CD Review: She Wolf


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**** out of *****

Shakira is back and sinking her claws into the charts.

She Wolf, Shakira’s third full-length English album, is strange, exotic, and positively hypnotizing. Its disco-inspired tracks and echoey, sensual vox make this release a must-own for pop-music lovers.

Shakira can hardly be described as boring, traditional, or lacking in talent. Her songs can be a bit strange, but a voice as recognizable as hers deserves lyrics to match.

The album’s title track is the most notable and the most risky. When the single dropped, eyebrows undoubtedly raised, but that didn’t stop anyone and everyone from howling along with the Colombian songstress. (Of course the cage-dancing music video probably didn’t hurt the song’s popularity.)

“Did It Again” follows suit with the disco-era beats, one of a handful of songs on the album including “Men in this Town,” which strays into a mixture of Blondie and Madonna-esque territory.

In a surprising twist, Shakira teams up with Wyclef Jean again for “Spy,” which hardly competes with the catchiness of their previous collaboration, “Hips Don’t Lie.”

The next catchy chart-topper may well be “Long Time,” a hip-shaking song about getting busy “all night long.” The vivacious Latina probably has every man’s heart pumping with such lyrics as “I wish I had longer legs / That I could fasten to your body so you’d take me with you everywhere / And when you think I can take no more (all night long) / Just keep on going.”

Shakira doesn’t in any way attempt to hide her sexual side with this album — in fact, it’s displayed front and center. The lyrics give it away as well as the random moans and heavy breathing emanating from the speakers in such tracks as “Good Stuff,” in which the singer competes with exotic beats for a mixture all her own.

Shakira’s third album certainly follows her signature style: overtly sensual, proud, and a bit kooky.

The she-wolf proves herself to be “Better than to sail on the Mediterranean Sea / Better than to get a fancy Gucci dress for free.”

Courtney’s picks: “She Wolf,” “Long Time,” “Why Wait”

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