MUSIC REVIEW: Nelly Furtado

Loose Geffen/Mosley
Music •••½ Sound ••••
When the first two singles are called "Promiscuous" and "Maneater," you can guess that the image consultants have been hard at work. But Nelly Furtado's third album isn't just a commercial breakthrough; it's a creative mix of her singer/songwriter instincts with producer Timbaland's rhythmic knack. Furtado's layered vocals, introspective words, and minor-key melodies are an unlikely match for the hip-hop backdrops - but that's exactly why Loose works, and Timbaland runs with her quirks instead of toning them down. One complaint: The studio chatter before nearly every track sounds more hokey than spontaneous.

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