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Banish doom and gloom with the help of Shakira
on 6 December 2011
For anyone who didn't get to one of the handful of UK concerts that Shakira gave last December (or whose hopes of doing so were frustrated by the atrocious weather back then), this blu-ray/dvd is a fine compensation, with the queen of latin pop/rock singing and dancing her heart out for the audience. Filmed over two nights in Paris last June, it has some great highlights, notably the stunning, theatrical acoustic set comprising a cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters"/ "Despedida"/flamenco dance/"Gipsy" and a tremendous version of "Ojos Asi". For anyone who doesn't already know, compared to the other female performers with whom she's often bracketed by the media, Shakira has a great voice, a natural dancer's agility and grace that generally put the competition in the shade, and has better songs.
Praise aside, it would have been nice if she'd done more material from the Sale El Sol album (I would have loved to have heard "Devocion" and "Mariposas" live). The dvd production is generally good, but does leave a bit to be desired because of its irritating habit of slowing down the film for a few seconds now and then; this affectation merely serves to dispel momentarily the illusion of being there and slightly detracts from the drama on occasions (e.g. Shakira's "death" when she sinks to the floor at the end of her flamenco routine). For some reason it particularly afflicts "Las de la intuicion". The introductions of the band members have also been excised. The bonus features are short pieces that have mostly featured in the tour blogs on Shakira's official website - there's nothing here as interesting or substantial as the documentary about her philanthropic work that was included on the Oral Fixation Tour dvd, and overall perhaps this performance doesn't quite transcend the vastness of the venue with the same intimacy that the previous dvd achieved.
But these are only minor quibbles. Buy this for a blast of latin warmth, colour and sensuality that will enable you completely to banish for a while any thoughts of the bankers, the euro-zone and associated doom-and-gloom mongers.