It's been three years since Nelly Furtado's debut — enough time for her to sell 2 million CDs, win a Grammy and have a baby. But the song remains the same: A slick multiculti hodgepodge, Folklore is a Whoa, Nelly! redux, without a single as good as "I'm Like a Bird." The twenty-four-year-old kicks things off by proclaiming, "I am not a one-trick pony," but fails to back up that claim on the eleven songs that follow. Aside from the mechanized drum loops and assorted world-beat flourishes, she mostly sounds like a funkier Michelle Branch, complete with overwrought vocals and gooey melodies on songs such as "Try." Bright spot: The lighthearted hip-hop tune "Fresh Off the Boat," where she lets loose her jazzy voice and, for a few refreshing minutes, doesn't take herself too seriously.
- Nelly Furtado
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