Shakira – She Wolf


Posted October 28, 2009 in Music Reviews

BIMM may-june 22 – Desktop

Some undeniably terrific moments aside, Shakira’s albums up to now have been a bit underwhelming, but happily She Wolf delivers and is Shakira’s most consistent album to date. The title track is obviously brilliant, a charming disco track replete with vocoders, panting and bonkers lyrics. Like Shakira’s previous career-high singles Whenever Wherever, Hips Don’t Lie and Beautiful Liar (all records which are little bit “odd”, shall we say) it’s a record which demands your attention so it’s no surprise that everyone seems to have an opinion of it. Shakira’s eccentric approach to songwriting and pop stardom may be to blame for occasional slips in quality control (her last album, Oral Fixation Volume 2, was disappointingly dreary) but only a very eccentric person indeed could dislike the material on offer here. Most of it is produced and written by The Neptunes, including the peculiarly pretty and aptly titled Good Stuff – a song which wouldn’t sound at all out of place if performed by someone representing the Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest. “Global pop” is the best description for this music; there are tablas on a song called Gypsy, Long Time is a sort of slowed-down reggaeton groovathon and Did It Again sounds like Rihanna’s Umbrella if it had been hijacked by Nelly Furtado. Throw in some electropop, some successful attempts at the kind of pop-rock Kelly Clarkson does so well and you’ve got all the ingredients for a truly eclectic and diverting record. There are at least 5 potentially amazing singles – Men In This Town and Spy are particularly impressive – amazing dance pop to enliven any night out. Shakira’s voice may continue to be a sticking point for some people, and she does still sing like a cross between a foghorn and a goat with a nasal blockage, but somehow that all adds to her charm. Linguists will be pleased to hear that three songs are repeated in Spanish at the end of the album, including She Wolf (Loba). With Nelly Furtado’s Mi Plan due for release soon it might be a good time for fans of superior latino-flavoured pop to take up some Spanish evening classes.

 

 

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