March 19, 2014

Shakira’s 'Shakira': What You Need To Know
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Shakira’s 'Shakira': What You Need To Know

What’s the background?

Colombian–born singer Shakira is now up to her 10th studio album, but next week’s eponymous release is only the fourth of these to be recorded primarily in English. Her last English-language outing, the Neptunes-produced She Wolf, was released in 2009 and although she began recording Shakira in 2012, the project was shelved to allow her time to have a child with her footballer husband, Barcelona central defender Gerard Piqué. In addition, Shakira has also been ‘doing a Kylie’ and appearing as a judge on the U.S. version The Voice.

So, two years later and the Shakira show is very much back on the road, leading off in January this year with the single ‘Can’t Remember to Forget You’, featuring none other than Rihanna and accompanied by a video which features both girls writhing around on a bed in their underwear, much to both the delight and disgust of the Daily Mail, probably...

Who’s behind the mixing desk?

Whereas She Wolf was almost exclusively produced under the guidance of Pharrell and Chad Hugo, this time around Shakira has mixed it up a little, with production credits for a range of he’s-so-hot-right-now producers including John Hill, Kid Harpoon, Greg Kurstin, Steve Mac, Mark Bright, Busbee and The Messengers.

What are the standout tracks?

The lead-off single with Rihanna is one of the album’s highlights, with it’s Latin & rock-influenced pop vibes, while the album’s opener ‘Dare (La La La)' is on more of a house music tip, again with it’s four-to-the-floor beat augmented by a Latin feel. Other standouts include ‘Empire’, whose gentle, piano-led intro draws you into a false sense of security before giving way to a soaring chorus, while other high points include ‘Cut Me Deep’ and ‘23’. There is also a Spanish language version of ‘Can’t Remember to Forget You’ entitled, for the benefit of any non-Spanish speakers, ‘Nunca me Acuerdo de Olvidarte’.

Any special guests?

In addition to Rihanna there is an appearance from MAGIC! on 'Cut Me Deep' and American country star Blake Shelton also put in a shift on ‘Medicine’, but other than that it’s all Shakira herself.

Does it deliver?

If you’re a fan, no doubt you’ll enjoy the new record. Shakira isn’t breaking the mould in any way, but you get the sense the singer has enjoyed this one and this comes across on many of the tracks. There are a range of musical styles and influences packed into a gleaming pop record that shows Shakira is back to her best.

Shakira will be available to download or by from hmv stores from Monday March 24th. In the meantime you can download the single 'Can't Remember to Forget You' here

Shakira - Can't Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna

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