wed 17/07/2024

CD: Shakira - Shakira | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Shakira - Shakira

CD: Shakira - Shakira

Latin-American pop heroine and sharp cookie returns full of verve

Shakira, strumming a love ode or ten

The other day I woke up with Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” fracking my mind. Round and round it juddered, wouldn’t leave me alone - horrid production, killer chorus - and much too much of that bloke whose career used to be endlessly repeating, “One time, one time” on Fugees tunes. Turns out it’s not just me. “Hips Don’t Lie” is globally the best-selling song of this century. When I discovered that fact, it fried my head.

Then again, it’s possible for Europeans to forget what a massive deal Shakira is, one of the top-earning female entertainers of all time. The petite Colombian burst out of the Spanish-speaking market in spectacular style with her fifth album, Laundry Service, in 2001, and has been at the top of the tree ever since, especially, of course in the American markets, north and south. Unlike peers such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Britney and their billion wannabes, however, Shakira has not succumbed to increasingly predictable, twinge-inducing, post-EDM homogeno-pop.

Shakira dips a toe in that world with “Dare (La La La)”,  a ridiculously catchy co-write with Swedish pop Svengali Max Martin, but mostly, while retaining a clean stadium sheen, her music is much more fun and relatively adventurous, from the calypso-tinted Rihanna collaboration “Can’t Remember To Forget You” to the reggae pulse of “Cut Me Deep” to weirdly effective cartoon funk-rockers such as “Nunca Me Acuerdo De Olividarte” and “Empire”.

Shakira always seems more “real” than most of the girl-pop brigade, a woman with a fierce intellect who has hands-on input into her music, and who engages with the world around her at more than lip service level. Her music is equally passionate. The last three years have seen her romance with the younger Spanish footballer, Gerard Piqué, blossom and he appears to be her new muse. The many upbeat love songs here are grounded and full of fire, the likes of “The One Thing”, “23” and “Broken Record”. That fact she can make such soppy fare so persuasive speaks volumes about her and why Shakira has such a likeable spiritedness.

Overleaf: Watch the video for Shakira & Rihanna "I Can't Remember To Forget You"

While retaining a clean stadium sheen, her music is relatively adventurous


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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