Blame it on the bossa nova, but this chick has got soul. By filtering her Portuguese roots through the trip-hop she was weaned on, Nelly Furtado creates a hypnotic form of R&B/alterna pop that at times sounds like Fiona Apple, Macy Gray, and Gwen Stefani all rolled into a Portishead song. Cutting her teeth at four Lilith Fair dates before even having a record contract, Furtado seems accelerated far beyond her 21 years. Listen, and you can hear the Portuguese fado tradition, Brazilian beats, flashy urban rhymes–enough snap, crackle, and pop to fill your breakfast bowl. Put your ear closer to the speaker, though, and you can sense that this is the sound of a multicultural young woman finding her own identity through all the pop she’s been fed.
If you’re someone who likes to sing along to soaring vocals or who likes to get hip to a new star before she goes supernova, this is an album to own.
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