“Level Up,” The Sequel To “Promise” Ciara Knew We Needed

One of my favorite music videos of all time is Ciara’s “Promise.”

It’s a sexy song with a sexy video that features a whole lot of gyrating and air humping and some prop theatrics that appropriately throwback to another time while staying firmly in the present. (Which, in this case, was 2006.) It also features a huge ensemble of dancers, making the song more of a visual experience than anything else. I’m no Ciara acolyte but that song and video and the entire experience of “Promise” has stuck with me for years. It’s like velvet, in a way, a sort of plush and lush something that has lined the back of my ear for years.

Well, C has done it again with “Level Up.” I am late on this by a little under a month but her new music video takes the ensemble sexy dance spirit from “Promise” and takes it in a decidedly club direction, swapping in microphones for headphones and leggings for technical hot pants. It’s fast paced and fun with choreographed theatrics of its own that reminds of “Promise” (The wall humping!) that manifests here as floor split gyrations and running on the ground. It’s absolutely nonstop and – in a more straightforward, hip-thrusting way – super sexy.

If “Promise” was what you whisper to your lover after a nice fuck fest, “Level Up” is the serenade before anything goes down. Ciara is a hoot and a holler, that’s for sure, and songs like “Level Up” remind us of that. But the video? It illustrates that she is a sort of singular choreographed artist who emerges every few years to offer you a spectacle that marries dance and music in a focused way that no one else can do. Catch the video below.

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