The Ride (Nelly Furtado album)

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The Ride
Nelly Furtado - The Ride.png
Studio album by
Released31 March 2017 (2017-03-31)
StudioElmwood Recording
(Dallas, Texas)
Nelly Furtado chronology
The Spirit Indestructible
The Ride
Singles from The Ride
  1. "Pipe Dreams"
    Released: 20 December 2016
  2. "Cold Hard Truth"
    Released: 27 January 2017[1]
  3. "Sticks and Stones"
    Released: 25 May 2018

The Ride is the sixth studio album by Canadian singer Nelly Furtado. The album was released on 31 March 2017 by Furtado's own record label, Nelstar Music.

The album reached number 76 in Furtado's home country, Canada,[2] and also reached the top 100 in Germany,[3] Italy[4] and Switzerland.[5] It did not chart on the UK Albums Chart, but reached number 81 on the UK Album Sales Chart.[6]

Composition and production[edit]

The Ride has been described as a pop, dance-pop and indie pop album[7][8] that incorporates elements of R&B ("Pipe Dreams"), synth-rock ("Sticks and Stones") and piano ballads ("Carnival Games", "Phoenix").[9]

Furtado initially worked alongside producer Mark Taylor on material for The Ride.[10] She had wanted to work with Taylor ever since he had produced "Broken Strings", her 2008 duet with British singer-songwriter James Morrison.[11] Shortly after splitting with her management following the poor commercial performance of her previous studio album, The Spirit Indestructible (2012), Taylor sent Furtado an email informing her that he had written a song called "Sticks and Stones" (originally performed by English singer-songwriter Arlissa), and said it would suit Furtado's voice. She responded by saying she loved the song and wanted to record it, but also expressed an interest in composing new songs with him and his regular collaborator Paul Barry.[12] Working from Taylor's studio in Ripley, Surrey, "Phoenix" was the first song composed by the trio.[10] Furtado said she "kind of hit bottom" a week prior to writing the song, elaborating that she had been going through a rough patch in her life at the time.[11] The trio also composed "Bliss", which would be included on the deluxe vinyl.[13]

Furtado was introduced to Dallas-based producer John Congleton in August 2014 by American indie rock musician Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, whom Furtado first met in Japan in 2012. The material produced by Congleton is decidedly more artistic than anything previously released by Furtado.[14] The first song the pair wrote together was "Flatline",[11] and emerged from Congleton's criticism of the pre-prepared GarageBand demos Furtado had created in preparation for their sessions. She explained: "He didn't like anything. Then, luckily, I remembered this melody – the chorus of "Flatline" – and I sang it to him, and he was, 'Well, I like that. Let's do that.' He had already booked session players for the next day. I showed him my first draft of the lyrics for [the song] and he was tinkering away at the music, and he said, 'Those are all right, but I think you can do better. I think you can dig a little deeper.' And here I am – six albums in – and I'm just thinking: 'Wow. Okay.'"[14]

While recording The Ride, Congleton introduced Furtado to people involved in the local Texan art scene, including Samantha McCurdy, who would create the album cover. It consists of Furtado clutching a bouquet of flowers and two hands holding a pyramid-shaped piece of wood behind her, while a green protrusion on the right side of the image closes in on her face. The cover would prove divisive, with Furtado disabling comments on the image when it was revealed on her Instagram on 12 December 2016. She later said of the cover, "To me, it's a little bit vulnerable. I like that it conveys a feeling of humility", and explained that disabling comments on the image was in part a reaction to the negative response to her performance of "O Canada" at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.[15]


"Pipe Dreams" was released as the lead single on 15 November 2016.[16] When asked if the song was the first single from the album, Furtado responded by saying that she would not be releasing any singles from the album and that she would instead release songs that she wants to share, "which is all twelve", but the song was released to airplay.[17] Furtado released "Cold Hard Truth", along with the pre-order of the album, on 27 January 2017.[1]

"Sticks & Stones" was remixed by Metro with newly recorded vocals by Furtado in May 2018.[18][19] It later reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.[20]

Promotional singles[edit]

Furtado released "Behind Your Back", a song that she called "a palate cleanse" and "an appetizer" for her then-untitled sixth studio album, on 13 July 2016.[21] Although she originally stated that the song would not be included on the album, she later revealed that it would be included on the deluxe edition of the album. It was chosen to be the first song released from the album because it did not fit in with the sound of what she referred to as the "actual album".[22] On 7 September 2016, Furtado revealed that she would release another song from the deluxe edition of the album called "Islands of Me".[23] The song was released two days later, on 9 September 2016.[24] Both "Behind Your Back" and "Islands of Me" were only available on the music streaming platform Spotify until 28 October 2016, when they were made available to purchase on digital retailers.[25][26]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[29]
The Guardian2/5 stars[32]
The Irish Times3/5 stars[33]
Now3/5 Ns[7]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[8]
RTÉ.ie3/5 stars[34]
Slant Magazine3.5/5 stars[35]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 64, based on 9 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[28] It also holds an aggregate score of 6.1 out of 10 at AnyDecentMusic?, based on 13 reviews.[36]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic compared The Ride to Furtado's 2003 album Folklore, but said that "she hasn't abandoned the deep bass and dance beats that propelled Loose."[29] Now complimented the record for incorporating harder elements;[7] Exclaim! applauded Furtado for her lyricism.[31] Lauren Murphy of The Irish Times also complimented the songwriting, praising the "beat-driven songs with air-punching choruses". While commenting on Furtado's statement that The Ride was her "hangover album", Murphy summarized her review by saying: "If this is the hangover album, we'd love to have been at the party."[33] Slant Magazine also compared the album to Folklore, and praised Furtado's "refusal to play to type [which] ultimately makes her something of a pop maverick—impossible to pin down but also improbably distinct."[35] Commenting on the album's commercial performance, a review from Billboard claimed it would be one of 2017's most underrated releases.[37]

