Throwback Thursday: Nelly Furtado

We know you know who Nelly Furtado is.  She’s been a pop goddess on two separate occasions over the course of the last decade, first with “I’m Like a Bird” and then again more recently with “Promiscuous.”  But this lovely and talented musician is more than just bubblegum and Timbo beats.  Always has been, even if all the general public sees is her Top 40 persona.

She's like a bird.

She's like a bird.

Anybody’s who ever listened to her 2000 debut “Whoa, Nelly!” knows that Furtado is one part folk, one part hip-hop, one part pop and one part badassedness.  That’s a total of four parts that, individually, account for a large amount of the world’s best music.  Together they form like those Power Ranger robot dinosaurs into one gigantic Power Ranger robot dinosaur that spits lasers and sells gold records.

Part of the reason it’s so easy to love Furtado is that, despite what she has to do make her money with the pop songs, she manages to maintain a certain level of musical integrity.  You’d assume, for example, that she’d follow up her huge hit album “Loose” with more of the same sort of thing, but her most recent album is an experiment in Latin music.  The entire album is Spanish, and the first single, “Manos al Aire,” could be talking about death to Caucasian music bloggers for all the espanol I speak and I’d still be bumping it.  It’s a fantastic song.  So what if I’ve got no clue what the hell she’s singing about?

But this Throwback Thursday is about “Whoa, Nelly!”, one of the more underrated albums of the early part of this millennium (or the very end of the last millennium, depending on where’d you place 2000 in the whole scheme of millenniums).  “I’m Like a Bird” got more radio play that summer than Green Day and Blink 182 combined, but I don’t remember hearing much about the rest of the record, which boasts so many other amazing tracks like “Turn Off the Lights,” “Hey Man,” and “Baby Girl.”  The whole album feels internationally charged, like Furtado threw ten genres of music into a blender and added a splash of tequila.  Delicious.

All we’re saying is that if you’re looking for an album that’s undeniably great from track one through track last, “Whoa, Nelly!” is the way to go.  It was nine years ago, and it is today.  So yes, you know who Nelly Furtado is.  We’re not introducing you to anybody new.  But we are saying that if aren’t already well familiar with her first album, you should be.

We recommend that you also check out Caitlin Crosby!

About the Author

Joel Brigham writes about stuff. It’s pretty much all he cares about. Stuff like music and more music. But he mostly cares about music. And also music.

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