Shakira, SHAKIRA (Target Deluxe Edition)
Shakira seems divided between romance as a positive and a negative. There are traditional love songs about dating when she's famous ("Spotlight"), a long-standing love ("23"), reassuring a skeptical love ("That Way"), or finding support from a love ("The One Thing").
More of the songs, though, seem to have Shakira wishing, to paraphrase Brokeback Mountain, she knew how to quit him. The first single "Can't Remember to Forget You" has her wanting to leave but being drawn back by romantic memories. Titles like "You Don't Care About Me" and "Cut Me Deep" are pretty self-explanatory, with lyrics like "You don't care about me/If you did you would let me go" and "You cut me deep/Your words are like steel/And now I can't sleep/'Cause I'll never heal." Even the reassuringly positive song "Broken Record" has her tiring of repeating her love: "I need you to believe in my love/I feel like a broken record/And I told you 700 times/I don't need to keep looking -- my search is over."
Sale el Sol, Shakira's latest only has a few songs in Spanish.
Overall, Shakira is a little too balanced: There aren't any bad songs, but not a lot of them stand out afterwards. That said, Shakira is enjoyable to listen to and a step up from a lot of the music that permeates the top 40 music scene now. And the Target deluxe edition (disclaimer: I work for Target -- but I play for the Mets. No I don't) has three extra songs, though one is just "Dare (La La La)" sung in Spanish.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch