Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 2007 CD of the month

March's CD is Loose by Nelly Furtado (**)

1. Afraid
2. Maneater
3. Promiscuous
4. Glow
5. Showtime
6. No Hay Igual
7. Te Busque
8. Say It Right
9. Do It
10. In God's Hands
11. Wait For You
12. All Good Things (Come To An End)
13. Te Busque (Spanish Version)

Singles worth buying as singles are noted in bold type.

First, is this the best title for someone's "comeback album" after a maternity break?

This isn't a great album. It sounds flat. Furtado's voice lacks range and sounds whiney. If a decent sound engineer had worked the songs, it could have had potential.

I actually like "Say It Right" and "Promiscuous." However, both of these songs grew on me rather than connecting immediately. "Do it" will be another pop song. I only like "Wait For You" because it has a Middle Eastern sound. The Spanish version of "Te Busque" is a quality production, but I don't see it going pop in America.

Album photography
I thought the record company saved money and gave some college sophomore in an experimental alternative-process class a shot at the big time. Instead, it's the work of high-end photographer Anthony Mandler.

He has talent elsewhere. I'll hope he had five minutes per wardrobe change and the art director wanted a "street" look. Nothing else explains the poor quality of these images.

There are six shots on the liner notes. All of them look up Furtado's nose. I'm sure it's meant to imply she's looking down her nose at the people who buy the album, but the images don't work visually. I guess if her best feature is lack of nasal hair, Mandler nailed it.

The slack-jawed, open mouth is overused and looks forced. I can almost hear, "stick out your lower lip more" as I look at the images. I understand the style is a throw-back to the underbelly of the early 1980s cheeky teen posters, but it was a joke then.

The typography has problems as well. The liner notes are all crammed onto one page with no breaks in about 3 pt. type with a sans serif font on a red/maroon background. I have very good eyesight and stopped reading because it was too annoying.

In closing, if someone wants to be annoyed at every turn, musically, visually and even with font decisions, this is "the album." If two or three people along the line had given a hoot, the album could have had potential. As it is, get the singles if you must.

Enough for now,

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