Music Review- Shakira surprises with her new album

Sharida Rejon, Features Editor

Shakira’s 10th studio album, which is self-titled, has proved that certain artists really do get better with time.

The Colombian singer’s music has been contagious throughout the years, and her artistic image has always been dance influenced, and although I did get that during the first few tracks on the album, it was the ballads that unexpectedly won me over.

From the get-go, Shakira gives listeners upbeat dance songs like “Dare (La La La)” and “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” which made me expect an abundance of pop and dance infused songs, like in her previous albums. However, the singer’s self-titled album includes more ballad type tracks, and I surprisingly found the honest lyrics in songs such as “Broken Record,” “23,” and “That Way” speaking to my heart.

“23” is definitely the most personal song in the album, where she ponders life before finding love and then transitions into singing about the bliss of being in love. Lyrics like “God knows that I’m a good dancer, my feet can move to the music he plays, but there were times I asked for an answer, but he was acting in mysterious ways, there were nights that I stayed up crying, because I was certain that things wouldn’t change, but then you came and I saw you smiling” let us see that she is completely vulnerable and emotionally stripped, and perfectly illustrate the transition from the hip-shaking diva we know to the mother and woman in love that she is now.

The best track on the album is “Medicine,” a fantastic collaboration with country singer Blake Shelton. The song is slightly country infused, without losing Shakira’s pop style. The singers’ voices blend well, and some listeners might identify themselves with the lyrics.

Besides “Medicine,” the album includes other pleasant collaborations with artists Rihanna, Magic!, and Carlinhos Brown that resulted in a great diversity of music, including elements of ska, reggae, and rock.

Other tracks in the album such as “Spotlight,” “You Don’t Care About Me,” “Chasing Shadows,” and “Empire” will remind listeners of Shakira’s pop rock beginnings, where her unique voice was the star in every tune.

Shakira also incorporated a couple tracks in Spanish, staying true to her Latina roots. One of these tracks is “Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidarte,” the Spanish version of her single “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” sans the Rihanna part, which I thought gave the song a refreshing twist.

The album definitely shows a different side of the singer, not what the commercial world is used to. It is clear that she is happy and in love and reflects that through her music. There were songs that did make me want to dance around in my room and play drums on my steering wheel while driving, but it was the sincerity in her lyrics, and not her hips, that took the spotlight on this album.  5 out f 5  Stars