We’re all familiar with Shakira, whenever and wherever we go there is a possibility we stumble upon that voice; especially with the current commercial success of her recent single Can’t Remember To Forget You swamping airwaves and playlists everywhere. The songstress has dropped her new self-titled album Shakira, if you are a huge fan of Shakira you are familiar with the fact that this is album number ten for the Columbian native. Does this album live up to the hype? Trust us, if we were Shakira’s hips, we wouldn’t lie.
Naturally Shakira opens with the global success that is Can’t Remember To Forget You, you wouldn’t be able to forget the song as the hook is way too catchy for its own good; who doesn’t sing along to a track that belts out all the “oh-oh-woah’s”? The track also features Rihanna, another song she has contributed vocals to. Second track and promo single Empire is also upbeat, featuring the trademark nasally vocal hiccup side to Shakira we are familiar with. You Don’t Care About Me is more like it, the track does Shakira more vocal and lyrical justice, touching on being under appreciated and uncared for by her lover.
Dare (La La La) is one of those beat-heavy dance tracks that is a requirement of mainstream artists these days, the ‘la la la’ hook sets a trap for your mind and lingers for a while as she dares us to kiss her with everyone watching, which makes it no surprise that the song is lined up to be the next single from the album. Cut Me Deep features the recently formed Canadian reggae group Magic!, which adds a refreshing touch thus far to the album with that smooth reggae beat and Nasri Atweh’s vocals are flawless in the track; it would definitely make a good fourth potential single. Every album needs a down beat reminiscent track, 23 serves this purpose with reference to a past relationship.
The album soon gets poppy again with The One Thing and the next track Medicine, which is a nice pop/country ballad between Shakira and country singer Blake Shelton, which is all about not ‘po-po-popping the pills’ because ‘you’re my medicine’, a little corny but one you can play for your sweetheart. Shakira’s inner rock influence comes out in Spotlight with the heavy guitars and drums, whereas Broken Record is an ode to a companion who puts up with Shakira’s world without passing judgement. The deluxe edition of the album also features a Spanish version of the hit Can’t Remember To Forget You, Spanish ballad Loca Por Ti, La La La (Brazil 2014), as well as ending on the upbeat Chasing Shadows and the downbeat That Way.
Shakira is definitely an edgier, more deeper album for the Columbian songstress. If Shakira was going along with a theme, she met all requirements of the concept, assuming that the focus was on mistakes made in relationships from the past and the growth she will thrive from for the future. In ways the album seems to be very Americanised, but that is part of the overall audience Shakira has held captive since the release of Laundry Service in 2001, we cannot simply throw her in the ‘too mainstream’ pile because that is where her English-spoken releases will be categorised. However, a listen to the album will reassure fans of Shakira that she hasn’t strayed too far from her sound and will still be pleased with the outcome.