NEW YORK — Ciara's Justin Timberlake-fueled "Love Sex Magic" latched onto the charts and helped kick-start the buzz for her third album, Fantasy Ride, which came out Tuesday. The warm-up singles "High Price" (featuring Ludacris) and "Go Girl" (featuring T-Pain) had introduced the project, but despite early reports about Fantasy Ride that made it seem like the album was in limbo, the singer insists that just one thing held up its release: her.

"With this record it seems like I had a lot of pushbacks, when I technically had one," Ciara told MTV News. "And the one pushback was to make sure I had everything in pocket to make sure I had everything where I wanted to be."

Originally, Fantasy Ride was slated to be a three-disc set, with each volume representing different sounds from the singer, including crunk, dance and more traditional R&B fare. But Ciara scrapped that idea and decided to go with a tradional album release. She recruited a number of producers such as Polow Da Don (who helmed the first single, "Never Ever"), Danja and executive producer Tricky Stewart and whittled the track list down until she settled on the 13 songs that would form the final album. Now, the finished project is a better reflection of where the 23-year-old singer is in her life, she said. "This go-round, there's so many more things I get into, whether it's fashion or my lyrics getting more aggressive," she explained. "I'm having a bit more fun with my lyrics. I'm not afraid. In the beginning, I was conscious and really protective and somewhat scared in reference to doing some things. With this album I'm not holding back, there's a freedom. It's just the space I'm in right now."