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Preview: Ciara 

The former teen pop star comes to The Joy Theater May 19

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There's an entire mini-album inside "Jackie (B.M.F.)," the five-and-a-half-minute opening title track of Ciara's sixth LP (Epic): a dramatic, ham-stringed prologue introducing the eponymous character, who turns out to be both her mom and herself; a minute of what everyone came for, crazy-ass swagger trap from producer Harmony Samuels, concluding with some braggadocio that no man can match ("I just delivered a 9-pound, 10-ounce baby / I'm a bad motherf—ker"); then a switch, so sudden it seems like a different song, with Ciara spitting on the haters she's picked up since her 2004 debut stunner Goodies ("F—k a blog / I ain't holdin' back, I'm goin' off") before settling into an alternating routine of bucking verses, smooth bridges and shouted B.M.F. hooks. It's a far cry from the right-there heavy breather of "Body Party," but Ciara's no longer that girl — she got engaged (to rapper Future), broke it off (see lead single "I Bet"), had a baby (the wonderfully named Future Jr.) and reworked this record to reflect all the changes. The cliche about having your whole life to write your first album and just months to write your second has always dogged her — that's the price one pays for being dubbed the next Aaliyah at age 19 — but Jackie feels as much like a rebirth as any former teen pop star and present mother could hope for. "Delivered" is right. Tickets $25.


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