Nelly Furtado Returns with Dubstep on "Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)"
And some other (more annoying) qualities
But when I heard her new single "Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)," from her forthcoming album The Spirit Indestructible, I was taken on a short high -- she spits the catchy intro at beatbox speed -- before immediately and unwillingly crashing, thinking, "Was she always this bad?!" Where had I been? And I love bamboo earrings! What had happened?
"Big Hoops," like anything else, has it's moments. But the verses aren't it. And if you can get past the sheer shrill that is Furtado's voice - yes, it's always been slightly nasal, but that's as much her trademark as is Shakira's yodel, and in this instance, it's just squeaky overkill - then you may get a pleasing surprise at the end. But until then, it is a challenge you didn't sign up for to hear Furtado very flatly deliver syncopated syllables in the interim: "To- / -night / is / the / jam, I'll be there til' dawn / I'm go- / -ing / down / I got my big hoops on."
She then develops an unforeseen and questionable Rihanna-like accent - "Ay, ay, ay, what's the scenario?" - before finally bringing the heat in what, much like Beyonce's "Run The World," sounds like a 3-part chorus made up of the (thankfully) more melodic line, "I can go fast / I can go slow," then segues into a chant request from the crowd, "Everybody say hey-ey-ey…," before finally finishing with a cocky beat-driven breakdown, "I bet you never seen something like that, like that." And it's enjoyable and everything you expected from Furtado. Prayers answered.
Unfortunately, things take a turn for the whiny worse again with the second (still-pitch imperfect, but slightly more tricked-out) verse that's just as irritating, but seems shorter this time around because you've either grown numb to it or have discovered that the Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins-created stomp-clap-&-percussion-taps beat is enough to keep you interested.
The latter becomes most evident when Furtado abruptly stops the audio to build anticipation for a surprise dubstep infiltration and distorted outro. And now it's kind of growing on me.
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