let me start by saying that nelly furtado’s debut album whoa nelly is one of my favorite records of all time, of all time. it was an excellent opening shot; sadly, she hasn’t been able to reach those heights again.. well, maneater can close, but that’s because i imagined her finally listening to a peaches song and calling out, “hey! timbo! i wanna make one of these!”
she released a new record last week, the spirit indestructible, and the scuttlebutt was that it was a return to the fun of the first record. (at least, that was the scuttlebutt months ago - the release was pushed back a couple of times.) i’m almost done working my way through it. hey guys - it’s not a return to that first album. but the first 4 tracks are a lot of fun! it opens with a freestyle-type song that made me smack my head. i can’t believe i didn’t think of nelly becoming the freestyle queen of the now. i mean, duh, it’s so obvious - that tinny, slightly squeaky, justbarely in tune voice, how she always seems down for a party, how she has always had one foot stuck in 80’s music nostalgia. anyhoo, i didn’t get much of a chance to contemplate that because the beat changed halfway through. yeah, the beats are changing constantly during those first four PARTY STARTER!! songs. it’s as if nelly’s asking, “d’ya like this jam? no? well, what about if i do it like this? no, huh? what about THIS?” and that seems like it would be dreadful, but i enjoyed it.
it’s when the songs stick to the same beat all the way through that i start yawning. the rest of the album gets bogged down in stuff i like to call lifetime tv movie montage of the main character joining a gym, cleaning up her house, eating a salad and generally getting her life together music. (this is different from lifetime movie montage of two women, mostly strangers, beginning their cross country trip in a convertible (that will certainly break down), specifically the part where one of the ladies loses her cowboy hat to the wind of the open road music.)
things pick up a bit right around the end, but that’s only if you’re listening on spotify or you’ve splurged for the deluxe edition - the extra tracks are a touch livelier. otherwise, maybe just play parking lot over & over.