Colombian superstar Shakira released her self-titled album worldwide from March 21st. It is her first English-language album since her eighth album She Wolf in 2009.
Upon it’s release, the album received positive reviews from critics and good first week peak positions on the charts worldwide.
In 15 countries the album went top 10 including a number 2 position in Spain and the US where that is the highest an album of hers has ever reached so far. The album sold 84,000 copies in the first week there. The album just missed the top 10 in the UK peaking at number 14.
The lead single Can’t Remember To Forget You featuring Rihanna was a worldwide hit reaching number 1 in several countries and top 10 in most. As of April 3rd 2014, the album has sold 1,654,000 copies worldwide.
The album starts off with the lead single featuring Rihanna which we have already said has been a big hit worldwide. It’s not had the same success of Shakira and Beyonce‘s collaboration Beautiful Liar which might have been the aim but the song is good. It might not be considered a classic in ten years but the track has such a great hook and incredible music video.
The second track Empire is Shakira going back to her old roots of rock. This power-ballad that is her latest single in the UK really showcases her vocals perfectly. The song has just enough power and emotion for it not to be overally dramatic.
Next up is You Don’t Care About Me which is one of my personal favourites. For some reason the song slightly reminds me of Gotye‘s huge hit Somebody That I Used To Know. The production is so simplistic and flawless. Once the chorus starts playing again you can’t help but sing along.
From one of my favourites to now my least favourite. Some of Shakira’s previous hits like She Wolf and Loca had us dancing to fun yet still Shakira-esque songs but Dare (La La La) fails to capture the same vibe. The song is Shakira trying too hard to go down the J-Lo/Enrique route which isn’t her at all.
Another favourite of mine, Cut Me Deep featuring MAGIC! has the most catchy chorus without trying too hard. The Reggae/Ska vibe really suits her voice and has a slight No Doubt 90’s Tragic Kingdom album vibe to it.
23 seems to be the Underneath Your Clothes of 2014 with an acoustic feel ballad pulling the heart strings. The song is totally about her boyfriend who she had her first son with. At the end we hear her baby make a cute little appearance.
The One Thing is what you would call an Avril Lavigne track that she surprisingly never wrote. The chorus really captures such passion that both Avril and Shakira are really good at doing.
Shakira goes Country with Blake Shelton on their Medicine collaboration. The love song duet has potential to be a big success on the US Country charts which seems to be the aim.
Spotlight has a electronic rock vibe to it which really compliments Shakira’s sound. The song is Avril Lavigne’s My Happy Ending meets Shakira‘s 2005 single Don’t Bother.
Broken Record is a love at first listen song beautifully sung acoustically with such heart felt honest lyrics.
The last two songs on the standard edition of the album are Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidarte which is an all Spanish version of Can’t Remember To Forget You only sung by Shakira and Loca por Ti.
To sum up this album, I would honestly say this is the perfect way of introducing someone to Shakira’s music because it contains some of her best songs to date. Except Dare (La La La) the whole record has mix of sounds that all work well together and compliment her voice and the album itself. The album being a self-titled really makes sense and is a great representation for what the album is about, simply Shakira and her signature ever-growing sound.
Shakira’s description of her album is exactly what you are getting; “So what I am offering you now is just that. Shakira. Nothing more. A little bit of rock, a little bit of folk, a little reggae and naturally some dance–but as always, and above all, a lot of heart.“
Key tracks: Can’t Remember To Forget You, Empire, You Don’t Care About Me, Cut Me Deep, The One Thing, Broken Record
Album rating: 9/10