CD Reviews: Shakira, Oral Fixation Vol. 2
aside the extremely erotic album cover of Oral Fixation, where a nude
Shakira, protected only by a few very lucky, fig leaves, stares
mischievously at you, apple in hand.
that’s hard to do.
when you put it aside, and listen to the disc inside, what you have is
another unique English-sung gem from the Colombian beauty who is in the
position of saving girl-pop music from the clutches of singing
mannequins such as Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears.
starters, Shakira writes her own music (in Spanish and English) and
actually plays guitar on her albums and on stage from time to time,
which some might say is a shame, seeing as the guitar:
hinders her ability to dance in that oh-so-sexy Latina style
covers that oh-so-attractive mid-riff.
Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 is a separation from the more upbeat, Latin flavor
of Laundry Service. There are a few dance-friendly tunes, yet that
doesn’t seem to be Shakira’s intention with Oral Fixation. Here, she
shows her insight, and proves, once again, that she actually puts
thought into the music she performs.
With songs like “Something,” Shakira tries to shy away from the Latina
label that’s won her several awards (including a Grammy), and prove
she’s a force to be reckon with, regardless of the country or the
What Shakira achieves in this album is a happy medium between pop flavor
and artistic integrity. For example, Santana offers his Latin-flavored
guitar licks on the Joss Stone-like rock ballad “Illegal,” while it
seems likely that the last track, “Timor,” will become a huge hit in
dance clubs across the nation.
“Hey You” has major ska influences, and could have been sung by Gwen
Stefani 10 years ago.
Overall, the Latin style takes a back seat on Oral Fixation. Rather, a
unique American-style of pop, with folk snippets, steers this ship, much
to the dismay of many faithful Latinos out there, I’m sure.
Throughout the album, there are times when Shakira’s accent is
prevalent, and that adds to the sexiness of it all. Her passionate voice
is not hard to fall in love with; it has the fullness of her tone and an
occasional falsetto similar to that of Mary O’Riordan of The
Song that best represents the album: “Illegal,” which matches Shakira’s
serious side (“You don’t even know the meaning of the words I’m sorry”)
with the musical mastery of Carlos Santana.