Thinly veiled sexual metaphors notwithstanding, “Promise” finds Ciara pledging honesty and a lifetime of love to her man. She keeps her head up after a breakup (“So Hard”), and urges fans to take responsibility and make a difference in the world (“I’m Just Me,” “Get In, Fit In”). “I Found Myself” is a similar pep talk that reminds us God is in control, and friends will cheer and strengthen us as we persevere.
“Proceed” and “C.R.U.S.H.” express a lack of self-control. Tired of dating gentlemen, Ciara trains her sites on a “hustler” (“Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone”) and a “thug” (“Bang It Up”). Those tracks and others are set in dance clubs. Activities range from a guy-girl encounter (“Get Up”) to a girls’ night out in which Lil Jon wants to “tap that booty” (“That’s Right”). “Like a Boy” imagines a vengeful role reversal that empowers women. Suggestive CD pix and music videos (on a companion DVD) turn up the heat.
No profanity, drugs or alcohol. Even Ciara’s immodest visuals and songs about clubbing aren’t as randy or explicit as her peers’. Still, her provocative image and themes have a sensual edge, making Evolution an album teens shouldn’t monkey with.