Spin - "[T]he strong-heeled JACKIE is far from conservative, and possibly more daring, with three of the year's best songs at the very top, middle, and bottom, which couldn't be more different from each other."
Recording information: Chalice Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA; Eightysevenfourteen Studios, Los Angeles, CA; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA; Underdog Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Once the dust settled on her self-titled album, her first for the Epic label, Ciara quickly got to work on her sixth overall album. She also went through some extreme highs and lows: an engagement to and split from collaborator Future, as well as the birth of the couple's son. Named after her mother, Jackie understandably covers many emotions. The three-part title track begins with a theatrical tribute to her mother, then shifts abruptly into an alternately boastful and prickly club track -- a synthesis of down-low bass and bleeps and vintage jungle -- in which she declares "I'm a bad motherfucker" around two dozen times and proclaims "Fuck a blog" once. On the calmer but just as complicated end, there's "I Bet," a post-breakup ballad that combines sorrow (I'm all cried out") and bitterness ("Is that your bitch over there?") with an expressive vocal that simultaneously sounds resigned and content. "Kiss & Tell" is an undeniable gem, produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkut, that adds some much needed sweetness and smoothness to the mix. While Ciara's not among the first vocalists anyone would consider ideal for a Diane Warren ballad, she puts a whole lot of feeling into "I Got You," another bright spot, a song that reflects her outlook as a new mother. ~ Andy Kellman