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

Talk about the element of surprise.

Last issue, I reviewed the Spanish version of Shakira’s Oral Fixation album series. In that article I mentioned how I was prepared to get caught off guard, mainly because I would be able to understand the English version, Oral Fixation Volume 2. And that is where the surprise took place.

Who would have thought that the first song on the album would be a slightly varied rendition of the Lord’s Prayer? Certainly not me. This is where my perception of the entire CD changes.

With the Spanish version of the album, Shakira combined good music with a flowing style of singing. For this English version, she added more smooth sounds and an array of catchy, yet deep lyrics that I can actually understand.

The 12-song album features songs about a former lover, forgiving sins and, of course, the famous hips that Shakira has made known to the world.

The first four songs on the album contain a slower, more rhythmic pace. In each of them she sings about a former lover and the possibility of his return to her presence.

Then the album picks up its intensity with the song “Animal City.” This song features the awesome strumming of a Spanish guitar, as well as the intense beat of the drums. During some of the non-lyrical parts, the sound of a Spanish trumpet even finds its way into the beat.

Following this song, Shakira continues to sing about the dreams she has, mainly about her lover, in the song “Dreams for Plans.” The next few songs pick up the pace and focus on how all she wants is to make this mysterious other person happy.

The second to last song, “Something,” actually has the same rhythmic beat as the song “En Tus Pupilas.” This song happened to be one of my favorite songs on Volume 1, so “Something” immediately became an instant favorite on Volume 2. Shakira draws attention to how this lover has something she cannot resist. In fact, this person’s existence is Shakira’s assurance that God exists.

And of course, you cannot think of Shakira without mentioning something about her hips, and that is exactly what her latest single does. “Hips Don’t Lie” focuses on Shakira’s hips, and is sung by Wyclef Jean. As for the style, the song is upbeat, fast paced, with intricate changes in the music.

(“Hips Don’t Lie” was not on the original release of Volume 2, but, according to Shakira’s Website, the song will be available on the album by March 28. Those who already own the album will be able to download the song for free.)

If there is one area that was far more interesting in this album compared to Volume 1, it would have to be the cover of the album. Volume 1 featured Shakira holding a baby. That concept was taken a step further for Volume 2, as Shakira is covered only by leaves, with an apple in her hands. The baby is located in a tree, obviously trying to recreate Adam and Eve and the eating of the apple. The cover is risqué, but interesting to say the least.

Overall, I was both impressed and surprised by Shakira’s two album set. I felt that she was really able to facilitate the kind of talent that she does have, while at the same time surprising me as to the material she chose to sing about. I felt it was a very good and positive experience and I would recommend you add both of these multilingual albums to your collection.

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