Nelly Furtado - Mi Plan

2009-10-20 16:22
Mi Plan

She starts off strong with fast-paced "Manos Al Aire" (Hands in the Air). By the time track 2, "Mas" (More) rolls around she's just about found her Spanish centre. Both hits prove that her Latin audience, no doubt tired of listening to tuxedo-sporting mariachis, are ready for one short, sexy senora.

But it's not all just about Nelly's pop pulling power. Tracks on which she draws from the Spanish Diaspora to spice things up provide the most fun. Most notable are title track, "Mi Plan" (My Plan) featuring Cuban-Canadian singer Alex Cuba - although she should apologise for the synth that almost ruins it - and "Fuerte" (Strong) featuring Concha Buika. Buika, who grew up amongst Gypsies in Mallorca, is currently up for the Latin Grammy Album of the Year award and brings a unique Afro-flamenco counterfoil to Nelly's pop soar.

In contrast, "Bajo Otra Luz" (Under Another Light) doesn't quite showcase the talents of Spanish hip hop singer La Mala Rodriguez and Mexican-American Spanish rock singer Julieta Venegas, even though the songstresses seem to have had fun with it.

Nelly also shows off her softer side with the lads, performing duets "Suenos" (Dreams) with Latin Grammy-winning Mexican singer Alejandro Fernandez, "Como Lluvis" (As Rain) with multi-Latin Grammy winner Juan Luis Guerra from the Dominican Republic and the stirring "Silencio" (Silence) with classical pop superstar Josh Groban. Kudos to Furtado for pushing Groban beyond preciousness to the brink of restrained passion.

So what's the final verdict on the first full-length Spanish album by one diminutive Portuguese-Canadian? You'll wish Nelly kept it hot and fast instead of zigzagging between pop beats and ballads, that she left the synth with Timbaland and kept the guitar nude. But hardcore Furtado fans will most likely enjoy this Spanish trip even though some stops are more memorable than others.
With her fourth studio album and first Spanish album, Nelly shrugs off English and her flirtation with Latin music gives way to full-fledged love.

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