Nelly Furtado - Loose: The Concert
Ever since Nelly Furtado made one of the coolest comebacks ever with the song of summer 2006, her third album Loose hasn't stopped selling and has made her a bona fide pop mega-star. Seeing as she was on the wane before Timbaland offered a push in a more commercial direction, this is obviously great news for Furtado and seemingly merits a DVD release.
Filmed at her homecoming date in Toronto, this slice of Furtado's world tour doesn't offer any big surprises. It's an arena date so you've got all your production values, dancers and obligatory costume changes. That's par for the course when you're dealing with a big name act, as are the entertaining crowd shots offering close-ups of tipsy middle-aged people dancing that make these DVDs. What of Furtado, though?
Working with a set that only briefly touches upon her first two albums, the glossy R'n'B direction is seemingly cause for a lot more pouting and booty-popping. Say It Right, Give It To Me and Glow are fun pop tracks not short on hooks, although a middle section of identikit ballads are dull and waste her surprisingly strong vocal performance. Despite a nasal delivery and a restricted range, Furtado can cut it live and possesses more star power than any of the current X-Factor hopefuls. The conversion from folksy world-pop to sexy urban minx still feels a little awkward, though; heck, even old hits like Turn Off the Lights and I'm Like a Bird are given a glossy urban sheen. Only Powerless retains the eclectic charm of her early days, while a surprise cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy proves quite effective. However, a brief and misguided deviation into Heart of Glass is probably best left unmentioned.
Thankfully, with a slim running time of an hour and a half, this concert film doesn't outstay its welcome. After many a 'everybody say oh-oh' and requests for 'hands in the air', as well as her insistance on introducing band members every ten seconds, it's surprising Furtado has enough breath left to deliver Maneater as her closing number. An accompanying fly-on-the-wall docu fills out the package but, aside from showcasing Nelly's likeable personality, it's basically fluff and only something a true devotee needs to see. Much like the entire DVD, then.