Loose is the third album by Canadian singer–songwriter Nelly Furtado, released by Geffen Records June 20, 2006 in North America (see 2006 in music). Timbaland and
his then-protégé Danja produced the bulk of the album, which incorporates influences of dance, R&B and hip hop. The album explores the theme of female sexuality and has
been described as introspective or even sad in parts.
Studio album by Nelly Furtado
Released June 9, 2006
The Hit Factory and Cubejam (Miami, Florida); The Chill Building (Santa Monica, California); Henson Studios
and Capitol Studios (Hollywood, California); The Orange Lounge (Toronto, Canada);
Genre Pop, dance-pop, R&B, hip hop, bitpop
Length 55:13 (standard international edition)
33:39 (Tour Edition bonus disc)
Language English, Spanish
Label Geffen, MMG
Producer Thom Panunzio (exec.)
Timbaland (also exec.)
Nelly Furtado (exec.)
Danja, Nisan Stewart, Lester Mendez, Rick Nowels
The album received criticism because of the sexual image Furtado adopted for the
recording, with some[who?] feeling it was a ploy to sell more records. Further controversy rose over accusations of plagiarism on Timbaland's part when recordings
were leaked onto Youtube. The record was seen generally as critically and commercially successful. It reached high positions on charts across the world, and according to a
August 2009 press release, it had sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling album of 2006-2007 and the twenty-second best-selling album of the 2000s.
The album was heavily promoted, released in several editions and supported by the Get Loose Tour, which is the subject of the concert DVD Loose: The Concert. Eight singles
were released from the album, including the U.S. number-one singles "Promiscuous" and "Say It Right", which received Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Collaboration
with Vocals and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, respectively.Other standout singles include the UK number-one single "Maneater" and the successful song "All Good Things (Come to an End)".
Style and themes
Furtado said that with the release of her albums before Loose, she had wanted to prove
herself as a musician and earn respect from listeners through using many different instruments on an album, which most hip hop musicians did not do. After she believed
she had accomplished that, she felt she had freedom to make the type of music she "really love". Furtado said her previous problem with hip hop was that she did not think
it was good enough to base one of her albums on, but that she then asked herself why she was being "pretentious". The album represents her separating from such notions and,
in her words, "jumping in the deep end of the pool—'Ahh, screw it, this is fun!'". Furtado said she considers herself "all over the map" and promiscuous musically because she is
not faithful to one style. For the first time, Furtado worked with a variety of record producers and followed a more collaborative approach in creating the album. Produced
primarily by Timbaland and Danja, Loose showcases Furtado experimenting with a more R&B–hip hop sound and, as she put it, the "surreal, theatrical elements of '80s
music". She has categorized the album's sound as punk-hop, which she describes as Eurythmics-influenced "modern, poppy, spooky
music" and stated that "there's a mysterious, after-midnight vibe to [it] that's extremely visceral". Furtado has described the album as
"more urban, more American, more hip-hop, [and] more simplified" than her earlier work, which she said was more layered and
textured because she "tend to overthink things". In contrast, during her studio time with Timbaland, she said she was "in the VIP boys
club of just letting go" and being more impulsive. During the recording of Loose, Furtado listened to several electro and rock musicians,
including Bloc Party, System of a Down, M.I.A., Feist, Queens of the Stone Age, Metric and Death from Above 1979, some of
whom influenced the "rock sound" present on the album and the "coughing, laughing, distorted bass lines" that were kept in the songs
deliberately. According to her, music by such bands is "very loud and has a garage theme" to it, some of which she felt she captured on
the album. Furtado has said rock music is "rhythmic again" and hip hop-influenced after it had become "so churning and
boring."Because the mixing engineers were aware of Timbaland and Furtado's rock influences, the songs were mixed on a mixing
board in the studio instead of "the fancy mixer at the end". Furtado said she preferred the louder volume that process gave to the album
because she wanted it to sound like her demo tapes, which she prefers to her finished albums. She said, "It didn't have that final wash
over it; it didn't have the final pressing at the end, save for a couple sounds". The "off-the-cuff" conclusion to production was one of the
reasons the album was titled Loose. According to Furtado, instead of "pristine stuff", the album features "really raw" elements such as
distorted bass lines, laughter from studio outtakes and general "room for error"; it was named partly after the spontaneous decisions
she made when creating the album. The album is also called Loose because it is "the opposite of calculated" and came naturally to
Furtado and Timbaland; she called him her "distant musical cousin because he was always pushing boundaries and always carving out
his own path", which she believed she was doing with Loose. "I think you have to keep surprising people as an artist, and I like that—I love doing that", she said.
