She Wolf
by Shakira, pop (2009)
Epic, $13.98, ASIN B002T45VX6


She Wolf actually sees Shakira returning to her roots and doing what she does best - no-nonsense good pop-rock tunes enhanced with a smattering of electronica.

There is the inevitable collaboration with Wyclef Jean to pander to the charts, Spy, but instead of a generic R&B tune, this one is actually a charming song with unexpected bossanova influences. Tunes like the title track, Lo Hecho Esta Hecho, and Anos Luz see Ms Shakira in her more natural habitat: irrepressibly catchy song that can work both as background track for belly dancing and beats to dance to in a club.

But I think my favorite track is Men In This Town, where our crazy lady compares herself to Angelina Jolie, laments the lack of availability of Matt Damon, and wonders where all the men have vanished to in California. "It's suicide, this waiting!" she complains, and I can only nod my head in understanding. Another very good song is Mon Amour, an amusingly bitter love song where she simultaneously sighs over the man and rains curses over the fact that he's with another woman with whom he's off to France for a romantic getaway. When she's not hoping that "French fleas" will eat the lovebirds alive and they both freeze under the Eiffel Tower, she's wishing that he'd come back single and available "like a prodigal son".

She Wolf is a solid if rather typical effort from Shakira. Whether she's singing in English or Spanish, she's rocking to that tune in her head and asking everyone to dance along, bless her.

Rating: 84


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