Columbian She Wolf in Paris
For Shakira’s Live in Paris CD, released in December 2011, all 17 songs included on the disc should be familiar to both her English and Spanish-speaking fans. So I will not be necessarily commenting on the quality of lyrical content, although songs like “She Wolf” do drive me crazy. This, as with all live recordings, should be judged on performance. So based on that alone, half of this album is fantastic. Even the songs completely in Spanish, which after 6 years learning in school I only picked up about half of what she was saying, caught my interest and made me dance. Something should also be said for her audience, who brought another level to the disc by being so enthused with every single song. Her voice, when reaching it’s full potential, is as beautiful as a Spanish opera. But, when held back, it sounds like a cross between Madonna and Kylie Minogue, neither of whom I respect as singers, despite liking some of their music. I liken her to a Columbian Jessica Simpson, good voice, but not used properly sometimes. The biggest surprise on this album, and a must listen for everyone, is “Whenever, Wherever,” her first U.S. single. I admit when this song came out in 2001-2002 I hated it. But an extended version of it, with an awesome rock edge, mixed with a snippet of “Unbelievable” by EMF, brought the song to a whole different level. Her voice is magical on songs like “Underneath Your Clothes” “Inevitable” and “Ciega, Sordomuda.” However, after “Underneath Your Clothes,” the album pretty much tanks. “Sale El Sol,” one of two ballads on the CD, almost put me to sleep. The crash-and-burn disappointment of the record has to be “Hips Don’t Lie,” her biggest U.S. hit and the song Shakira is known for. She doesn’t show off her voice like she did in the studio recording, and with an amateur backup singer filling in for Wyclef, it makes for a skip-worthy track. It’s somewhat worth mentioning that Shakira is trilingual, adding French to the languages she can sing in. However, her one French song “Je L’aime A Mourir,” is not that special. This album is definitely worth more of a listen than last week’s massacre, but if you were buying it on iTunes, I don’t recommend the whole thing.
This is how “Hips Don’t Lie” should be sung: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUT5rEU6pqM&ob=av2n
“Whenever, Wherever” (Live Performance): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpBwPtlFfqk