Following her 2000 multi-platinum debut album of Whoa, Nelly! and the gold certified sophomore follow up, 2003’s Folklore, Nelly Furtado is back with her new album, Loose. The overall tone of this third disc is a pleasing, club friendly, fun sound. Much like many dance albums, the content is not mind shattering by any means, and the overt mention of sex in a few tracks, perhaps for a more adult sound, seems too deliberate.
The choruses are often repetitive to the point of annoyance at times, and the staged banter and dialogue intro in between tracks loses its novelty fast. Those aversions aside, the album is hip, fresh, young and should get great play on radio and in club venues.
The opening track, “Afraid”, boasts light vocals with a house beat mixed in. The airy tone and the chorus heavy tune make for a good song. The mood continues in “Maneater,” not to be mistaken for the Hall & Oates song of the same name. Typical simple but catchy lyrics are found, along with a throwback 1980’s electronica beat.
The third track, “Promiscuous”, is already receiving constant play and is on the way to being the big hit for summer. Besides being on top 40 stations, the song is also prominent in a television commercial. Timbaland, co-producer of the album, also provides the guest vocals. With a sensual sound and heavy drum bass, it is among the best tracks on Loose.
Forgettable pieces on this collection include “Glow” and “Showtime”. “Glow” has muddy vocals, and the listener can get lost in the weird melody, while “Showtime” has a choppy element to it. Though the verses are smooth enough, the hook is off.
Nelly goes international with “No Hay Igual.”
This song is sung in Spanish, and successfully infuses a current sound with early 90’s dance beats. It’s very body shaking worthy and easy to listen to. The mood drops slightly with the first of two ballads, “Te Busque.” Even as a slow song, it still has a beat to move to. This Spanglish slow tune creates a nice flow from fast, up tempo songs to slow, vocally stronger ones.
The second best track on the album slides in just right, as “Say It Right” nicely transitions from the previous track. “Do It” ruins the good vibes by going back to spoken word in beginning. Despite this unfortunate irritation, Nelly does it very well. It is very reminiscent of early Madonna, proving to be another great track to get into the groove.
“In God’s Hands” is the second ballad on the album, and has beautiful lyrics and a soft melody. Nelly’s vocals are well done here. “Wait For You” continues the displeasing banter and can best be described as a pop friendly but forgettable song. Nearly closing the album is a good ending track. “All Good Things (Come To An End)” is a nice example of how the repeating chorus can work. The last song on Loose is the full Spanish version of “Te Busque”, with the bridge still in English. This duet with Juanes is more of a pop ballad.
Nelly Furtado releases this album of a different style with great success. Loose does well with its listen-ability factor. The Latin pop tossed with ’80’s and ’90’s dance, and seasoned with light vocals makes for a fresh sound. Small disadvantages aside, the album is definitely a good start to get your summer headed in the right direction. Get Loose and get ready to dance.