Nelly Furtado Delivers Style & Substance on 'The Spirit Indestructible' [Review]
It's impossible to separate Nelly Furtado's music from the powerful message it carries. Many critics have focused on the brash, booming sound that dominates her new album, but they are clearly missing the point. In her effort to marry style with substance, Nelly Furtado's "The Spirit Indestructible" comes with a bold, straight up message that warrants an equally boisterous sound that is reflective of that.
It's not exactly a secret what Furtado set out to accomplish with "The Spirit Indestructible." In many interviews, she explained that nostalgia is a driving theme on the album both lyrically and musically. After the global success of "Loose," winning a Latin GRAMMY for "Mi Plan" and her new life experience as a mother, the Canadian singer felt it was time to go back to her teenage mindset while also looking back at the road she has traveled since then.
"The Spirit Indestructible" is most certainly a reflection of that. Song after song, Furtado takes us by the hand to provide hope and encouragement while also showcasing the early '90s boombox sound that inspired her back then and still does to this day. "This new album is all about light, new energy and positivity. It's fun," she has explained. "It's like a friendly punch in the face. It captures you, it's aggressive but at the same time it's uplifting. It's a fusion that I really like."
That fusion of music and message comes to life right from the start when the album kicks off with "Spirit Indestructible," an enlightening, hyper-melodic mid-tempo ballad that is refreshing in a world of cookie-cutter pop. The title track is followed by the LP's first single, "Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)," that is Furtado's ode to the classic hip hop of the early '90s that is given an authentic twist by her collaborator Rodney Jerkins. She shares more of her youthful exuberance on the gritty "Parking Lot" that borrows thematically from her earlier "Explode."
On the playful "High Life" Nelly Furtado positively stays on message, and reminds us that fame and fortune is really not what it's made to be. "Everyone dreams of the high life. It may look good on the outside but all I want is a good life," she proclaims.
The singer spreads more of her karma confetti on the politically-charged pop-rock stomper "Believers (Arab Spring)" that is about turning music into a movement. "You're on the wrong side, so get on the right side ( . . . ) Where are all the believers when you need them," she chants in the song's powerfully soaring chorus.
Furtado ventures out into more experimental, yet very suitable territory on "Circles," a sparky indie-disco joint that she collaborated on with Passion Pit's Mike Angelakos. Songs like "Enemy" and "Miracle" once again examine Furtado's spirituality that lingers throughout the album. She argues on "Enemy" that "when the coast is clear on me, I'm my own worst enemy," while "Miracle" shows belief and inner-strength with lyrics like "If you put a knife in my heart, I wouldn't bleed." Furtado ultimately reaches her state of nirvana on on the lush "The Most Beautiful Thing In The World" with its enchanting and warming Southeast Asian rhythm.
"The Spirit Indestructible" is a diverse, daring and wildly unorthodox effort that perfectly defines Nelly Furtado's unique brand of pop. It is as if she rolled "Whoa Nelly," "Folklore" and "Loose" all up in one to end up with "The Spirit Indestructible." The album is without a doubt one of Nelly Furtado's most eclectic and artistically accomplished albums to date that combines genre-defying music with a powerful message. (Download Nelly Furtado "The Spirit Indestructible" on iTunes.)
September 20, 2012 | Permalink