The scoop on Nelly Furtado's sophomore album
HER STORY The 24-year-old Canadian's genre-blending debut, ''Whoa, Nelly'' (2000), sold 2.5 million copies, won her four Grammy nods, and spawned the high-flying hit ''I'm Like a Bird.''
HER STATUS After grabbing some street cred by duetting with Missy Elliott on her ''Get Ur Freak On (Remix),'' and reaching the cool kids on Moby's Area One tour, Furtado began writing new songs last summer. ''Folklore'''s first single, ''Powerless,'' will once again mix hip-hop, pop, and world music in a blend she calls ''post-folk.''
SHE SAYS ''The songs are just gonna be better. Everyone makes a big deal out of the eclecticism of the sounds, but that comes naturally to me. What I feel is most important about record-making is the actual songwriting.''
VERDICT Pop fans' post-Avril appetite for female singer/songwriters should help Furtado's second effort soar -- even if nothing on it ends up hitting the pop heights of ''Bird.''