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I’m no expert, but… Special Shakira Series: Part 1 of 2

Shakira.

Immediately when this name comes to mind, one thinks of a vibrant Colombian performer. Yet, as I sit and listen to her album Fijacion Oral Volume 1, I find myself entranced by the smooth sound of her Colombian voice.

To be completely honest, I remember nothing from high school Spanish class, so in listening to the album, the lyrics pass through my ears with no meaning whatsoever. For me to judge the music on the actual content of words would be wrong. However, I can look at the art behind the album: smooth and rhythmic music that formulates itself into a very entertaining listen.

Fijacion Oral was released in June of 2005 and is the first of two parts in this collection. The first volume is in Spanish and was followed in November by the English version, Oral Fixation Volume 2.

The song that listeners may be familiar with is “La Tortura,” which was very popular during the summer.

The first volume contains 12 songs. Contrary to what listeners may think, Shakira sings over many different varieties of music: soft rock, rhythmic beats and piano solos, as well. One moment the listener will be listening to a slow song that features the complexity of her voice, and the next moment the album will have a fast, upbeat song.

The beautiful aspect of the album is the fact that many of the songs allow the listener to really hear the depth of her voice, and it showcases her talents as a Colombian singer and recording artist.

My favorite songs would have to be “En Tus Pupalis” and “No.” “En Tus Pupalis” is such an easy listen, opening the album. “No” has a very wave-like flow throughout the song, and it allows Shakira to move up and down the musical scale. The bottom line is that she has the voice and the talent to make this work delightfully.

The cover picture is also an interesting aspect of the album. It features Shakira in front of a red backdrop, holding a baby in her arms. I do not fully understand the meaning of this, whether it is symbolic or just a random shot; nonetheless, it does nothing to diminish from the quality of the album.

I would recommend this album to anyone looking for something new and different. Also, it makes great background music for studying, as it is soft, smooth and soothing to the ear.

In the next issue, I will have a review of Volume 2. I feel as though I may be in for a treat, mainly because I will understand what she is saying, and that will add a completely different dimension to my listening experience. Regardless, it will be an interesting comparison to experience a recording artist and her multilingual album releases.

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