Nelly Furtado returns to us in stellar form with The Ride. A showcase of songs that traverse all the facets of Furtado’s back catalogue from pop, folk infusions, urban r&b and sweeping adult contemporary, there’s lots to admire in this ride, people!
After the global smash (and R&B Timbaland heavy) hit that was 2006’s Loose, Furtado was catapulted to the top of the charts joining the likes of Beyonce Knowles, Alicia Keys, The Pussycat Dolls, Mary J. Blige and Natasha Bedingfield, it was surely a huge commercial success but also a massive departure from the more melodic and folk driven efforts that preceded it in 2003’s stunning Folklore and her debut effort in 2001’s Whoa, Nelly! There was a 6 year break between albums from Loose until 2012’s The Spirit Indestructible and, whilst that still drove the beat heavy R&B stylings that made Loose such a success, gone was the sexuality drive and returning was the spirituality and humanity that infused her earlier works. Well, another five years have passed and The Ride is with us. The Ride is Furtado digging right back into her roots, moulding it and melding into a collection of 12 tracks that remind us why she is one of the most distinctive artists coming out of the U.S..
Never one to regret or ignore what drove her international success, the thumping opener of Cold Hard Truth is a deft mix of slamming beats and swirling Furtado vocal. The effects-heavy poptastic Flatline keeps the energy flowing with an infectious chorus, the warm humble lo-fi of Carnival Games will easily become a fan favourite, the foot tapping summer bent of Live is the sort of radio friendly effervescence that is just slightly off-centre but is so damn catchy you’ll be cawing the falsetto along with it in no time, and the brightness continues through tracks Paris Sun, Magic, Pipe Dreams, Tap Dancing and Right Road. Closing the album is a pristine example of an adult contemporary lullaby in Phoenix, a hugely atmospheric, emotive and, quite simply, beautiful song to bid you adieu.
We’ve come a long way since I’m Like A Bird yet Furtado has lost none of her energy and enthusiasm for songwriting. As she sings in the closer Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, after a five year absence Nelly Furtado returns with her finest and most complete album since Folklore. Welcome back Ms. Furtado and thanks for The Ride…
THE RIDE by NELLY FURTADO is OUT NOW on DIGITAL/CD