Mi Plan, Nelly Furtado

Universal Latino, Canada
Rating: 28
By Carlos Reyes

Nelly Furtado is a sweetheart; she’s been talking about the release of Mi Plan since Whoa! Nelly came out; it’s charged with good vibes and great intentions, at the end it’s a pretty insignificant offering from someone who actually has some good-to-GREAT albums under her arm. It’s better than all the crappy translations we’re used to get from pop stars, including Beyonce’s ridiculous gimmicks to appeal to the MTV Tr3s audience. But as opposed to Beyonce, Nelly Furtado owns credibility, starting with her collaboration with Juanes in “Fotografia” (Un Dia Normal) and fully embracing her love to the Latino culture through this long awaited, long planned first Spanish-language album (fourth studio album).

Her vulnerable shaky voice actually sounds good in Spanish; the songs abstain from any complication or complexity, there are very uncomfortable moments where she struggles to get her point across. Mi Plan is guided by the sound of Miami, or the ‘standard’ sound coming out from Miami’s top producers, this sort of ‘Latin Pop’ that celebrates its own bliss but at the end doesn’t go further than the mediocrities los Estefan have been bombarding us for too many years. It’s unfortunate to see Furtado’s dream being consumed by a layer of pop we’re getting sick of. If it wasn’t for her voice, all these songs would be unrecognizable; it’s as if she molded these pieces around a telenovela, some pieces are unworthy of its lousiness while others are just over the top and even cartoonish.

There are two pieces here that do manage to overcome all obstacles. First single “Manos Al Aire” is a fun, harmless groovy piece that should’ve set the album’s overall sound. It would’ve make it a better album, not a great one, but at least it wouldn’t sound so exhaustingly forced like the very unfortunate Mi Plan. The other good track (now third single) is of course, her collaboration with La Mala Rodriguez and Julieta Venegas in “Bajo Otra Luz”, the song is a blast and probably the only time Nelly sounds truly familiarized, a song in the likes of “Eres Para Mi”, and it’s great to see her owning stardom. You’re advised, abstain from the rest of the collaborations, Alejandro Fernandez and Josh Groban especially. Mi Plan is actually getting pretty good reviews from all sides of the spectrum, and that’s very scary. At the end, I take this as a misguided well intentioned failure, happens to the best of us, Jua Nelly!