I was browsing the web when I came across an ad for The Spirit Indestructible, and having been unaware the album was out I gave it a listen. From then on I've been listening to it constantly. I was completely shocked to read that sales of this album are extremely low in the UK and the US, and it's being written off as a failure. It most certainly isn't. Someday people are going to discover this album like I have and ask themselves, "How could I have missed this?"
Rhythm and haunting washes of synths, backed with complex, desolate background arrangements, and Furtado's unshowy, expressive vocals, make these tracks into a cohesive, whole album, not just a collection of random single tracks by a multitude of producing teams. I'm thinking particularly of the chants on Big Hoops and the introductory clarion call of Believers (Arab Spring) as two of my personal favourites. The songs that don't make an immediate impression on first listen have grown on me, which is always a good sign - I love music that reveals itself over repeated listens. The additional CD of the deluxe edition is also a great EP that has its own identity.
Critics of the album have criticized its "dated" production - well, I have to disagree. The compressed in-your-face production style beloved by Katy Perry, Pink, etc, may be selling well right now, but the sounds Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins and, on other tracks, Salaam Remi have come up with for Furtado are distinctive and lot more fun to listen to. The album is sonically interesting, it has highs and lows, quiet songs that cast their spell slowly, dance tracks that groove in unexpected unique ways. Nelly, I wasn't really a fan before now, but you've won me over with your spirit.