Although Clash complimented Furtado's vocals and songwriting, they were critical of Congleton's production, calling some of the electronic songs "jarring".[30] Kate Hutchinson of The Guardian was also critical of his production, which she called "overpowering and overcomplicated." While comparing The Ride with the work of other artists, she said: "It's difficult to avoid making endless comparisons when an album feels so miserably storyboarded ... But at least The Ride does so with zeal."[32]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by John Congleton (track 6 co-produced by Mark Taylor).

1."Cold Hard Truth"2:54
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
3."Carnival Games"Furtado4:17
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
5."Paris Sun"
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
6."Sticks and Stones"
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
8."Pipe Dreams"
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
10."Tap Dancing"4:10
11."Right Road"
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
Total length:45:37
Deluxe vinyl edition
13."Islands of Me"
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
  • Furtado
  • Taylor
  • Barry
15."Behind Your Back"
  • Furtado
  • Congleton
  • Bobby Sparks


Credits below are adapted from The Ride's liner notes.[38]


Chart (2017) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[39] 141
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[2] 76
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[3] 65
Italian Albums (FIMI)[4] 66
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[5] 41
UK Album Sales (OCC)[6] 81
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[40] 14
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[41] 25

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Germany 31 March 2017
  • CD
  • digital download
  • LP
Eleven Seven [42]
United Kingdom [43]
United States Nelstar [44]


  1. ^ a b Wass, Mike. "Nelly Furtado's Creative Rebirth Continues With "Cold Hard Truth"". Idolator. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b " – Nelly Furtado – The Ride" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b " – Nelly Furtado – The Ride". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b " – Nelly Furtado – The Ride". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Official Album Sales Chart Top 100: 7 April 2017 – 13 April 2017". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Ritchie, Kevin (2 April 2017). "Nelly Furtado ditches glossy dance-pop on The Ride". Now. Retrieved 24 May 2017. This is unabashedly a pop album [...] The Ride follows recent albums by high-profile stars like Rihanna and Lady Gaga in busting out of dance-pop with more rock-influenced sounds
  8. ^ a b "Review: Nelly Furtado Goes Indie Label, Indie-Pop on 'The Ride'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Nelly Furtado: The Ride Album Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Nelly Furtado on Dev Hynes, Going Indie & Why 'The Ride' Is Her 'Hangover Album'". Billboard.
  11. ^ a b c Stevenson, Jane. "Nelly Furtado deals with the dark side". Toronto Sun.
  12. ^ De Galier, Thea. "Nelly Furtado on her five-year break: 'I wanted to write a play, sew my daughter a dress, learn how to use a pottery wheel'". iNews. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  13. ^ Wass, Mike. "Nelly Furtado Talks 'The Ride'". Idolator. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  14. ^ a b Hampson, Sarah (17 March 2017). "Turn off Nelly Furtado's light? Not a chance". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  15. ^ Friend, David (27 March 2017). "Nelly Furtado on social media backlash and why her poor album sales felt 'like a divorce'". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Listen To 'Pipe Dreams' From Nelly Furtado's Forthcoming Album". The Fader.
  17. ^ "Nelly Furtado on Twitter" – via Twitter.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History: Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Nelly Furtado Drops 'Behind Your Back,' An 'Appetizer' For Her New Album". MTV.
  22. ^ "nelly furtado on her musical evolution and working with dev hynes – read – i-D". i-D.
  23. ^ "Nelly Furtado Announces New Song 'Islands of Me' – Idolator". Idolator. 7 September 2016.
  24. ^ "Nelly Furtado Opens Up About 6th LP 'The Ride' – Idolator". Idolator. 9 September 2016.
  25. ^ "Behind Your Back".
  26. ^ "Islands of Me".
  27. ^ "Nelly Furtado: The Ride". AnyDecentMusic. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  28. ^ a b "The Ride by Nelly Furtado". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  29. ^ a b "The Ride – Nelly Furtado | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  30. ^ a b Kalia, Ammar (10 April 2017). "Nelly Furtado – The Ride: A brave return with mixed results". Clash. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  31. ^ a b Gormely, Ian (30 March 2017). "Nelly Furtado The Ride". Exclaim!. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  32. ^ a b Hutchinson, Kate (30 March 2017). "Nelly Furtado: The Ride review – a hit-and-miss patchwork of trendy pop styles". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Nelly Furtado: The Ride – breathlessly beat-driven tunes". The Irish Times. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  34. ^ Corr, Alan (31 March 2017). "Nelly Furtado – The Ride". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  35. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (24 March 2017). "Nelly Furtado: The Ride | Album Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  36. ^ "The Ride by Nelly Furtado reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  37. ^ Smith, Da'Shan (17 April 2017). "Nelly Furtado's 'The Ride' May Be the Most Slept-On Release of 2017: Critic's Take". Billboard. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  38. ^ The Ride (album liner notes). Nelly Furtado. Nelstar Entertainment. 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  39. ^ " – Nelly Furtado – The Ride" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  40. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  41. ^ "Nelly Furtado Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
  42. ^ Release of The Ride in Germany:
  43. ^ Release of The Ride in the United Kingdom:
  44. ^ Release of The Ride in the United States: