Ciara has been in the news a lot lately, but it’s been for things like her marriage to Russell Wilson or her lawsuit against Future. It has not been for making evolutionary Janet Jackson cyborg-jams or for dancing hard in videos, which are the two reasons that she was famous in the first place. So it brings me great satisfaction to report that Ciara is back with an absolute fucking bop.
“Level Up,” Ciara’s first single in three years, goes ridiculously hard. It’s built on a jackhammering drum pattern that’s clearly influenced by New Jersey club music. (I was going to say Baltimore club, but it really does sound more like the cleaned-up Newark variant.) Surprisingly, the producer is mid-’00s pop-rap journeyman J.R. Rotem, not anyone from the underground. But there is energy to this song, and Ciara sounds great floating over it.
The entire video is an athletic dance routine. Ciara put it together with Parri$, the New Zealand dancer and choreographer who got famous thanks to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video. You feel exhausted just watching it. Check it out below.
“Level Up” is out now on Beauty Entertainment.