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Nelly Furtado - Loose

Nelly Furtado, Loose

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

NELLY Furtado describes her third album, Loose, as a “fast and fun” record and it certainly marks something of a departure.

Sure, there are some pop gems that hark back to the classic style of I’m Like A Bird and Powerless but this is a much more ambitious effort, built around some really interesting collaborations.

It’s principally a beat driven collection, most capably described by Furtado herself as “punk hop”, that features contributions from Timbaland, Missy Elliott and Attitude that occasionally serve to provide it with a harder edge.

As a successor to the excellent Folklore it shows that Furtado is an artist – like Madonna – who seeks to continually evolve.

Opening track, Afraid drops a really smart piano loop and a chic beat before Furtado’s snappy vocals lay down some pretty sassy lyrics. The inclusion of Attitude late on merely adds an extra layer of quality to a track that does, as the artist intends, straddle the boundaries of hip-hop and pop.

Current single, Maneater follows in its wake, complete with infectious chorus and sweaty beats.

While the trade-off between Furtado and Timbaland on Promiscuous offers another adventurous sparring match between two distinct artists that boasts a catchy chorus and another addictive beat.

All three tracks barely resemble any of Furtado’s previous work – although fans concerned that a new direction might be something bad can depend on later efforts to give them what they want.

The Portuguese roots of this Canada-based singer-songwriter are fully in evidence on Te Busque, an extremely sexy collaboration with South American music sensation, Juanes (their second since Fotografia).

During this record, the beats become slower and the acoustic guitars more pronounced, hinting at all of the passion of a different genre of music.

There’s a more distinctly Eastern flavour to the beats and rhythms on the equally thrilling Wait For You, which offers another fine set of vocals.

While on All Good Things (Come To An End), there is some lush vocal layering, some achingly beautiful melodies and one of the most downright catchy choruses on the album. What’s more, it was co-written by Furtado with regular collaborators, Tim Mosley, Nate Hills and a certain Chris Martin, of Coldplay fame.

It has future single written all over it and is certain to become one of her most popular records.

The rest of the album is similarly impressive with only the odd bland or generic sounding beat to upset the overall pleasure of listening to it.

With Loose, Furtado builds on the strong progression she showed with Folklore to emerge as an artist not afraid of a challenge. It is a mightily impressive record that deserves to win many friends.

Track listing:
1. Afraid
2. Maneater
3. Promiscuous
4. Glow
5. Showtime
6. No Hay Igual
7. Te Busque
8. Say It Right
9. Do It
10. In God’s Hands
11. Wait For You
12. All Good Things (Come To An End)
13. Let My Hair Down
14. Somebody To Love