Check yourselves, Ms. Stefani and Fergie, because Nelly Furtado is the original hollaback girl. She's always had her B-girl street smarts, Portuguese pride, and girl-next-door (or north of the border) sweetness. But here, the Canadian chanteuse has finally gotten her funk on. Loose is produced in bulk by Timbaland (Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z), and is unabashedly slick and sexy. But Furtado isn't a repackaged diva. Motherhood has made her fearless, and she embraces it with the same girlish passion that originally made her a star. She's more self-aware as a female and an artist, and she's unafraid to be a fox. She feels it, and she likes it. From the intoxicating synth energy of "Maneater" and the slinky breakbeats in "Glow" to the flirty sashay of "Promiscuous," Loose will make you want to take off all your clothes, Nelly-style. On the flip, Coldplay's Chris Martin makes himself useful on the lilting "All Good Things (Come to an End)." "Te Busque" in Spanish and English versions simmers things down, too, but the tender exchanges between Furtado and Colombian star Juanes still make for some sultry summer jamming. With Loose, Nelly Furtado has you covered in bed and the club.
MacKenzie Wilson writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.