Shakira. You've no doubt heard of this Latin sensation by now, unless you're living in a cave. And if you have Internet access, I'm still unsure as to why you haven't heard of her. I've liked Shakira's songs ever since her debut English album "Laundry Service." I listened to her singles occasionally and was always very impressed that she wrote her own lyrics even though English isn't her first language. In a day and age where we can't get anyone to write their own lyrics (Madonna and Britney Spears come to mind), it's refreshing to see someone who is creative, has an extensive vocabulary in the English language, and who has a very new way of singing, putting her talent where it belongs: in the mainstream.
This is the first Shakira album I've ever bought, and I loved it. Here's a track-by-track album review:
1. How Do You Do — This song is absolutely fantastic. It begins with a mock Greek choir singing the Lord's Prayer, a church bell, and quite the interlude. The song begins with Shakira asking God what language he speaks, a series of questions that I've often wondered myself, and some I never even thought to ask. She also asks him if ever cries (with quite a catchy sped-up chorus telling him that she sometimes cries). She also asks if he feels pride, or shame, when people kill and hurt in his name. It's an extremely powerful song, and I can't think of a single pop song that was more meaningful than this.
2. Don't Bother — This song is also very interesting. Shakira is (presumably) talking about a woman her previous boyfriend moved onto. This song mainly talks about how much better the girl mentioned before is "far better" than Shakira herself. Shakira sounds very bitter in this song. She's either a very good storyteller or the guy she's talking about was an idiot. Sorry, but I could never dump Shakira.
3. Illegal In "Illegal" — This is a song with the very talented Carlos Santana playing guitar. It is a slow ballad with Shakira talking to an ex-boyfriend. I didn't really care for this song, but it's pretty different (something you can always count on from Shakira).
4. The Day and Time — This one's another love ballad from Shakira. I'm a little biased with love songs. They're just not for me, especially the sad ones that make you think. It's a good chorus, good songwriting (as usual), and good singing. Not my favorite, though.