Review: Nelly Furtado's 'The Ride' - Rolling Stone
Home Music Album Reviews

Review: Nelly Furtado Goes Indie Label, Indie-Pop on ‘The Ride’

Our take on the singer-songwriter’s sixth LP

nelly furtado, nelly furtado the ride, nelly furtado review, nelly furtado rolling stone

Nelly Furtado's sixth album is 'The Ride.'

Lukas Maeder (13 Photo)/Redux

With 2006’s glossy, Timbaland-produced Loose, Nelly Furtado went from the hippie-ish singer of “I’m Like a Bird” to an unexpected pop star with multiple Top 10 hits. The singer-songwriter, however, has been suffering from a musical identity crisis ever since, her largely ignored follow-ups teetering between her folk history and her pop success. Sixth album, The Ride, achieves a balance. Taking cues from recent collaborator Dev Hynes, an artist who makes emotional synth-pop, Furtado’s first album on her own label finds a home in crunchy indie-centric melodies that perfectly fit her imaginative lyrics. Opening track “Cold Hard Truth” is one of her finest in years, a catchy single with one of the album’s heaviest beats. The alluring “Paris Sun” carries a menacingly sexy synth reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” but with a softer touch.

influence of producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Explosions in the Sky) is
clear, Furtado exerting pop-adjacent weirdness with a healthy dose of fuzz and
charm. However, she loses the focus and simple brilliance of the more upbeat
moments when she hits the ballads. “Carnival Games” falls flat by a
slightly cloying chorus; and the subdued, overly wispy “Phoenix”
serves as an anti-climactic ending to an otherwise energized, lively
collection. She’s found her most sustainable route yet – many defy pop odds
with a third career revitalization.

Popular on Rolling Stone


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.