David Wright

Nelly Furtado

10th June 2005
reviewer: David Wright
rating: 3 out of 5
published by: Polydor
released: 24th November 2003
  1. One-Trick Pony (feat. Kronos Quartet)
  2. Powerless (Say What You Want)
  3. Explode
  4. Try
  5. Fresh Off The Boat
  6. Forca
  7. The Grass Is Green
  8. Picture Perfect
  9. Saturdays
  10. Build You Up
  11. Island Of Wonder (feat. Caetano Veloso)
  12. Childhood Dreams

'Folklore' is Nelly Furtadoís follow up to her album 'Whoa Nelly!', which was released in 2001 to critical acclaim. In between the two albums she has worked with several other artists, including Jurassic Five, and had a baby, so sheís not been quiet. 'Folklore' kicks off with a track called 'One Trick Pony', a folky number with a strong bassline. The song is well structured and shows a greater maturity than anything from 'Whoa Nelly!'. It talks about how she isnít a person to be taken lightly and can turn her hand to anything when needed. The next two tracks continue the good pace set by 'One Trick Pony': 'Powerless' is the first single from the album and is another folk-influenced piece, with a nice Latin guitar running through it. 'Explode' is an up tempo tune with a nice drum pattern and organs. Track 4 is 'Try', a soulful piece, comparable with 'Trynna Find A Way' from the first album. 'Fresh Off the Boat' is a funky dance track, with a big bassline and thick drums, and a little scratching. The track is split in two - the first half English language, the second Portuguese - and sounds impressive. 'Forca' is a banjo and tabla lead track, showing Nellyís ability to draw on many musical influences to create a piece of music. Itís a simple track, but very well executed. Track seven, 'The Grass is Green', is the biggest track on the album, in terms of instrument and layers, with violins, violas, celloís, guitars, and various percussion instruments.

Moving into the final half of the album we have 'Picture Perfect'. A slow track with a slide guitar, itís a song about someone special and one of the best on the album. 'Saturdays' is an acoustic track with Nelly on lead guitar, featuring Jarvis Church; itís a short track about Saturdays, simple really. Thatís followed by 'Build You Up'; another soulful track, again one of the stronger on the album. 'Island of Wonder' is another Latin folk piece, featuring Caetano Veloso, a well arranged and rich piece of music with a wide variety of instruments. Finally we have 'Childhood Dreams', funnily enough a song about childhood dreams; oh it has a harp in it too. Overall this album is well produced and finely made - However, it doesnít flow particularly well; the opening tracks' pace are broken up by the slower tracks that sit between them. The second part for me is definitely stronger than the first half. Compared to 'Whoa Nelly!', you can easily see the maturity and knowledge of this album; itís better musically and has a lot more soul. That said, it isnít as instantly likable, and takes some listening before it grows on you. But when it does youíll find it hard to take out of your CD player. I highly recommend it for anyone who owns the first album, or anyone who wants to hear an original singer with a distinctive style and voice.

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