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Halfhearted effort from the Latina queen of pop
on 26 June 2010
During the last decade, Shakira has gone from topping the South America charts to becoming a household name in the International music industry and sharing a place among the Britney's, Christina's, Jessica's, Madonna's, Beyoncè's and now upcoming stars as Ke$ha and Lady Gaga. Ironically, she dyed her hair blonde when she her first international album and with that huge success, it was easy to put her in the same cathegory as Britney and Christina. But one of the things that has distinguished her from her female colleagues, is her actual genuine talent and her artistic originality. Apart from Britney and Christina, Shakira actually has the «it»-factor you got to have to stand out in the music industry.
But the «it»-factor isn't enough; you've got to have a distinctive voice and catchy songs, too. Fortunately, both components has always been Shakira's trademark, although, from an objective standpoint, she does the bad habit of muddling her songs in a mix of eclectic and exotic sounds, along with mixing rythms from ethnic folk music. And in this crazy music world where pale and generic electronic/dance music is the big thing, it seems to affect almost all of the international, female artists. And now, unfortunately, it also has affected Shakira.
It has been four years since her last album. As a fan, you always hope to see a positive result, although it's hard for a artis to surpass herself during many albums. So the question is, has Shakira outdone herself on her latest album? The answer is no - but still with a doubt.
«She Wolf» isn't a terrible album, but it does appear as muddled as a whole. Only a few songs does distinguish themselves; First out the main single «She Wolf», which I didn't cared for at first, but has grown on me. Next is the energetic and electronic «Men In This Sound», which melodically resembles one of her previous songs «Las de la Intuicion». The third one is the fast-paced «Mon Amour», which is influenced by some rock elements. «Gypsy» has also a sweet and catchy tune, although it's far from her most memorable song.
The rest of the album isn't much to brag about. None of the other songs are exactly bad, but they appear as cold, calculated and uninteresting. Once again, Shakira is mixing different sounds on her songs, but without making good and memorable melodies. Neither does Wyclef Jean increase the quality on their duet «Spy». But on the positive side, Shakira's English is better than ever, but is it really necessary to have her Spanish versions of her singles on the same album? Why doesn't she just release a Spanish album?
With that consideration aside, «She Wolf» (which is a strange, English formulatiosn) comes off as a mild dissapointment. Not exactly horrendous, but not exactly likeable at her previous albums. It would have been nice if she putted more spirit and heart into the whole album, instead of attempting at a half-calculated and polished album. Let's cross our fingers and let's hope that her next album will be better.