Nelly Furtado’s latest single has changed names about as many times as Sean Combs, yet that didn’t stop her from delivering a killer acoustic version of the dance floor-ready tune — and several previous hits — for Walmart Soundcheck. Watch her live performance of “Night Is Young” (aka “What You Want To Do” aka “Free”) below.
Now that we’ve heard this strummy, stripped-down rendition of “Night Is Young,” the track is growing on us. It’s a simple tune that reveals itself as an airy self-reliant anthem with light production. And the Soundcheck performance outshines the recorded single version, in which Furtado’s lush vocals are shoved into the background behind a a thumping club beat.
We’re all about letting the avian-identifying singer spread her wings stylistically (after all, that’s how she wound up with memorable pop hits like “Say It Right” and “Promiscuous” in the past). But this performance suggests that Nelly is at her best when returning to her folkish, acoustic roots, showcasing a voice that’s a lot more original than her taste in fonts. Perhaps it’s time for Furtado to turn off the club lights and leave the beat-driven hits to the dance floor divas?