(Better with age)
I was feeling Nelly Furtado before she had the Verizon ringtone game on lock. There's nothing exclusive in that feat, she is a pop artist, but still, I was riding solo on the Nelly train for a long time.
Her first single "I'm Like a Bird" was deceptively simple and catchy. While it caught on at pop radio, a fair amount of people wrote her off with the whole Lilith Fair/Chick Pop category.
It was an easy mistake to make. The damn song is called "I'm Like a Bird."
But I had to know whether a girl that cute could make music worth a damn.
Her 2000 debut, "Whoa, Nelly!" is still one of the quirkiest, best produced and most naively ambitious debuts from a "pop" artist in quite a while.
It's not just a good album by white pop chick standards but in general.
Mixing hip-hop, bossa nova, pop and a bunch of other shit, she caught the ears of a select few hip-hop artists.
She went on to do songs with the Roots, Jurassic 5 and remix songs for Missy. Her throwaway lines turned into whole songs for Timbaland's artists (Ms. Jade - Ching Ching) and she had a large hit on Spanish radio with Juanes.
Pharell and Sheek Louch from the Lox were shouting her out on rap songs and she was close to being designated the official hip-hop ethnic white chick.
Then all that ambition and potential turned into pretention when she released "Folklore," her 2003 sophomore album of stuffy NPR folk music that made her worldly sound seem forced and boring.
I guess having a kid and being in love tend to fuck artists up. Ask Nas and Kelis or Lennon and Yoko.
She took her "L" as her sophomore album sold about a 1/5th of her debut and barely went Gold in the U.S.
Hip-hop took over the charts and she buried herself in a studio with Timbaland to try and re-catch the wave and not get Christina Milianed from her label (that beautiful moron passed "S.O.S." onto Rihanna).
Timbaland did his thing and because "promiscuous" runs your radio. That single along with "Maneater" and "No Hay Igual" will probably hold the radio down for the rest of year. And her current look makes it hard to tell she can play the guitar, which is exactly what sells in this IQ deficient market.
A bit of a sellout? Maybe, she was always hip-hop and she's hot.
Her grand return concludes with her grabbing the number one spot on the Billboard chart. By selling 219,000 albums in her first week, she takes the number one from Busta Rhymes, who may have been prematurely crowned himself the "New King of New York" since his album collapsed from 1-5 in one week, while losing 67% of his sales.
Busta got run off by a white chick from Canada?
You can't even be King of the Golden Krust by the 2 train with that son.