Review - Shakira - Shakira
When you start listening to a new Shakira album, one of the only things these days that you can count on is not counting on almost anything at all. You have no idea which genres she will have decided to play with this time around and how she will set herself into them. The one single thing that you do know for sure is that no matter what the singer serves up, it's going to be a quality product.
The Columbian singer's latest album (her tenth) is thankfully no exception to this rule.
'Shakira' is easily one of the most diverse albums I have heard in a long time. There are more different styles of music packed into a dozen or so tracks then you'd believe without listening for yourself. She begins with the typical pop and dance tracks that we expect from a radio player like her. Opener "Dare (La La La)" is an obvious choice for a single, and it is immediately preceded by the Rihanna-assisted “Can't Remember To Forget You”, which didn't live up to its hype.
From there, Shakira plays around with everything from reggae to country ("Medicine" featuring fellow The Voice coach Blake Shelton) to Avril Lavigne style pop rock ("The One Thing "). We've seen this game before from other pop stars, and very few of them do it well. Shakira is surprisingly able to make this album sound and feel cohesive, in spite ( and perhaps even thanks to) its diversity. Her voice stands out above any instrument, and her songwriting is so distinguishable, you could put it on absolutely any backing music and the listener would know who it was.
While this won't go down as her best effort, it's a certainly nice, if very safe, record. Her successful attempt at bridging the gaps between all of her fans around the world (including adding Spanish-language songs) is laudable, and shows that even if the mainstream passes her over eventually, Shakira will be able to continue making the music she always has.
Listen to: "Dare (La La La)", "Empire”, “Broken Record”, “The One Thing”, “Loca Por Ti”, “Chasing Shadows”, “That Way”