Nelly Furtado seems to have a great plan for her introduction into Latin music with her 1st CD in Spanish titled “Mi Plan”.
The pop album was well planned by the Canadian singer. Furtado’s song selection along with signing duets in several songs, produced an album of great musical variety and excellent quality.
Chances are that, as fans of Latin music, you have at least heard of Nelly Furtado by now. The pop artist has given a lot of publicity to “Mi Plan” by appearing in TV shows, music awards, and magazine covers. Doesn’t hurt that the Canadian artist of Portuguese ancestry has the looks of a model. The question is how many of you have actually heard the album.
The Songs in Nelly Furtado “Mi Plan”
Most of the songs in “Mi Plan” were written by Nelly Furtado, in many cases in collaboration with her guest artists. Singer Alex Cuba and musician and recording engineer James Bryan helped Nelly Furtado by participating in the creation of some of the songs. These collaborations helped mold the songs to the different styles of the invited singers. This made the duets flow naturally and provided a nice variety of musical styles which keep the album interesting from start to end.
The single selected for the promotion of the album, “Manos Al Aire”, is one of the album songs that I like the least. So if you are judging the album based on “Manos Al Aire” then good news; it only gets better.
I mention this in case you got discouraged by the song to listen to the entire album. There is something about this song that just doesn’t work for me. But once I get pass it, you get to “Mas” and album title song “Mi Plan”, with Alex Cuba, start infecting you with the album’s energy.
Just as you are getting into that album energy, you then shift moods with the ballad “Sueños”. She sings this one beautifully with Alejandro Fernandez. Then, the album switches again to a more folky-urban “Bajo Otra Luz” co-written with the very talented Mexican Julieta Venegas. It is performed by Nelly Furtado, Julieta, and the timely addition of Maria “La Mala” Rodriguez, adding the urban element to it. It’s a fun song to listen to, ending with the three artist sharing a natural laugh captured at recording. It shows how much fun they had making the song.
My Favorites in “Mi Plan”
My album’s favorite song is the catchy “Vacacion” with Julieta Venega’s hand felt through the song, as she co-wrote it with Nelly Furtado. Although Julieta doesn’t sing in this one, she participates in the accordion. I just love the very distinctive style of the song and its lyrics. The Spanish and cuatro guitars, the accordion, and Nelly’s singing make this one of those songs you want to listen driving your car with the windows down and sunroof open in a summer afternoon. Love it!
The rest of the album includes the pop-ballad “Silencio” with tenor-voiced Josh Groban. Another of my favorites in “Como Lluvia” with the great Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra. This bachata-like pop song is again a perfect fit for a Nelly Furtado-Juan Luis duet. They performed it beautifully, with Nelly showcasing how well she hits the high notes, and Juan Luis warmly touching the lows.
“Mi Plan” Performances
The performances of all artists that participate in “Mi Plan” are excellent. I had not listen carefully to Nelly’s English songs, but she demonstrates how well she can use her vocal range. Nelly has a naturally higher-pitch voice, so her dominance in the high notes is superb. She can also sing well in the low range, but that part is played by her duet guest signers.
Nelly’s voice dominates in duets due to her high pitch. However, it works very well in the songs with Alex Cuba, Alejandro Fernandez, and Juan Luis Guerra. With Julieta Venegas and Concha Buika the duets are more of harmonious singing or singing by parts of the song, rather than over-laced dual voices. Again, all these collaborations were well planned.
Then there is Nelly’s Spanish. Nelly can speak Spanish, but her fluency and pronunciation still need practice. As with most non-native Spanish speakers, you can notice her anglo pronunciations of the “ll”s and “r”s. Yet, unless you are looking for that sort of thing, Nelly’s Spanish comes across well in the album.
The music and arrangements in the album are of impeccable quality, regardless of the style of the song. “Mi Plan” was mostly recorded in Toronto, with some parts recorded in Miami, Los Angeles and in Juan Luis Guerra’s studio in the Dominican Republic. This album is a great recording any way you listen to it.
Shouldn’t it be “Nuestro Plan”?
One of the things that impressed me the most about “Mi Plan” was the great collaboration Nelly did to get this album done. She collaborated and shared in writing the songs, in singing duets, and the production, arrangements, recording studios, etc.. This album was put together by the great collaboration of a bunch of people. The result was an excellent album, with “Nuestro Plan” probably a better fitting name for it.
Highly Recommend “My Plan”:
Based on all said above, I do highly recommend “Mi Plan” if you like some Latin pop music. As you might know by now, my favorite genres within Latin music are Salsa and Latin Jazz. But I love most kinds of Latin music. Latin pop is no exception. But when I listen to pop, it must be the kind that makes me feel alive, not the depressing type. This is a very upbeat album which is fun to listen.