Nelly Furtado – The Ride (2017)

After a five-year hiatus following 2012’s underrated “The Spirit Indestructible,” Nelly Furtado returns here with this focused, mature album. In some ways “The Ride” feels like a rebuke to her own mainstream smash 2006’s “Loose,” rejecting the aggressively radio-friendly sound of the former and embracing serenity instead, and while it flows well from one song to the other, there are unfortunately few stand-out tracks or memorable lyrics. The ballads (in particular the closer “Phoenix”) are mellow and a little on the cloying side, but ultimately the overall album is nice and pleasant, if disappointingly unremarkable.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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