Folklore is something of a contrast to the bright, sunny melodies of Nelly Furtado’s 2000 debut, Whoa, Nelly!. Whereas the likes of “I’m Like A Bird” shimmered with positivism, this time around Furtado seems intent on defining herself in a more mature manner.
The three years since her debut have blatantly shaped the content of the album, with Furtado giving birth and also realizing one or two showbiz truths. It is also a brave statement of intent. Disappointed with the print media’s perception of her ethnicity, Furtado powerfully asserts her roots on the first single, “Powerless” (“Paint my face in your magazines / Make it look whiter than it seems”). On the opening track, “One Trick Pony,” she distances herself from the manufactured pop of Christina and Britney. Both are excellent songs that confirm Furtado is an artist with real individuality and talent, while building on the promise shown on her debut.
Furtado still sings in her native Portuguese as well as in English, but stylistically, more emphasis is placed on Latin folk and beats, making it almost a world music album as opposed to a pop record. Among such experimental tracks is “Try,” a more mainstream song but one still colored by Furtado’s new approach. Overall, it’s a mix that works well and provides a welcome alternative to the recycled pop mould.
Nelly Furtado: www.nellyfurtado.com