Review: Jack Foley
NOW here's something that makes a refreshing change. A former
pop diva being allowed to experiment and sounding much better
Nelly Furtado burst onto the scene in 2001 with her hugely-popular
Whoa Nelly! album, which produced the singles I'm Like
A Bird, Turn Off The Light and My Love Grows Deeper,
without ever sounding that different from countless other female-led
What did shine through, however, were Furtado's striking vocals,
which leant many of the tracks a grittier edge, and which belied
her tender age.
Still only 23, Furtado now follows up Whoa Nelly! with
Folklore, a fun-filled journey through her musical roots,
which actually marks a major progression for the talented artist.
Turning its back on the radio-friendly pop-format, Folklore
combines elements of rock, with Furtado's Portuguese background,
and folk, to deliver a truly accomplished album which should set
her up well for the future.
The first thing you notice about it is the diverse mix of instruments
being employed, which lend each track a far richer feel, courtesy
of the strings of the Kronos Quartet, as well as banjo, accordion,
tablas, pipe organ and harp, at different points.
Tracks such as Picture Perfect contain a bluesy-folkesy
feel, reminiscent of Sheryl Crow at her huskiest, while forthcoming
single, Powerless, is a no-nonsense, and powerfully defiant,
record, given extra edge by some upbeat African percussion and
Bela Fleck's addictive banjo.
Explode taps neatly into teenage angst and the pressures
of growing up, while Saturdays recalls her experience of
cleaning hotel rooms with her mother.
Outside influences come courtesy of Try, the type of record
that wouldn't sound out of place on a Crowded House album, and
the Latino-based hip-hop style of Fresh Off The Boat, which
comes closest to anything from the first album, while still retaining
its maturer focus.
Even the more ballad-like moments possess a quality which make
a mockery of the singer's age; you can't imagine Britney Spears
sounding so accomplished during moments such as the heartfelt
Build You Up, one of several really beautiful moments on
Indeed, there is barely a bad record among the 12 on show (only
Childhood Dreams comes over a little too sweet, courtesy
of its hymnal tones), making this an outstanding follow-up, and
one of the year's most pleasant surprises to boot. We would urge
you to check it out.
1. One Trick Pony
2. Powerless (Say What You Want)
5. Fresh Off The Boat
7. Grass Is Green
8. Picture Perfect
10. Build You Up
11. Island Of Wonder
12. Childhood Dreams
13. Try (Acoustic) (UK Bonus track)
14. Enhanced video footage