Loose was also named partly for the R&B girl group TLC, who Furtado said she admires for "taking back their sexuality, showing they
were complete women."She said she wanted the album to be "assertive and cool" and "sexy but fun", like TLC, MC Lyte, Queen
Latifah and Janet Jackson, who inspired Furtado because, as she put it, she was "comfortable in her sexuality and womanhood" when
her 1993 single "That's the Way Love Goes" was released. Furtado has said Loose is not as much about the lyrics, which are not
included in the liner notes, as it is about "indulging in pleasures—whether it's dancing or lovemaking."According to her, she wasn't
trying to be sexy with the album—"I think I just am sexy now", she said. The opening track, "Afraid" (featuring rapper Attitude), is a
description of Furtado's fear of what people think of her, and she has said the chorus reminds her of "walking down the hall in high
school ... because you live from the outside in. Now that I'm an adult, I care about the inside of me ... Before I said I didn't care about
what people thought about me, but I really did."She compared "Maneater" to how people become "hot on themselves" when dancing
in their underwear in front of a mirror. "Promiscuous" (featuring Timbaland) was inspired by a flirting exchange Furtado had with
Attitude, who co-wrote the song She has characterised the fifth track, "Showtime", as "a proper R&B slow jam". The album also
features more introspective songs, and The Sunday Times wrote that it "has a surprising sadness to it."The seventh track, "Te Busqué",
which features Latin singer Juanes, is about Furtado's experiences with depression, which she said she has had periodically since she
was around seventeen years old. Furtado said she was unsure what "Say It Right" is about, but that it encapsulates her feeling when she
wrote it and "taps into this other sphere"; in an interview for The Sunday Times, it was mentioned that it is about her breakup with DJ
Jasper Gahunia, the father of her daughter. "In God's Hands", another song on the album, was also inspired by the end of their relationship.
Furtado began work on Loose by holding with emcee Jellystone what she referred to as a "hip-hop workshop", in which they would
"write rhymes, dissect them, and try different flows over beats." The first producers she worked with were Track & Field—who
co-produced her first two albums, Whoa, Nelly! (2000) and Folklore (2003)—and by May 2005, she had collaborated with Swollen
Members and K'naan. She worked with Nellee Hooper in London on reggae-oriented material and with Lester Mendez in Los
Angeles on acoustic songs. One of the tracks Mendez helped to create is "Te Busqué", which is co-written by and features Juanes,
who collaborated with Furtado on his 2002 song "Fotografía". During her time in Los Angeles, she worked with Rick Nowels, who
co-wrote and produced "In God's Hands" and "Somebody to Love". In Miami, Florida, Furtado collaborated with Pharrell (who
introduced her to reggaeton and who gave her a "shout-out" in his 2005 single "Can I Have It like That") and Scott Storch (with whom
she recorded a "straight-up rap song") before entering the studio with Timbaland. He and his protégé at the time, Danja, co-produced
eight of the tracks, with another produced solely by Danja. For some of the beats on the songs, Timbaland finished work on ones
already present in the studio that were half-developed or just "nucleuses"; the rest were completely reworked. Furtado recorded
around forty tracks for Loose, deciding which she would include based on the sonics of the album—she called Timbaland "a sonic
extraterrestrial" who came up with a sequence of songs that flowed, and said that the one she had devised was supposedly
unsatisfactory. She recorded an unreleased collaboration with Justin Timberlake, "Crowd Control", which she described as "kind of
sexy" and "a cute, clubby, upbeat, fun track". Other songs considered for inclusion on the album include "Chill Boy", "Friend of Mine",
"Go", "Hands in the Air", "Pretty Boy", "Vice" and "Weak". Furtado said in her diary on her official website that she recorded a remix
of "Maneater" with rapper Lil' Wayne; it was only released as part of a compilation album, Timbaland's Remix & Soundtrack
Collection, she also used the instrumental of the song during many television performances of "Maneater". A version of "All Good
Things (Come to an End)" featuring vocals by Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, who co-wrote the song, was not released after a
request from Martin's label, EMI. The song was released on the album, but only Furtado's vocals are featured.
