Entertainment Entertainment Music

Album review: Nelly Furtado, 'Spirit Indestructible'

 **1/2 (out of four)

A Nelly Furtado album can almost certainly be measured in one of two ways: star-rating system, or level of nasal-ness. "Spirit Indestructible" earns 2 stars but at least 7 noses (out of 10, for those keeping track). So if you can't deal with a voice that sometimes sounds like it's suffering a particularly nasty allergy attack, this may not be the record for you.

For those who love some Nelly despite (or maybe because of) this trait, welcome! "Spirit Indestructible," her first English-language album since 2006's "Loose," also brings along another Furtado staple: completely infectious beats. Once the thump kicks in on the title track and others like "Parking Lot," you'll be doing some major neck-dancing at your desk (or elsewhere). She certainly hasn't lost her penchant for a good hook.

With age apparently has come maturity and a little world perspective. Self-help and life advice are the name of Nelly's game on "Spirit Indestructible," and she's sprinkled both throughout the album. "All I want is to sleep good at night, look myself in the mirror knowin' that I did right," she sings on "High Life," revealing that the trappings of fame aren't everything. "We don't know how much time we got left in this world," she croons on "Bucket List," encouraging listeners to "try every sport until you score a goal" and "follow the path of a butterfly."

After the wisdom has been dispensed, there are still a few sexy tracks ("Big Hoops," "Something") mixed in for radio/variety purposes. They've got pop, but not in the same mind-crushingly wonderful way as "Promiscuous Girl" and "Maneater."

And then there's "Parking Lot"—a track obviously about hanging out with your friends in a parking lot. It's both confusing and completely catchy at the same time. Isn't this what you do outside Denny's when you're in high school, not as a 33-year-old with a kid? I can actually see the music video in my head, and it hasn't even been made. (Hint: It very closely resembles Justin Bieber's for "Boyfriend.")

If I had to pick a theme for all the pieces of this album, it probably would be inspiration. There's an overarching calm behind many of the songs that we haven't seen since Nelly's early days, suggesting she's really come to know herself. It's certainly a good album, if a little disjointed at times. It's just not one I'd rabidly listen to on repeat the way I did with "Loose" back in college. (Eeesh, it's been that long.)

damoran@tribune.com  |  @redeyedana


Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.


Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • 'Furious 7': At this point, you know, whatever
    'Furious 7': At this point, you know, whatever

    Muscular, perpetually mumbling bowling pin Dominic Toretto (Human Aggro Crag Vin Diesel) doesn’t just prefer Corona, the beach-branded standard of Mexican beer-flavored water. He won’t even consider trying a Belgian Trappist ale, widely regarded as being among the world’s...

  • '5 to 7' is hot and bothered
    '5 to 7' is hot and bothered

    Not long after hordes of viewers hungry for some good, clean (dirty) spanking action flocked to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a smaller, better movie comes along that actually contains, you know, passion between its characters.

  • 'While We're Young' is hilariously wise
    'While We're Young' is hilariously wise

    That’s so old-fashioned, Cornelia (Naomi Watts) remarks warmly when 20-somethings Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) say that they’re married. Then they add that their wedding took place in a water tower to the sounds of a mariachi band. And there was a slip...

  • Where do Emanuel, Garcia stand on the issues?
    Where do Emanuel, Garcia stand on the issues?

    Chicago's April 7 runoff election is looming, and there are plenty of people undecided about whether they'll hand Mayor Rahm Emanuel another term or go with the new guy—Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. So we've rounded up the top issues and where the candidates stand to...

  • McDonald's raising its minimum wage, but some say it's not enough
    McDonald's raising its minimum wage, but some say it's not enough

    McDonald's plans to raise starting wages by $1 above the local minimum at select restaurants, just one of the changes on tap as the world's largest fast-food chain tries to win back customers and fend off a union-backed effort to raise pay throughout the industry.

  • Teen who got controversial heart transplant dies in crash during police chase
    Teen who got controversial heart transplant dies in crash during police chase

    An Atlanta area teenager who said a heart transplant two years ago gave him a second chance at life died this week when he lost control of the car he was driving while fleeing police, according to police records.