It’s ironic that Shakira titled her new album ‘Shakira’ because it sounds like everything but a Shakira album. The self-titled album sounds as though Shakira incorporated common and unoriginal beats and melodies from different artists of various genres to sing of her personal life over them.
It’s been four years since Shakira released “Sale el Sol.” She’s gone through significant life changes during those years, from dating Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique to having her son Milan with him, to even making her mark on NBC’s “The Voice.” All these serve as central themes throughout the tracks of her new album.
Shakira put to music those new changes and emotions in her life. But as she tried to make her album personal, she pushed away true fans, such as myself, with its lack of classic Shakira style.
With nearly all the songs in English, Shakira in her tenth album shifts away from her fun, “get up and move your body” style of music she’s known for, like songs such as “Hips Don’t Lie,” and her World Cup sensation “Waka Waka.” Disappointingly, “Shakira” seems to be moving towards an American, mainstream style of music aimed to be an overplayed “hit” on the radio.
The album’s first released single, “Can’t Remember to Forget You” pairs Shakira with Rihanna for a duet. The collaboration was sexy for the music video, but the song could have done without RiRi, as the two voices just don’t seem to work smoothly. Featuring Rihanna seems like the gateway for Shakira to make it big as a pop hit.
“Dare (La La La)” sounds like an upbeat JLo songn — pretty catchy when you first listen to it, until you realize what a mess it is the second time around. Upsettingly, like most songs of this sort, “Dare (La La La)” will definitely be a hit club track soon.
The duet between Shakira and Rihanna was a bit strange to me, until I heard “Medicine” which features Blake Shelton, Shakira’s fellow coach on “The Voice.” “Medicine” basically incorporates the show into the album, and not in a positive way. Seeing the two together may seem appealing to fans of the show, but the track is undoubtedly a mess of a country pop song that in no way shows off Shakira’s talents.
The best track of the album has to be “23,” wherein Shakira sings about falling in love with Pique, who is ten years younger than her (he was 23 when they met). Through “23,” Shakira invites her audience into her personal life with Pique.
Overall, however, the album, while aimed to be personal, seems unoriginal, with not enough of that Shakira pizzazz we all love so much.
NOT RECOMMENDED: “Shakira” compromises the Columbian singer’s signature style.