Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why I Respect Nelly Furtado - Bucket List Review


Nelly Furtado raised the bar for flopping with The Spirit Indestructible. Her last English language recording sold 10 million copies worldwide, while 2012's comeback effort sold a paltry 6,000 copies first week. In all fairness, the criminally underrated album turned out to be a steady seller in some parts of Europe - namely, Germany where she has always been disproportionately popular to the rest of the world. Kind of like Pink in Australia. Most divas would have hung up their microphone in shame and distanced themselves from the project faster than Taylor Swift's eyes scan a room for single men but Nelly is still promoting that fucker like it's 21. Respect.

I wish more artists would show this kind of commitment to an album. What does it say about the level of pride in your work and the faith in your artistic vision if you just give up because you missed the top 20? Kylie took a similar approach with Impossible Princess in the late '90s when the UK basically laughed in her face and sent her packing back to Australia. It turned out to be the turning point for her career. That might not happen with Nelly but she's just debuted the video for her fifth - and best - single from The Spirit Indestructible and is currently winding up a tour of Canada and Europe. Let's hope Christina and Ke$ha show similar dedication to their underperforming but vastly more successful albums.

That takes us back to "Bucket List". A low-key Darkchild production that wouldn't sound out of place on Folklore, the moody track perfectly showcases the Canadian diva's quirky voice and knack for writing melancholy lyrics. Like the rest of her album, it's completely uncommercial - the video begins with an intro about the dangers of dying alone and unfulfilled! - but it would probably be massive with the indie-pop crowd if it was recorded by an 18-year-old hipster with no life experience. The video is cheap. Like it was literally filmed between tour stops but I can't get over how beautiful Nelly looks. This era might have failed commercially but she can hold her head up high.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how this album did so badly when it was so good.

Admittedly the track Spirit Indestructible was a bit whiny, and Big Hoops was way too experimental to be a Single, but it had more going for it than many other successful albums.

Parking Lot was one of the best singles of the year and Bucket List is an extremely solid track.

Anonymous said...

She's a phony and that's why her fans have abandoned her.

Sexbox said...

Thanks Mike for giving Nelly props once again. The commercial failure is a mixture of several things but I disagree with the comment that Nelly is phony. If anything her ability to experiment with so many genres of music shows how passionate she is about music. My music collection is very large and varied. You can't love music and live in a bubble. Unfortunately Nelly opted for a less commercial sound this time around. I enjoyed this video and song :)

Anonymous said...

I know why I gave this album a miss... It was because the lead single literally hurt my ears. The amount of whine in her voice was torturous.. The song itself wasn't that bad, it was just her voice that killed it.

Me said...

Another stunnah from Nelly - and as always she manages to get a hot guy in the video. I think her floppage is down to the ill-advised GH album and the "daarnce" tracks that were tacked on.

Anonymous said...

That song she did with Tiesto was awesome

Anonymous said...

Can we have some reviews on some current artists please?

SRM said...

There's absolutely no reason why TSI could not have had better commercial success. It was all down to the promotion. With proper push, it could have done pretty well -- I'd say about 2-3 million of sales worldwide.
Her label(s) didn't seem to support her - that's the problem. This seems to be one of those instances where the label disagrees with the artist so they just drop the ball and leave the artist struggling on their own. But kudos to Nelly for powering through and showing us how true of an artist she is.

My biggest gripe is that she gave up too soon -- she stopped the promo in the UK / US after the release week. "Parking Lot" was the obvious "hit", yet they didn't really do anything with it, did they. Had she kept on going in the UK & Europe, it would be a different story now. I really think this album could've been huge in those markets. But well.

I really love this song and video. It's just so moving and quite inspirational really. I hope to whatever music God there is that this will be a sleeper hit or something, because it's something that people NEED to hear.

Anonymous said...

Saw Nelly live this past January in Vancouver and she was amazing.

It felt bad seeing her play such a small venue after her last visit here was in a big stadium, but she turned it out - sang everything live flawlessly, played instruments, you name it.

A phony she is definitely not.