By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Let's face it, none but the hottest Canadian/Portugese MILF could get away with lyrics like "It's okay, we could do it in the dark/If you got a candle let's light a spark."
Despite Nelly Furtado's inherent MILFness, it was a stretch for diehard fans to embrace her latest LP, Loose, as they did her previous efforts, Folklore and Whoa Nelly. She seemed to have succumbed to producer Timbaland's golden hip-pop touch, forsaking the more alternative vibe of her earlier work, which included the roller-rink megahit "I'm Like a Bird."
In fact Loose, which has become her best-selling disc, offers an astonishing range of sounds. Which is why she released not one, but four separate singles in different corners of the globe: the reggaeton-influenced "No Hay Igual" (featuring Calle 13), "Promiscuous," a hip-hop monster that featured Timbaland and snagged the 2006 Billboard Music Award for Pop Single of the Year, the Latin torch song "Te Busqué" (featuring Juanes), and the straight pop single "Maneater." A fifth single has emerged in the form of the slickly produced "Say It Right." Next up: an album recorded exclusively in Spanish.
Thanks to all this biodiversity along with a vocal style that's equal parts sass and flash Furtado has broken through to the wider bubblegum-electronica world at large, while still keeping her original fan base on board. Not a bad trick for a humble single mom from British Columbia. Eric W. Saeger