On her tenth album, Shakira, the Latina superstar has relinquished her throne. For the first time, the songwriter and producer has disappointed.
The eponymous album was initially set to be released in 2012, but was delayed two years due to her pregnancy. It features collaborations with artists such as Rihanna, Magic!, and Blake Shelton, all mixed into the array of upbeat pop songs, country-esque ballads and simple acoustic tunes.
“Can’t Remember to Forget You,” the highly anticipated joint-effort between two of the biggest names in pop: Rihanna and Shakira, has a memorable beat but possesses little else. The track checks off as Shakira’s annual smash hit, rising to the top of the charts for a few weeks before fading into the background of a crowded nightclub. In classic Shakira tradition, she sings of an unsatisfying love story with a sexy twist.
“You Don’t Love Me” reveals an elementary beat coupled with vacuous lyrics that tire the ears with repetitions of unrequited, and trite devotion. The listener is left feeling like Shakira could do better than repeat the rhythmically oversimple and lyrically rudimentary “You don’t care about me / If you did you would love me.”
The album includes the 2014 World Cup’s official song, “La La La,” which, albeit reminiscent of “Waka Waka,” energetically conquers the spirits of passionate soccer fans during the World Cup.
Presenting a change of pace, country ballad “Medicine” once again reveals her lovable voice and demonstrates the versatility of Shakira’s genre, though it bores with plain lyrics claiming love is sufficient medicine.
Alongside pleasing acoustic love song “23,” “Loca Por Ti,” is as raw and beautiful as her original music, providing a glimmering window into Shakira’s timeless artistic potential.
Ultimately, Shakira’s fleeting attempts to recall the emotional profundity summoned by her original albums don’t measure up. Though her modern pop songs disappoint in their loud, commandeering emotional premise, her melodious, raspy voice shines through her acoustic numbers and Spanish lyrics. On the whole, Shakira provides a nostalgic look at her past and leaves optimism for her future music.
Voice’s Choices: “23,” “Loca Por Ti”