Whoa, Nelly!
by Nelly Furtado, pop/alternative (2000)
SKG/Dreamworks/Universal, ASIN B00004Z41Q

Nelly Furtado's debut CD Whoa, Nelly! is a delightful mixture of guitar Lilith-Fair rock (not necessarily a good thing - think Lisa Loeb and Jewel, but Furtado pulls it off), Brazilian techno-samba, trance rhythm, and some other uncategorizable elements. Skeptics fed up on the Paula Cole/Joan Osborne/Alanis Morissette staple may pinch their noses, but I really have a great time listening to this one.

Of course, like many of her contemporaries, she falls into the common trap of trying too hard to be Bob Dylan with a lil' girl's journal writing slant. Tracks like I Will Make U Cry is very listenable, but the lyrics don't stand out at all. Nelly shines best when she is singing typical late teens/early 20s introspective blues: I'm Like A Bird flies high indeed, Hey, Man! grooves, and my favorite, S**t On The Radio (Remember The Days) is the perfect track with great hooks and a killer chorus. Throughout it all, Furtado's high, slightly raspy vocals are heavenly to the ears.

Whoa, Nelly! seems to have it made: it's accessible without sacrificing substance and listenability. Britney Spears, go eat a fatty cake. I'm listening to Nelly Furtado.

Rating: 89

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