Criticism and controversy
Considerable attention was generated by the more sexual image of Furtado presented in promotion and publicity for the album, and in
particular the music videos for "Promiscuous" and "Maneater", in which she dances around with her midriff exposed. According to
Maclean's magazine, some said that Furtado's progression was a natural transformation of a pop singer; others believed that she had
"sold out" in an effort to garner record sales, particularly after her second album was a commercial failure in comparison to her first.
Maclean's wrote that her makeover "seems a bit forced" and contrasted her with singers such as Madonna and Emily Haines of Metric:
" seem to be completely in control, even somewhat intimidating in their sexuality: they've made a calculated decision for commercial and
feminist reasons. In contrast, Furtado's new, overt sexuality comes off as unoriginal — overdone by thousands of pouty pop stars with
a quarter of Furtado's natural talent ... the revamping feels as if it's been imposed rather than chosen by the unique, articulate singer
we've seen in the past." Dose magazine wrote that Furtado's new "highly sexualized" image was manufactured, and noted the
involvement in the album's development of Geffen's Jimmy Iovine, who helped to develop the Pussycat Dolls, a girl group known for
their sexually suggestive dance routines. The writer also criticised Furtado's discussion of her buttocks and apparent rejection of
feminism in a Blender magazine interview, writing "Girls, do you hear that churning? Those are the ideas of Gloria Steinem turning in
their grave." A writer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said that cynics could attribute Furtado's commercial success with
Loose to her "amped-up sex appeal". The writer added that, the failure of Janet Jackson's album Damita Jo (2004) indicated such a
move was not infallible. That Furtado was "still demure compared to many of her competitors"—she avoided sporting lingerie or
performing "Christina Aguilera-style gyrations or calisthenics" in the "Promiscuous" and "Maneater" videos. "Despite its dramatic arrival
... Furtado's new image doesn’t feel calculated", he said. " seems to be thinking less and feeling more, to the benefit of her music."
Further information: 2007 Timbaland plagiarism controversy
In early 2007, a video hosted on YouTube led to reports that the song "Do It", and the Timbaland-produced ringtone "Block Party"
that inspired it, used—without authorization—the melody from Finnish demoscene musician Janne "Tempest" Suni's song "Acidjazzed
Evening", winner of the Assembly 2000 oldskool music competition. Timbaland used the record of C64 adaptation of the song written
by Glenn Rune Gallefoss (GRG). Timbaland admitted sampling the song, but said that he had no time to research its intellectual owner.
Hannu Sormunen, a Finnish representative of Universal which represents Nelly Furtado in Finland, commented the controversy as
follows in the January 15, 2007 issue of Iltalehti; "In case that the artist decides to pursue the matter further, it's on him to go to
America and confront them with the local use of law. It will require a considerable amount of faith and, of course, money." On
February 9, 2007, Timbaland commented on the issue in an MTV interview: "It makes me laugh. The part I don't understand, the dude
is trying to act like I went to his house and took it from his computer. I don't know him from a can of paint. I'm 15 years deep. That's
how you attack a king? You attack moi? Come on, man. You got to come correct. You the laughing stock. People are like, 'You can't be serious."
