Deluxe CDs are something of a mixed blessing: They can provide a lot more material than the original release, but they can force fans to either repurchase an album for the extras or miss out on them. Since I didn't pick up Shakira's Oral Fixation Vol. 2 when it came out, getting Oral Fixation Volumes 1 & 2 had no multiple purchase issues for me. It's also pretty good.

Shakira's Oral Fixation albums are essentially the midpoint in her American career, between her Ameican debut Laundry Service and her recent She-Wolf. Oral Fixation Volume 1 is an all-Spanish release, while Volume 2 is in English. Numerous songs are on both albums, and each has its own tunes as well. I don't speak Spanish, but I can say that Volume 1 sounds nice.

Oral Fixation Volume 2 shows a wider range for Shakira than one might expect. While "Hips Don't Lie" is that album's biggest single (and a concert staple for Shakira) and there are numerous romantic and flirty songs ("Hey You" being one of the best), other topics include: religion (the opening "How Do You Do"), pragmatism ("Dreams for Plans"), celebrity ("Costume Makes the Clown"), social commentary ("Timor") and forgiveness ("The Day and the Time"). Shakira's distinctive voice serves her well in all these efforts, making Volume 2 very enjoyable.

Oral Fixation Volumes 1 & 2 also comes with a bonus dvd, with five music videos and three live performances. This is a little sparse -- no background interviews, none of her earlier videos -- but since to date there hasn't been an official Shakira video collection, this will have to do.

Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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