Song: I’m Like A Bird
Artist: Nelly Furtado
Album: Whoa, Nelly!
I quite like this song, but it sure is sad. I can understand why it was/is on the radio, it’s pretty and sweet and it has a good hook, but it’s quite depressing for a pop song. Maybe that’s why she didn’t truly blow up until she ventured out into club and skanky territory, e.g. “Promiscuous Girl” and “Maneater”, years later. It’s likely being Canadian (like Fefe Dobson) didn’t help. But the awkward, insecure, and brutal honesty in the lyrics are refreshingly devastating. I didn’t have the pulse of pop radio then, but it was 2000-01 (the dreaded teen pop years), so I’m pretty sure there was very little as relatively mature as this getting airplay. Granted, the last minute, when she’s just repeating the chorus, sounds especially full, relieved, and almost joyous, but it’s still basically four minutes of “I’m all heart, but I’m also fickle, mercurial, and restless, so be careful”:
“You’re lovely, but it’s not for sure that I won’t ever change”
“And though my love is great, and though my love is true…” (I love the ellipsis of this line, even though she completes it on the bridge)
“I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away”
“Each and every single day, I know I’m gonna have to eventually give you away”
“I’m just scared that we may fall through”
Well, at least the music isn’t depressing. Well, it does have a melancholy tone, but the beat is decent, though. I like those keys during the verses that move up and no more than a whole step or two at a time, the melody is understated and doesn’t reach. And those weird spacey, ambient noises that are all over the album. Kind of cheesy when you focus on them, but they work. And I want to know what that “ting” during the verses is, it sounds like just glass. And, as always, I’m a sucker for well-placed, simple drum fills, like at the start of each chorus. Her vocals walk a perfect line. They’re not soft and confessional and sensitive (and weak), but they’re not all diva and too strong and forceful to relate to either. From the sound of it, she’s doing most, if not all, of the backing vocals too. I really like them, especially on the last chorus minute. The scatting-type she does the last 20 seconds is sweet.
The video is kind of “eh” but it was her debut, maybe the production company didn’t want to go all out just yet. That, and I think she’s looked prettier. Make no mistake, though, she is short. Like 5′ I think. I saw her live twice touring behind her debut, at The Showbox(!) and The Paramount (that’s how unknown she was), and met her after the Paramount show, where she graciously accepted what few fans stayed around over half an hour to meet her, even though she was clearly beat. She took autographed and posed for photos, forcing smiles through her exhausted face.