Mi Plan (Spanish: My Plan) is the fourth studio album by Canadian recording artist Nelly Furtado and the first she has released in Spanish. It was first released on September 11, 2009 by Furtado's own record label, Nelstar Entertainment. The album was produced primarily by Furtado with other contributions made by James Bryan, Lester Mendez, Salaam Remi, The Demolition Crew, Julieta Venegas and Brian West. Furtado described the songs on the album to be "simple love songs".
Mi Plan was generally well received by music critics, most applauding Furtado's vocals. The album reached number one on the US Latin Billboard chart, and was later certified platinum (Latin field) album by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album won a Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album in 2010. The lead single from the album, "Manos al Aire" was released in June 2009. The song became Furtado's first solo number one single on the US Billboard Top Latin Songs chart. She also became the first North American artist to top the chart with an original Spanish song. Two further singles came from the album, "Más", released in December 2009, and "Bajo Otra Luz", released in June 2010. The album was further supported by her 2010 Mi Plan Tour, her first tour reaching Latin America. A remix album was released in October 2010, featuring remixes of the singles.
User Album Review
Just when you thought Nelly Furtado had reinvented herself as a fully-fledged RnB minx with her 2006 album Loose, produced by Timbaland and his then-protÃ©gÃ© Danja, on the follow-up she has embraced Latino pop, with Spanish-only lyrics. It’s the latest transition from the quietly chameleonic performer who has already enjoyed phases as a hip hop popster (with 2000’s Whoa, Nelly!) and pop-folkie (2003’s Folklore).
This isn’t the first foray into flamenco pop from a superstar chart diva: J. Lo, BeyoncÃ© and Christina Aguilera have all been down this route, but it is a surprising move considering how successful Loose was, commercially and artistically ”“ it sold 10 million copies and authentically depicted Furtado as a sexed-up Maneater.
The title of her fourth album Mi Plan (‘My Plan’) suggests this is more strategy than whimsy ”“ a calculated bid to capture the huge South American market, perhaps. The music certainly has mainstream appeal ”“ too mainstream. Furtado has pulled back from the erotic-disco brink and here sings innocuous songs of romance and longing. Even the one about her SueÃ±os (‘Dreams’) is not of the carnal variety, while elsewhere there are insipid titles such as Bajo Otra Luz (‘Under Another Light’), Suficiente Tiempo (‘Enough Time’), Fuerte (‘Strong’) and Silencio (‘Silence’).
The music is equally inoffensive and, despite the rhythmic nature of the project, comes across as easy listening and inconsequential. The first single, Manos al Aire (‘Hands in the Air’), is lightweight techno-pop, although the emphasis is more on Furtado’s intrusively heavy Spanish accent than the beats ”“ Timbaland’s inventive approach to dance motion is much missed. Bajo Otra Luz and VacaciÃ³n (‘Holiday’) are two excursions too far into Caribbean territory, the sort of pop-reggae that Ace of Base used to purvey to such ingratiating effect.
Suficiente Tiempo is better, essaying a form of Castilian trance lite, and Fuerte is sort of flamenco RnB, but apart from these tracks and a couple of dull ballads, Mi Plan is like listening to a whole album of La Isla Bonitas, only without Madonna’s light pop touch.
One can only hope that it’s just a stop-gap niche-market exercise and that Furtado’s mooted next release, in 2010, will see her return to the studio with a producer whose finger is on the avant-RnB pulse.
External Album Reviews