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Shakira - Sale El Sol

2010-11-02 13:32
She is one of the world's most successful performers. She is one of Latin America's biggest stars. And now, on her seventh studio album, the Colombian "rocker chick" is shaking her famous hips out of the packaging that has confined her in her success.

Shakira is looking inward for inspiration and as a result, she is bringing to the world something worthy of attention.

The 12 songs, and three bonus tracks, on "Sale El Sol" (The Sun Comes Out) are stripped down, relaxed and allow Shakira's distinctive voice to shine in a way that has not been heard in years. On the opening track, the country-guitar flavoured "Sale El Sol," Shakira teams her composing talents with Luis Fernando Ochoa, the long-time producing partner who helped her create her 1996 breakout album "Pies Descalzos."

The first single on the album (apart from the World Cup theme song "Waka Waka" released before the summer tournament) is "Loca," a club-tempo version of the 2008 merengue hit "Loca Con Su Tiguere" by Dominican rapper El Cata, who appears here with Shakira. An English version of the song, featuring British rapper Dizzee Rascal, appears as a bonus track and, impressively, manages to retain a spirit that is lost in some of Shakira's other attempts at language switching.

The tropical influence is spread throughout the album and makes for some of its strongest moments, such as on the hip-grinding "Gordita" with reggaeton star Residente of Calle 13 and on "Addicted to You" and "Rabiosa," where Shakira has created a new merengue-rock hybrid that lays down bare horn riffs over a driving beat in a groove that is irresistible. Simplicity also shapes the rockier cuts, "Devocion" and "Islands," both created with Argentina's Gustavo Cerati and acclaimed Uruguayan lyricist Jorge Drexler.

Overall, "Sale El Sol" is a truer representation of the Shakira who has excited Latin America and propelled her onto the world stage. Perhaps here, with Shakira's raw essence on display, those who do not already know her will understand what the fuss is all about.

Click on the player below to hear a full streaming preview of the album.

The Colombian "rocker chick" shakes her famous hips out of the packaging that has confined her in her success.

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