Music review by
Kate Pavao, Common Sense Media
Folklore Music Poster Image
Good messages, pretty melodies, but kind of banal.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Lots of lyrics about being true to yourself.


There is a passing reference to a rape.


There is a passing reference to Diet Coke and another to a Camaro.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One song talks about getting drunk and taking drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the lyrics on this CD encourage kids to be who they are and not followers. There's nothing concerning here.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjumpinbini April 9, 2008
i loved nelly furtado's first album and waited a long time for this album. i love that nelly furtado puts CULTURE into her music, she uses her portuguese b... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byevolinag August 18, 2013

Some mature themes in incredible pop album

Despite being her most critisized album, "Folklore" is full of powerful songs by one of the world's most gifted pop singers of her time, Nelly Fu... Continue reading

What's the story?

Nelly Furtado hits on some positive messages on FOLKLORE. The first two tracks, \"One-Trick Pony\" and \"Powerless (Say What You Want)\" warn about selling out to a predictable, mass-produced image. She also honors her cultural roots; she sings in Portuguese and the song \"Island of Wonder\" is about the Azores, where her parents are from. The most controversial song, \"Explode,\" mentions both drinking and drug use (\"Slip the acid on your tongue?/ We couldn't get enough\"), but it's far from a glamorous portrayal; the lyrics also address a friend being raped behind a McDonalds and contains the refrain \"Stuck in the teenage waste.\" But too often Furtado's words are vague, poorly written, or simply clichés (In \"Build You Up\" she sings \"Baby, they build you up/ Only to tear you down/ Don't give up).

Is it any good?

It's hard to get too excited about this album. The pop tracks lack originality and, with minor exceptions, Furtado's voice isn't big enough to bring any energy to her ballads. While she is to be commended for fusing varied elements (listeners will hear mandolin and cavaquinho, a traditional Portuguese and Brazilian guitar, mixed with modern turntable techniques, as well as more modern scratching), the results are basically banal.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about "One-Trick Pony" and "Powerless (Say What You Want)" and how celebrities are packaged for popular consumption -- and often white-washed along the way.

Music details

  • Artist: Nelly Furtado
  • Release date: November 25, 2003
  • Label: Dreamworks
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate