Nelly Furtado



by chuffy18 USER (1 Reviews)
March 18th, 2010 | 6 replies | 5,914 views

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

If Nelly Furtado’s Folklore proved anything is that mainstream pop audiences (and sadly, most critics) don’t accept change from pop divas and just want them to sing five different versions of their breakthrough hit. And yet in recent history there have been examples of Pop Queens changing their sound and embracing maturity with succesful results. Two shining examples of this type of album are Madonna’s Ray of Light and Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope, which may not have been the hit machines some of these women’s previous albums were but still reached the top of the charts and were heralded by critics as milestones in their careers.
Folklore shares much with both the first in that their creators have just given birth and the latter in that an overall sense of depression and nostalgia pervade the albums. But while Madonna got praised for singing about her daughter and the disillusionment of fame, for some inexplicable reason Nelly Furtado was considered, in raising those issues,to be ‘’whining’’ and was labeled as an example of the “sophomore jinx’’.
The album opens with the great “One Trick Pony’’, which begins with a sweeping string section, courtesy of the Kronos Quartet, and sudennly breaks into a danceable banjo-and-violin interchanging with Nelly Furtado singing that she isn’t indeed a one-hit wonder. In the wake of the album’s flop, such a statement seems ironic and by turns sad, considering everything on this disc suggests that Furtado could have been a formiddable pop artist and a successful one, without having to turn to uber-producer/hitmaker Timbaland and compromising her inimitable sound.
One of the most common criticisms of the album was that it lacked the playfulness of her -also great- debut Whoa,Nelly! and while that point is valid,-since most of Folklore is comprised of ballads- there is a number of potentially hit-worthy singles, such as the India-influenced “Powerless” or ‘’Fresh off the boat’’, which recalls her debut in its combination of rapping and guitar licks, coupled with a super-catchy chorus. Elsewhere, folk instruments set against a traditional pop setting make for a unique listen that is enhanced by the album’s pristine-clear production of sweeping sunthesizers, breakbeats and surprising sound effects.
What keeps the album from being superb, though, is that, admittedly, the aforementioned ballads drag the album a bit, especially during the second half, even if some of them are better than anything Bryan Adams has ever sung: the album’s centerpiece “Try” starts with a muted guitar and evolves into a lush, piano-driven chorus with moving lyrics(‘And I see you standing there/Wanting more from me/And all I can do is try’), whereas the perfectly placed “Childhood Dreams”, a 6-minute ode to her daughter, recorded inside a church, closes the album on a euphoric note.
All that remains, in retrospect, is one of the decade’s best pop albums and a tragically overlooked affair, which stands as a sad victim of our society’s bizzare notion that thoughtful songwriting coming from a woman in her late 30s is called maturity, whereas coming from a 24-year old girl is somehow called self-indulgence.

user ratings (47)

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 19th 2010


Okay, just gonna ask: Why the fuck is Nelly Furtado under hip-hop?

Contributing Reviewer
March 19th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Loose was such a huge disappointment after this

Digging: Perfume Genius - Learning

March 19th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0


March 15th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album

August 4th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

This album is a gem. It should've been given more recognition than it did. Way more..

March 15th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

This is an exceptional album.

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