Top critical review
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A mixed bag...
on 7 June 2006
This album is very strange in the way that some songs are truly excellent whilst others are cringe worthy and actually quite embarrassing. You don't often come across an album with such a mixture like this, because the standout tracks aren't just good, they're brilliant.
Firstly, "Fijación Oral" is without a doubt better than Shakira's last album, "Laundry Service". Unlike that however, the entire album is sung in Spanish and generally a bit more interesting. I get the impression that this album cost a lot, because it sounds very well produced and polished. It also seems to be trying to impress everyone, which is ultimately the album's biggest fault. I think Shakira has had the intention of mixing a bit of everything into one album and the result is varied. I don't see why she felt this necessary to be honest, considering her previous Spanish album ("Dónde Están Los Ladrones?") sold like hot cakes without moving away from a definite Latin feel.
Certain tracks stand out more than others- from the brilliant, old fashioned sound of "Obtener Un Sí" to the simply amazing "Día De Enero". "En Tus Pupilas", the opening track and "Día Especial" make for equally great listening. "No" is a bit repetitive but still pleasant and "Las De La Intuición" feels very catchy but a bit out of place on the album (sounds more like a Kylie Minogue record).
The other songs are, unfortunately, duller and less memorable. "La Pared", for example, seems decent enough until you realise that it actually sounds like a less interesting version of "Día Especial". "La Tortura" has a blatant MTV sticker plastered on it and is the type of song that gets boring fast. I'm not saying I hate it, I just think it's very predictable, especially due to the fact that she performs it with another high profile singer. I don't know what Shakira was thinking of when she recorded "Escondite Inglés", perhaps she was trying to pay homage to Suggs or something. It fails on all accounts, the song is dreadful. Then there's "Lo Imprescindible", which is nothing more than a disjointed mess of ridiculous noises. I can't understand why Shakira would want to put this song on the album because it has nothing going for it... At the end of the album, there is an alternative version of "La Pared" and "La Tortura". Again, I fail to see the reasoning behind these songs being on the album, they don't do anything for it.
So, overall I'd say the album is of a mixed standard- the best songs are superb and among the best Shakira has to offer, but the worst are nothing more than typical 21st century rubbish. It's a pity Shakira couldn't have fitted a few more songs on too, considering it's been 8 years since her last full Spanish album. On a positive note, I think Shakira's vocals have seriously improved since her last album, even if she does overdo it occasionally.
To summarise, I'd say, that you're better off downloading some specific songs from the album rather than pay out for a touch-and-go collection.