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Nelly Furtado

The Spirit Indestructible
Universal Music
t2 rating: 3/5

Nelly Furtado returns after six years (if her 2009 Spanish album Mi Plan is not counted) with a synth-driven pop selection that fits somewhere between her wild pop debut Whoa, Nelly (2000) and the chunky bassline of Loose (2006). A lot has happened since her last mainstream outing Katy Perry has shown her good-girl-gone-bad attitude with the hit single I Kissed A Girl, Lady Gaga has efficiently transported girl-power music to the runway and Adele has become every RJ’s best friend. Furtado tries to hit back with a dozen feel-good club tracks that somehow fail to reflect her rebellious nature. It’s like listening to M.I.A. without her trademark grunts. Or a Sheryl Crowe who has somewhat turned her back on her roots.

But that doesn’t stop this Canadian from being a Trojan horse on the charts. Big Hoops (Bigger the Better) merges strong vocals with a speedy breakbeat while Something (collaboration with rapper Nas) lends a rasp to her vocals, making it sound meditative and The Most Beautiful Thing is a page from her diary.

The Spirit Indestructible is too polished an album to express Furtado’s hippie spirit but it doesn’t dampen her cute voice and the personal notes that form an integral part of her music.