- 02 May 17
Ex-chart diva embraces the indie underdog within
With 2006’s Timbaland-midwifed Loose, Nelly Furtado delivered her definitive statement as a pop star. Ever since, the Canadian has searched for a fresh guiding vision and at one point contemplated dropping out of music altogether. Her hunt eventually led to the door of Texas indie producer John Congleton, whom Furtado approached on the advice of rock savant St Vincent. Together the unlikely collaborators have made the most idiosyncratic record of Furtado’s career.
As Furtado recently told Hot Press, the goal was a coherent tapestry rather than a string of singles cobbled together. The downside is that individual tracks can seem unfocused. Yet when The Ride works it is a treat, with Furtado channelling the aforementioned St Vincent on the tightly-cranked ‘Cold Hard Truth’ and going plausibly freak folk on ‘Magic’.
Nothing here approaches the steamy majesty of back-in-the-day smashes ‘Maneater’ and ‘Promiscuous’, but Furtado is no longer that artist. As an exercise in creative shape-shifting, The Ride is mixed. But the fact that Furtado was willing to undertake the journey is worth applauding.