In August 2007, an action for infringement was filed in the District Court of Helsinki against Universal Music, Ltd alleging Nelly
Furtado's song "Do It" infringed "Acid Jazz Evening". In January 2009, after a trial that included multiple expert and technical
witnesses, a three judge panel unanimously dismissed the plaintiff's case.
Writing for the court, Judge Lemstrom writes, "The plaintiff has lost his case in its entirety."
In January 2008, Turkish newspapers reported that Kalan Müzik, the record label that released Turkish folk singer Muhlis Akarsu's
album Ya Dost Ya Dost, pressed charges against Furtado for the Loose track "Wait for You", which label officials said features the
bağlama instrumental part of Akarsu's song "Allah Allah Desem Gelsem".
Loose received positive reviews from critics, receiving a 71/100 rating on the review scores aggregate website Metacritic. musicOMH
and Allmusic cited the "revitalising" effect of Timbaland on Furtado's music, and The Guardian called it "slick, smart and surprising."
Allmusic wrote in its review, "It's on this final stretch of the album that the Furtado and Timbaland pairing seems like a genuine
collaboration, staying true to the Nelly of her first two albums, but given an adventurous production that helps open her songs up ...
Timbaland has revitalized Nelly Furtado both creatively and commercially with Loose". She won her first BRIT Award—Best International Female—in 2007.
Rolling Stone had a mixed review of the album. While "Promiscuous" was criticized as "garish", it was noted that "Maneater" "bumps
hard enough to qualify as a sequel , and that's high praise indeed". Vibe stated, "she loses herself in Gwen Stefani–like posturing, as on “Glow,” and ethnic fusions like “No Hay Igual” or “Te Busque."
Promotion and chart performance
Loose debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling more than 34,000 copies in its first week, at that time the year's
strongest debut for a Canadian artist. In late July, after Furtado embarked on a short tour of Canada and made a guest appearance on
the television show Canadian Idol, the album returned to number one. It subsequently stayed near the top of the album chart until late
January 2007, when it reached number one again for two weeks. It was the third best-selling album of 2006 in Canada, and the highest
selling by a female solo artist, with 291,700 copies sold. The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) certified Loose five
times platinum in May 2007 for shipments of more than 500,000 copies. It stayed in the top twenty for fifty-seven weeks. The album
debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 with sales of 219,000; it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry
Association of America (RIAA) and ranked sixty-fourth on the Billboard 2006 year-end chart. Loose exited the U.S. top ten in
August 2006 but re-entered it in March 2007, and according to Nielsen SoundScan in October 2007, it had sold two million units.
The album ranked thirty-second on the Billboard 2007 year-end chart. In the United Kingdom, Loose entered the albums chart at
number five; in its forty-third week, it reached number four, and it was certified double platinum for shipments to retailers of more than
600,000 copies. As of July 2007, it had sold roughly 827,000 copies in the UK. The record was certified two times platinum in
Australia for more than 140,000 units shipped; it reached number four there and was placed forty-fourth on the Australian Australian
Recording Industry Association (ARIA) list of 2006 bestsellers. The album entered the chart in Germany at number one, spent a
record forty-nine weeks in the German top ten, and was certified five times platinum. Loose became the most successful album in
Germany since the establishment of the Longplay charts in 1992. Loose reached number one on the European Top 100 Albums chart
in early 2007, spending ten non-consecutive weeks at number one. By March 2007, it had been certified gold or platinum in
twenty-five countries. According to a Geffen Records press release, Loose had sold more than seven million copies by November 2007.
Furtado embarked on a world tour, the Get Loose Tour, in support of the album.In April 2006, a remix of "No Hay Igual" featuring
Calle 13 was issued as a club single in the U.S. During the same period, "Promiscuous" (featuring Timbaland) was released for digital
download in North America. It was Furtado's first single to top the U.S. Hot 100 and was released in Australia, where it reached the
top five. The lead single in Europe and Latin America, "Maneater", was released in late May to early June 2006. It became Furtado's
first single to top the UK Singles Chart and made the top ten in other countries; it reached the top five in Germany and the top twenty in France and Latin America.
