Furtado gets ‘Loose’

Chris Azzopardi
By | 2006-06-22T09:00:00-04:00 June 22nd, 2006|Entertainment|

After Canadian-born Nelly Furtado’s mainstream overexposure at the onset of the millennium, many hoped that she’d actually metamorphsize into a bird, like the song, and flutter away.
In a way, she did.
Her 2003 failure “Folklore” barely made any dents on the Billboard sales and radio airplay charts. The joyous mix of electronic beats, acoustic sounds and Latin influences left critics with mixed opinions. Furtado seemed destined to be labeled a one-hit wonder.
Now, Furtado, with the help of producer and rapper Timbaland, has landed in a nest with a tune that won’t have her spreading her wings, or her fans’, anytime soon. Thankfully, the aptly titled album “Loose” gives Furtado’s sound an urban makeover, a transformation that suits her thin voice and doesn’t seem as miscast as Jewel’s metamorphosis into a dance-pop princess a few years back.
The sly beat on the booty-shaking lead single “Promiscuous” is built on thumping synthesizers layered under Furtado’s whispery, steamy vocals that alternate with Timbaland’s rough-edged voice. Although it comfortably slides into Britney Spears territory, the tune’s catchy lyrics and back-and-forth flirtatious conversation elicit an unexpected instant summer smash from a former folky.

While Furtado flirts mostly with hip-hop grooves, she tosses in a syrupy, cliched acoustic ballad, “In God’s Hands,” and the airy, pop-sprinkled tune “All Good Things (Come To An End),” which wouldn’t sound that out of place on her smash debut, “Whoa, Nelly!”
With a breezy beat and a sweet whistle-effect, Furtado records a tune destined to yield farewell tear-pools at proms, funerals and divorce ceremonies, even if some of the lyrics seem like a block of Cheddar.
“The clouds were dropping and the rain forgot how to bring salvation/The dogs were whistling a new tune barking at the new moon hoping it would come soon so that they could die,” she sings.
Furtado doesn’t neglect her Latin roots on destined dance numbers like “Te Bosque” and the tiresome “No Hay Igual.” Furtado may have followed in the shadows of so many that decided to tread new musical territory (especially if their last album sold less than “Glitter”), but she does so fruitfully, schlock lyrics aside. All we can ask for now is that the much-criticized switcheroo doesn’t cause Furtado to use “Promiscuous” in a commercial for Trojan ribbed condoms a la Jewel’s Intuition razor plug.

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Reach him via his website at http://www.chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).