Shakira returns to her roots, and then some, on self-titled album, “Shakira.”

%22Shakira.%22+is+not+her+best+work%2C+although+it+is+her+best+English+album.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Shakira returns to her roots, and then some, on self-titled album, “Shakira.”

"Shakira." is not her best work, although it is her best English album.

Creative Commons

"Shakira." is not her best work, although it is her best English album.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

"Shakira." is not her best work, although it is her best English album.

Reynaldo Garcia, TSV Entertainment Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Her hips may not lie, but neither does her new eponymous album.

Well, maybe just a fib.

Since she came into the American consciousness with “Hips Don’t Lie” back in 2006, she has experimented with her sound. The most noticeable proof being her 2009 album, “She Wolf.” But with “Shakira,” the songstress returns to her more familiar pop/rock sound, in English of course, still, she continues her evolution at the same time. Her classic sounds, on top of the new, provides with an eclectic, organic album.

One listen to the reggae tinged “Cut Me Deep” and it takes you aback. This is not a Shakira sound, but it sounds smooth nonetheless. Another interesting change is the country-ish “Medicine,” a duet with fellow “The Voice” coach Blake Shelton. It sounds like a knockoff of Lady Antebellum’s famous song “Need You Now.” Even though it comes off gimicky, both singer’s contrast in voice make this duet just work. The eccentric “You Don’t Care About Me” has a similar xylophone of Gotye’s signature “Somebody I Used To Know,” and it’s just as kooky.

“Broken Record” is a return to her roots. This standout track plays beautifully over a serene string and light instruments. It sounds familiar with one of her earlier tracks, “Moscas en la Casa.”

The best songs on the album are those with stripped or minimal production that showcase Shakira’s twangy voice. The best track on the album, “Empire,” has an anthemic sound with a slight piano, with Shakira belting with a mechanical tone. This and “Dare (La La La)” are perfect for this year, with the World Cup in Brazil later this year. The latter song is actually the official World Cup song. While it sounds like a J.Lo retread, it’s a party thumper with pulsating beats and a Carnaval sound to it.

It wouldn’t be a Shakira English album without including some Spanish dubs. She included the Spanish version of her hit with Rihanna, “Can’t Remember to Forget You.” I would say that the Spanish version is better; Shakira’s vocals are sexy and sultry in both but I found Rihanna’s collaboration forgettable. Both have different sounds, and Rihanna just seems out of place. The opposite of Shakira’s collaboration with Blake Shelton.

Domestic bliss is a major theme. There are many songs that she dedicates to her boyfriend, footballer Gerard Piqué. For example, the second song in Spanish, “Loca Por Ti”, translates to “Crazy For You.” In “23,” which is the age Piqué was when they met, Shakira displays a beautiful vulnerability in her voice.

To fans of Shakira, compared to her earlier works in Spanish and 2010’s “Sale el Sol,” “Shakira.” is not her best. Considering only her crossover albums in English, however, it is her best and most consistent.

Although her role in songwriting was reduced, the album comes off as the most heartfelt in years. It plays like a journal, or at least the second half, where she describes her experiences since meeting her boyfriend and giving birth to their son, Milan. Spanish-speaking fans might roll their eyes, saying it’s just another attempt of Shakira Americanizing her sound and trying to make hits. The rest will enjoy this album. Whatever side you’re on, “Shakira.” is a solid album that is definitely worth a listen, repeated listens.

Update: this article has been replaced with the newest version in order to fix a error, in which Gerard Pique was mistakenly identified as Shakira husband. 3/28/2014 12:00 .p.m.