Saturday, October 17, 2009

ALBUM REVIEW: Shakira's "She Wolf"

I never really liked "She Wolf," eventhough I joined in like everyone else to howl like one. So naturally, I became concerned about her comeback album. She hasn't released a record in four years, which is understandable considering she was fresh off a double (bilingual) album. But the first single off a new album is supposed to be indicative of the new sound. Hence, my trepidation. However, after hearing "Good Stuff," I'm starting to think that the sound she's going for isn't...bizarre, but dance. This album is exactly what a Shakira club record would sound like.

While her album isn't set to hit the U.S. until Nov. 9th, it's already been released overseas, and therefore leaked on Youtube. Funnily enough, "Good Stuff" isn't even one of her singles. According to Wikipedia, "Did It Again," which she's already started peforming all over, will be released as her second single next Wednesday. It's easy to dance to and a lot more mainstream than "She Wolf." Maybe Pharrell Williams can take credit for that, since he produced the track, and is the most prominent producer on the album. He also produced, "Long Time," where he gives her Reggaeton-infused rhythm that transcends Daddy Yankee's cheesiness, and "Why Wait," where he incorporates her favorite Indian beats.

In November, she's set to release a track that isn't even on the album, "Give It Up to Me," which features Lil Wayne and Timbaland. Timbaland somehow manages to mix techno sounds with the Indian beats Shakira is known for. With such star power, it has the best chance of getting the video treatment next. Wyclef Jean also contributed to the album, producing and rapping on "Spy," which aims for a Madonna-like seduction, but really just makes me want to do the Electric Slide for some reason.

Some of the non-star-studded tracks veered away from the club vibe. For example, "Gypsy," which sounds kind of country with a banjo, and "Mon Amour," which sounds like something Avril Lavigne would sing if she had a Spanish accent.

"Men in This Town" is actually my favorite, even though she's pretending to be single to sing about the shortage of good men. It's the most enjoyably clubby. I could totally hear this playing on "90210" and "Melrose Place."

For those of you who love her Spanish tracks, you might be happy to know that the album is rounded out with Spanish translations of "Did It Again" ("Lo Hecho Esta Hecho"), "Why Wait" ("Anos Luz"), and "She Wolf" ("Loba").

Who Should Buy It: People who love to dance
Does It Have Epic Potential: Not really. Not even in the Dance category of music history.

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