The Bottom Line
Nelly Furtado has never been one to repeat herself and Mi Plan is another example of the original, infectious musical artistry of this Canadian-Portuguese artist. With a stellar cast of collaborators, Furtado delivers an all-Spanish language album of pop music that is full of both strongly felt and whimsical songs that is bound to bring pleasure to pop fans. It's too bad that the language barrier will probably bar the album from being embraced by the English-language market.
- "Fuerte" with Buika for strength of both music and lyrics
- "Silencio" with Josh Groban for a moving, unusual song for an pop album
- "Como Lluvia" with Juan Luis Guerra although what is it about rain and Guerra?
- Anyone expecting "Promiscuous" style music will be disappointed
- 12 tracks of Spanish-language pop
- Guest artists include Alejandro Fernandez, Buika, Josh Groban, Juan Luis Guerra, Alex Cuba
- Released September 2009 by Universal Music Latino
Guide Review - Review: Nelly Furtado - 'Mi Plan'
What do you do as a follow-up to a best-selling album? If you’re Nelly Furtado, whose last album, Loose, went platinum in 18 countries and spawned the megahit “Promiscuous,” you stay home for a couple of years, take care of your daughter and think about what you want to do next.
Furtado comes from a Canadian-Portuguese family, although she’s yet to make an album in Portuguese, deciding she needs more life experience to thoroughly express the sentiments of the music of her childhood. Her primary language is English and her Spanish -- well, she studied it in school and feels she’s about 50% fluent.
It’s not very surprising that she can sing in Spanish since she speaks sister language Portuguese and it doesn’t require absolute fluency to master the lyrics to any particular song. What is surprising is that Furtado co-wrote five of the album’s 12 tracks.
To accomplish this feat, she turned to some of her friends. Cuban singer/songwriter Alex Cuba helped her develop the album and joins Furtado in the album’s theme song “Mi Plan.” Next she enlisted Alejandro Fernandez, Julieta Venegas, Concha Buika, Juan Luis Guerra, Mala Rodriguez and surprise guest Josh Groban to fill out the album’s guest list and lend it an international and collaborative flavor.
Mi Plan is not much like the mix of R&B, hip hop and folk that characterized Loose. Rather, with the additional help of producer/rapper/songwriter Timbaland, the album is a mix of pop and rock, upbeat, pretty tunes and solid, interesting ballads devoid of heavy electronic effect. The album’s themes deal mostly with a philosophical attitude towards life and relationships.
Furtado has said in interviews that she felt her voice was the weak link in her music; anybody listening to this album is bound to disagree. Both sweet and controlled, Furtado more than holds her own with her illustrious collaborators.
Many of the current crop of Latin pop albums seem to try to imitate what has been successful in the English-language market, to more or less success. Mi Plan is an original and is an album that, barring language barriers, would appeal to a universal market. It’s too bad that it probably will only be appreciated in the Spanish-speaking market, especially since the Latin market often embraces English-language music.