Shakira, SALE EL SOL

While there was a four-year gap between Shakira's Oral Fixation Vol. 2 and her recent She Wolf, it only took the Colombian singer a year after the latter to release Sale el Sol. This album returns Shakira to her Colombian roots, both in language and sound.

In the opposite format of She Wolf, Sale el Sol is almost exclusively in Spanish, with two English songs scattered through the album and three Spanish songs translated to English as bonus tracks at the end. As I speak virtually no Spanish, I can't comment on the lyrical contents of those songs. (The song "Islands" is a bittersweet song that's either about fidelity to a found love or a lack of adventuring after finding love -- or both.) As for the sound...

Sale el Sol has more of a reggaeton feel to the music than Shakira's other works. While there are slow ballads ("Lo Que Mas," "Antes de la Seis") and top 40-aimed tracks (the title track, "Tu Boca"), Shakira's mujsic here has a distinctly Latin feel, with bouncy piano and pulsing rhythms. (Appearances by Pitbull, El Cata and Residente don't hurt either.) The mix of these different styles works pretty well. Shakira has a distinctive voice, and it works well on all these styles of music. Sale el Sol isn't a brilliant or groundbreaking album -- but it is fun.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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