Music Notes: Nelly Furtado, Loose

July 8, 2006

Tanja received a box of promo CDs from a record label, so I think it will be fun for me to post my aging, Gen X thoughts about this “new music.”

I think Nelly Furtado’s career started around 2000 with a bird song, which I recall as a pleasant enough folk-pop-Lilith Fair type thing. I have her second album, Folklore which had one or two decent songs (one of which I’ve heard playing over loudspeakers in the GAP), the rest being rather muddled mush. She has an interesting voice which I alternately like and hate, in a similar realm as Alanis Morisette and Tori Amos. Her previous work I like well enough, especially the multi-cultural women’s empowerment type angle.

On Loose any element of Furtado’s unique-ness is pretty much obliterated as she seems to have undergone a pop makeover into a robotic nympho slut. It’s pretty telling when the best tracks are the ones with other artists on it. I will say that Maneater and Promiscuous are instant hooky hits, perfect for summer and the radio. However I don’t think Furtado adds anything of her own charm to either: any robo-princess could churn out this stuff with enough computer plug-ins and label backing.

I feel that the truth may be as simple as economics. I’m sure Furtado needed a hit or be forever delegated to one-hit-wonder status. The total image overhaul is one way, as it links Furtado with urban dance while abandoning the smaller folkie market. Therefore Loose is expertly produced, like a screenplay worked over by ten writers. Any personal charm beat out of it with hi-hats, but sure to sell a million on calculated sex appeal alone.

Congrats Nelly, you have your hit album. I really hope for the next one you get to be on it.

iTunes Store Link: Loose (iTunes Version) – Nelly Furtado