Shakira’s still got it

Katerina Sperl

A review of Shakira’s new, self-titled album.

Shakira is proving she’s still got it twenty-four years from the release of her first album with her new self-titled album. She returns stronger than ever with her unique voice and amazingly diverse collaborations.

Shakira (AP Photo)
Shakira (AP Photo)

Perhaps the hottest thing you’ll hear, or see the music video for, this year is “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” ft. Rihanna. The lyrics promise that women are addicted to you; every man’s fantasy, but the video displays them caressing each other in a bed and skimpy outfits. How does she still have that body and those hips that “don’t lie” post-pregnancy?

The album also features “Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidarte,” which for those who don’t speak Spanish, translates to “Can’t Remember to Forget You.” However, the Spanish version does not feature Rihanna.

“Cut Me Deep,” ft. MAGIC! may just turn out to be one of the songs of the summer with its Jamaican party vibe. I had never heard of MAGIC! before, but his vocals can keep up with Shakira’s. The voices blend together beautifully and I am a new fan.

The mix of Shakira and her fellow Voice judge, Blake Shelton, in “Medicine” had me a bit confused and I was correct when assuming that this track would be a little awkward sounding. The message, that this person is medicine to them instead of drugs or alcohol, is unfortunately way too overdone and cliché.

There are plenty of songs where Shakira proves, by her lonesome, why she is such a sexy, popular star in the first place. However, there are also quite a few time when she tries new genres and falls short. The first track, “Dare (La La La),” has already become the official Brazil FIFA World Cup song. As always, it is a ridiculously catchy tune, but the tribal percussion separates it from being just another dance song.

“The One Thing” sounds almost like one of the old Hilary Duff songs. It does not embrace Shakira’s talent and persona, but instead settles for way too mainstream.

As a rock & roll fan, I appreciate the guitar in “Spotlight.” However, the voice does not sound like Shakira at all, but instead Avril Lavigne. It is a song about no regrets, but I’m not so sure this is one of the best things she has ever done. It falls slightly short of expectations.

“You Don’t Care About Me” adds a techno-like feel with electric guitar strumming and xylophones. The lyrics state that he doesn’t care about her because he won’t let her go. Escaping from the usual sensual messages, she reveals an inner battle. She wants to stay; she wants to go. She wants him to make this decision for her.

“Empire” is a surprising change from her usual beats. The song starts like a slower ballad, but don’t worry, her signature trill is ever present. The song at first seems uncharacteristically innocent for Shakira, but the lyrics hide a message about coming alive when he touches her. This one is a bit peculiar at first, but definitely not bad.