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Shakira - She Wolf

Shakira, She Wolf

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

AS POP records go, Shakira’s She Wolf boasts more curiosity value than most.

While not particularly earth-shattering in terms of beats and melodies, it is at least prepared to try something different which, in turn, establishes Shakira as something of an independent spirit working within the mainstream.

Vocally, she’s a powerhouse… flitting between the Latin passion of Nelly Furtado, the Corrs-like warbling of Andrea Corr, and the R’n‘B sassiness of Mariah and Beyonce.

But she’s not afraid to wear her Colombian influences on her sleeve, or toss in the odd provocative lyric.

Hence, listening to She Wolf has its lyrical rewards, as well as sweeping the listener along on some of its infectious rhythms.

The hits include former single and title track She Wolf, which offers a lively variation on the electro pop scene complete with lyrics such as “I’m starting to feel just a little abused, like a coffee ¬≠machine in an office”.

And the Latin-vibe of Long Time, which heats up the sexuality and drops in a Samba-style carnival percussion. It feels sweaty, seductive and is tantalisingly delivered – one can just imagine Shakira cavorting in the video!

The influence of Timbaland’s brand of urban beat-making is evident on thumping dance tracks like Why Wait and Good Stuff… even though the album was produced by Pharrell Williams.

While Wyclef Jean crops up to provide a backing rap on Spy – one of the weaker tracks.

But you have to even begrudgingly admire Shakira for her cheeky free-spirit, delivering lines such as “Matt Damon’s not meant for me” over breezy, pop-disco workouts such as Men In This Town.

And her decision to throw off the shackles and revert to her native tongue for the final two songs eventually reaps big rewards on Loba, the lively final offering that boasts a tremendous Latina energy.

She Wolf is by no means perfect and is, at times, wholly generic… but Shakira does enough to maintain her own sense of identity and personality, while dropping more crowd-pleasing crossover tracks than most current pop divas.

Like we said, it’s worthy of your attention if you have anytime for the mainstream.

Download picks: She Wolf, Loba, Men In This Town, Long Time, Anos Luz

Track listing:

  1. She Wolf
  2. Did It Again
  3. Long Time
  4. Why Wait
  5. Good Stuff
  6. Men In This Town
  7. Gypsy
  8. Spy – Shakira & Wyclef Jean
  9. Mon Amour
  10. Lo Hecho Esta Hecho
  11. Anos Luz
  12. Loba