Nelly Furtado's "Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)" remains underrated, both the single and the video (and Darkchild's involvement.) It'd be easy to say, then, that follow-up single and title track "The Spirit Indestructible" is an attempt to re-launch the album with something immediate and punchy and nigh-guaranteed, but that's not quite what's going on. Listen below.
Like "Big Hoops," "The Spirit Indestructible" is half awesome and half tepid. Unlike "Big Hoops," "The Spirit Indestructible" is not interested in anything remotely trendy. There are two parts:
1) One minute, with repeats later on, of chintzy synth-harpsichord ballad, with enough processing on Furtado's voice that you suspect the working title was "the vocal cocoon indestructible." This is the tepid part, in case you didn't guess. The second time around, there's a guitar part and backing vocals added. They don't help, and when they do start helping, the track's basically already become...
2) A freestyle-influenced stretch with no more chintzy synth-harpsichord--i.e. the awesome part, as anything called "freestyle-influenced" is wont to be. This eventually leads into a military-drum breakdown with a vocalise that's apparently supposed to be Nelly snippet-singing "AEIOU." (We know this because the lyrics video--which, to be fair, has a point unlike 95% of lyrics videso--flashes "A E I O U" over and over.)
You end up wishing the entire song was like the second half--the lyrics are the same, so it's no less inspirational, and it's more inspiring anyway to move than to wonder whether you're listening to a half-finished demo, where the producers fleshed out Nelly's voice but didn't get around to half the instruments yet. It's probably too disjointed for radio play (although a radio climate that'd play this would probably be a good one, more interesting at least), and it's a strange choice of single even with Darkchild producing again.
That said, when the remix to this arrives, it's going to be fantastic.