Sound Check

Nelly Furtado disappoints at Vancouver show

(Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic)

The reviews are in and they are less than kind for Canadian songbird Nelly Furtado’s latest gig in her home province of B.C.

Reviewers weren't impressed with her performance on Jan. 9, at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. The concert marks the beginning of her “Spirit Indestructible Tour,” which is the first time she’s promoted an English record since 2007-2008’s “Get Loose Tour.”

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Before heading out on the road, Furtado told about her aspirations for the upcoming shows, saying, “I just want people to walk away feeling inspired, really. Positive, inspired, happy, energized: that’s my goal.”

“Inspired” sounds like the opposite of how the Globe and Mail’s Marsha Lederman felt after the concert as she wrote that the “Maneater” hitmaker’s “show was uneven” and had “moments of dispassion or worse.”

“I love an underdog, and I wanted to see Furtado grab the Ballroom by the horns and turn this maybe half-empty venue into one that was half-full,” she wrote. “But from the moment she walked onstage in her sparkly tank top, dark fedora and signature hoops, and launched into the first nasally notes of ‘The Spirit Indestructible,’ the title track of her new album, I had my doubts she could – or even cared to – pull it off.”

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CTV British Columbia’s Robert Collins was also displeased with the gig and said in his review of the concert that “her time on the Canadian music A-list is over” and that the show featured too much "genre hopping" from one track to another.

“The overall effect was the musical equivalent of a buffet table swamped with a mixture of global cuisines,” he wrote. “Tasty when sampled dish-by-dish, but confusing and unappetising when taken as a whole… Which pretty much sums up where Nelly Furtado has gone off track. She has the ability do it all. She just needs to decide on what musical direction she wants to take.”

Francois Marchand from the Vancouver Sun shared Collins’ sentiment of the singer falling from her “A-list” position, writing, “Looking around a room filled with aging fans and a half-empty dance floor, you couldn't help but wonder if Furtado's better years as a headlining performer and a multi-platinum seller are already behind her.”

Even though these three reviewers appear to have collectively disliked the concert, most of them seem to agree that her voice is still stellar with Collins complimenting her, saying, “She’s a fine singer – not in the Whitney/Aretha class, of course, but note-perfect throughout.”

Marchand noted, “Not that Furtado is any less of a singer these days, and she showed she is as skilled as ever Wednesday evening.”

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Check out Furtado's performance of her single "I'm Like a Bird" from the Commodore Ballroom show featured below. Do you think she has lost her edge?

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