The second single in Europe, "Promiscuous", was released in late August to early September 2006 and performed less well than
"Maneater". It peaked inside the top five in the UK and the top ten in other countries, including Germany, and it reached the top twenty
in France. During the same period, "Maneater" began its run as the second single in North America; it was not as successful as
"Promiscuous", reaching number twenty-two in Canada and the top twenty in the U.S., though it became a top five single on the ARIA Singles Chart.
Releases of the third North American single, "Say It Right", and the third Europe single, "All Good Things (Come to an End)", took
place in November and December, and the third Latin American single, "Promiscuous", was released in January 2007. "Say It Right"
went to number one in the U.S. and on the Nielsen BDS airplay chart in Canada (where it was not given a commercial release), and it
reached the top five in Australia. "All Good Things (Come to an End)" reached number one on the pan-European singles chart and the
top five in the UK, and it was the album's most successful single in Germany, where it topped the chart, and in France, where it
became a top ten hit. After the release of "Say It Right" in Europe in March 2007, the single reached the top five in Germany and the
top ten in the UK, where it was a download-only release. The video for "All Good Things (Come to an End)" was released in North
America during this period. "All Good Things (Come to an End)" peaked in the top five in Canada and in the top twenty in Australia, though it only reached the lower half of the U.S. Hot 100.
The album's fifth UK single was "In God's Hands", and the fifth single in North America was "Do It". In May 2007, Furtado mentioned
the possibility of a sixth or seventh single, mentioning the examples of Nickelback's All the Right Reasons and The Pussycat Dolls'
PCD as albums that were being supported by seventh singles at the time. Furtado said she liked the possibility because she thought
Loose was good and "want people to hear as much of it as possible" before she took time off.
Two other songs, "Te Busqué" and "No Hay Igual", were released as singles in other regions of the world. "Te Busqué" was the lead
single in Spain because of the limited success hip-hop/R&B-influenced songs in the style of "Promiscuous" and "Maneater" achieved in
the country. It was not released in the United States, but it was given airplay on Latin music radio stations and reached the top forty on
Billboard's Latin Pop Airplay chart. The "No Hay Igual" remix featuring Calle 13 was released in Latin America, and the music video debuted in September.
Performances and touring
During the promotion of Loose, Furtado performed at major music festivals and award shows. In Europe, she appeared at Rock am Ring and Rock-im-Park in Germany and the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands
in June 2006. She performed in Canada at the Calgary Stampede, the Ottawa Bluesfest in July, and at the Ovation Music Festival in September. Shortly after her August 2006 performance at the Summer Sonic in
Japan, she sang at the Teen Choice Awards. In November, she contributed to the entertainment during the World Music Awards, the American Music Awards and the 94th Grey Cup halftime show. She performed
at the 2007 NRJ Music Awards, held in January 2007. Furtado embarked on a world concert tour, the Get Loose Tour, on February 16, 2007 in the UK, in support of the album; the tour included thirty-one dates in
Europe and Canada, with additional shows in the U.S., Japan, Australia and Latin America. Furtado
described the show as a "full sensory experience" with "a beginning, middle and end ... takes you on a
journey", also stressing the importance of crowd involvement and "spontaneity and rawness, because those
are my roots, you know? I started by doing club shows, and that's the energy I love, the raw club energy of
just feeling like you're rocking out." Though Furtado said choreographed dance routines were to be included in the show, she described it as "music-based ...
Nelly performing at Rock am Ring 2006
Everything else is just to keep it sophisticated and sensual and fun.”Furtado said she hoped to have Chris
Martin, Juanes, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland and Calle 13 to guest on the tour, and have a "revolving door" of opening acts with Latin musicians opening in the U.S.