Trailblazer falls a little flat

Barry C Chung
Barry C Chung |

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Nelly Furtado has always done things her way. The Portuguese-Canadian artist stormed onto the music scene 12 years ago with the eclectic Whoa, Nelly!, a debut featuring everything from folk-rock to hip hop and bossa nova.

Her fifth studio release, The Spirit Indestructible, again blends styles. Inspired by a trip to Africa and the spirit of humanity, the title track has a catchy chorus layered over everything from a mix of African drums to electro lasers, and only gets odder when Furtado begins rattling off vowels.

Most songs are set to heavy, pounding beats, with Big Hoops (Bigger the Better) and Parking Lot being highlights. The latter has Furtado in full swagger mode while chanting about "doing nothing"; she's a little out of her element, though, in Hoops - not to mention highly auto-tuned - and encroaches into Rihanna territory.

This is the least pleasing, so least commercially successful, album to date - her Spanish album, Mi Plan, included. It's respectable enough, but you expect more when you know how talented Furtado is.

YP Rating: 3/5

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