Nelly Furtado has an explanation for why her third album, "Loose," explodes with electric, bodily energy.
It's not just because she left her native Canada for the tropical metropolis of Miami to get busy with recording, or merely that sparks flew when she started working with super-producer Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley.
It's also because, two years after her daughter Nevis' birth, she weaned her.
"I think I started recording this album the same month I stopped nursing my daughter," Furtado says. "Maybe I did feel liberated. I finally went, `Oh, my body's finally mine again -- yippee!'
"You have a lot to write about, too. That's why the album's like an emotional whirlwind."
With her provocative hit club singles "Promiscuous" and "Maneater," Furtado, 29, is the iconic "hot mom." The CD's free-spirited vibe also was shaped by the fact that she separated from her daughter's father, DJ Jasper Gahunia, before writing and recording it. On "Loose," she frolics in pleasure and freedom.
"Breakups are liberating, in a way, but then, also, motherhood's liberating," Furtado says.
Of course, this is easier to say for a woman who can afford a nanny, and amicably splits custody with her ex, than for the average working single mom. But the singer/songwriter says she relishes the relative challenges of parenting.
"I had a great schedule: I'd go to the beach till about 8 p.m. with my daughter, then I'd go to the studio till 4 a.m., then I'd sleep for about three hours. I went through this weird phase where I was sleep-deprived. Most of the times it's funny, thank goodness."
Not surprisingly, some of Furtado's more serious-minded fans have bristled at the pop grooves of "Loose." The performer defends her taste: "We don't value dance music in the same way, because it's so basic: Oh, this music makes me dance. I think that's why some really good electronic music is not taken seriously."
She also says "Loose's" success has freed her creatively. "It's going to get really exciting for me in the future in terms of exploring other stuff. Under the pop umbrella, I think I've proven a lot with the third CD, and now I feel even more liberated as an artist. I can truly satisfy my whims."
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