THE BEST OF NELLY FURTADO (deluxe edition)

It's hard to believe it's been a decade since Nelly Furtado let us know that she's like a bird. The Best of Nelly Furtado shows how she has come a long way from her beginning, expanding to different genres and styles of music. And yet...

Nelly Furtado has a very sweet singing voice, and she manages to adapt it quite nicely in several different directions. She can do radio-friendly pop music ("I'm Like a Bird," "Turn off the Light"), sad ballads ("Try," "All Good Things (Come to an End)"), rap-club music ("Promiscuous," "Maneater"), and songs in Spanish (mostly from her all-Spanish album Mi Plan). Unlike many other singers, Nelly Furtado doesn't keep traveling the same musical path she had before.

Unfortunately, while The Best of Nelly Furtado is a fine overview of the singer's work, it also highlights a problem she has. While many of the songs are good, and several are pretty good, she never quite reaches greatness with her music. Sometimes it's trite lyrics, sometimes it's a certain mellowness in her delivery (like "Shit on the Radio (Remember the Days)" which should be much angrier than it is), but the end result is that her music comes across as enjoyable more than awesome.

And for those who have Furtado's previous albums, The Best of Nelly Furtado has three new songs, somewhat indicative of her frequent themes: a light party song ("Night Is Young"), a song about a problematic love ("Girlfriend in the City") and a ballad ("Stars"). The deluxe edition also has her duets with several performers -- from Michael Buble to Juanes to the Roots -- as well as an Arabic-sounding remix of "I'm Like a Bird."

Overall grade: B-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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