "reedy, agile voice, capable of conveying the only three emotions (sexy, sassy, sad) an R&B singer needs."

Randall Roberts of Los Angeles Times commented that "Ciara has been the most synthetic of the R&B divas over the past decade, an electro-leaning vocalist whose instrumental palate has heavily favored stark 808 beats, sassy and seductive vocal lines."

In the early to mid-2000s, some crunk music hits like "Get Low", "Goodies", "Yeah!" and "Freek-a-Leek" produced by Lil Jon climbed to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

Both "Yeah!" and "Goodies" were the first tracks to introduce the substyle of crunk music and contemporary R&B, called crunk&B to the public.

Both of those tracks (performed by Usher and Ciara, respectively) were the main mainstream hits of 2004.

Since then, crunk&B has been one of the most popular genres of sung African-American music, along with electropop, the genre that replaced crunk and crunk&B in the charts in 2008.

The work helped Ciara earn several nominations, including Best New Artist at the 48th Grammy Awards.

Several 'Goodies" singles received several nominations at different ceremonies, which included "1, 2 Step" being nominated at the 48th Grammy Awards for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

The song "1, 2 Step" from the album Goodies has received numerous awards, including both "Best Performed Songs in the ASCAP Repertory" and "Most Performed Songs" from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, "Best Collaboration" from the BET Awards, and "Best Dance Cut" from the Soul Train Lady of Soul Music Awards, and "Choice Music R&B/Hip Hop Track" from the Teen Choice Awards.

Ciara has received nine nominations from the BET Awards, winning one of them.

Personnel[]

  • Phalon "Jazze Pha" Alexander – producer, backing vocals, featured vocals, executive producer, audio production, instrumentation
  • Kori Anders – engineer, assistant
  • Johntá Austin – writer
  • Moses "Petey Pablo" Barrett III – featured vocals
  • Carlos Bedoya – engineer
  • Jim Bottari – engineer
  • Leslie Brathwaite – engineer, mixing, audio engineer
  • Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges – featured vocals
  • Ralph Cacciurri – engineer
  • Jasper Cameron – writer, producer
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Shondrae "Bangladesh" Crawford – writer, producer
  • Mike Davis – engineer
  • Vidal Davis – producer, writer
  • Vincent Dilorenzo – engineer, mixing
  • Rodney East – keyboards
  • Melissa "Missy" Elliott – featured vocals
  • Flash Technology – producer
  • Yolonda Frederick – make-up
  • Andy Gallas – programming, engineer
  • Abel Garibaldi – programming, engineer
  • Sandy Garrett – vocal producer
  • Sean Garrett – writer
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • Carvin "Ransum" Haggins – vocal producer
  • John Hanes – digital editing
  • Andre Harris – producer, mixing, audio production
  • Clifford "T.I." Harris – featured vocals
  • Ciara Harris – writer, vocals
  • Kevin Hicks – writer
  • Keri Hilson – writer
  • LaMarquis Jefferson – writer
  • Rachael Johnson – stylist
  • Robert "R." Kelly – writer, arranger, background vocals, producer
  • Harold Lang – writer
  • Henry "Noonie" Lee, Jr. – executive producer
  • Craig Love – writer
  • Donnie Lyle – guitar
  • Carlton Lynn – engineer
  • Mark Mann – photography
  • Pierre Medore – vocal producer
  • Ian Mereness – engineer
  • Lakiesha Miles – writer
  • Jason Mlodzinski – assistant
  • Steve "ESP" Nowacynski – engineer
  • Mark Pitts – A&R
  • Charles Sanders – engineer, audio engineer
  • Skip Scarborough – writer
  • Ray Seay – mixing
  • Adonis Shropshire – writer, producer, engineer, audio production
  • Shereese Slate – hair stylist
  • Jonathan "Lil Jon" Smith – producer, backing vocals, mixing
  • Nico Solis – engineer
  • Demetrius Spencer – writer
  • Vern Spencer – engineer
  • Brian Stanley – engineer, mixing
  • Shakir Stewart – A&R
  • Anthony "T.A." Tate – executive producer
  • Sam Thomas – engineer
  • Mike Tsarsati – assistant
  • Courtney Walter – art direction, design
  • Nathan Wheeler – assistant
  • Cory Williams – assistant
  • Phillana Williams – marketing
  • Arnold Wolfe – engineer
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