Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dónde Están Shakira?

I used to love Shakira back in middle school, when she sang in Spanish and a little Arabic. I had been speaking Spanish since fourth grade, and Shakira was right on the edge if what I could understand. Then she came to the US, started putting songs out in English,and lost some of the appeal, but Dónde Están los Ladrones? was one of the first CDs that I put in my car, and it hasn't left the rotation yet.

But when I heard "She Wolf", I was a little confused. It is so over processed that it's hard to find Shakira underneath. She's recognizable only by the slightly nasal whine and spike to her voice that has always defined her singing. However the music behind it and the highly metallic quality to her voice make her sound like a computer. The Spanish version "Loba" is only slightly better. There are huge differences between the lyrics of the two as well - this isn't a straight English translation of the song. Not only did they revamp the lyrics to go with the beat, but they changed some of the meaning behind it. In the English version, the man wants her to be "a domesticated girl" while in the Spanish version she wants "un lobo domesticado" or a domesticated male wolf. It changes who's in control and some of the dynamic behind it.

It's not really bad. It's just not Shakira. Not the angry Spanish rock Shakira, or the sexy English Pop Shakira. This is new, computerized Shakira, and it's disappointing. I do, however, love the little "Ahooo" wolf cry she put in. It's just enough to be playful, not enough to be scary. Nice touch.

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