Label: Geffen, Mosley

Imagine if your first album won on its own terms, scored a couple of Top 10 Billboard hits, and even managed to go platinum. Now imagine if your second album sold just a quarter as much as first, scored zero hits in the U.S., and was criticized for being too self-indulgent and left-field. That's basically where Nelly Furtado was in 2006.

So what did she do? She got a hip-hop makeover by hooking up with Timbaland and Danja, hit the dancefloor, and came back with the best album of her career. Her new, more overly sexual image may have been a bit awkward at times, but there's no doubt that Timbaland's sound revitalized her music.

 

The first half of the record had Timbaland/Danja in control, banging out the kinds of next-level extraterrestrial sounds only they could make. The second half had Furtado taking the helm with songs that were true to her roots. Ultimately, the record was the perfect compromise balance an idiosyncratic artist and a sonic visionary.