SoundCheck: Shakira's Sale el Sol
Within the past couple of years, Columbian pop singer Shakira has managed to capture audiences worldwide with her unique music style, infectious pop melodies and her ever famous hip-swaying choreography.
Needless to mention, however, is the fact that Shakira’s hips are just a small portion of what she provides to her music. Her newest bilingual album, Sale el Sol, is yet another prime example of this. As is the norm with most of her albums, Shakira wrote or co-wrote nearly every single track on Sale el Sol, and the final product is definitely something to applaud.
It begins with the album’s title track, “Sale el Sol” (English: The Sun Comes Out), a Spanish track with sounds reminiscent of Shakira’s earlier work — a whirlwind fusion of alternative rock and Latin sounds, accompanied by inspirational lyrics and strong vocals. Undoubtedly, this song starts the album off on the right track, with only higher expectations to come.
The next track, “Loca,” is the album’s first released single, a rather commercial and quite intentionally Latin number with salsa-inspired sounds throughout. The English version of this song (also included on the album) features rapper Dizzee Rascal alongside Shakira to give the song a rapper’s spin on Latin flavors.
The next song, “Antes De Las Seis,” is the first in a string of ballads sprinkled throughout Sale el Sol. Lyrically, the track is undoubtedly one of the album’s high points, but with Shakira’s sad, emotional and heartfelt vocals, the song itself is actually able to overcome whatever language barriers may exist between the artist and the listener, truly making it a song of note within the release.
By the time the album reaches track nine, “Devocion,” (English: Devotion) however, the album picks up right where it left off, with Shakira’s strong vocals, alternative-rock sounds, and well-thought-out lyrics reigning once again. The next two songs, “Islands” and the sultry, energetic, bass-laden “Tu Boca,” continue this trend, and a sense of accomplishment is all that’s left after finishing the main bulk of the music on Sale el Sol to accentuate and elaborate on these points.
As the album concludes with four bonus tracks — English versions of “Loca” and “Rabiosa” and two “Waka Waka” remixes — we’re reminded of the reason Shakira is the great artist she is today. It shows her ability to be versatile without it being too much of a problem. Despite the album’s flaws, Shakira still manages to invigorate listeners with her own unique Latin beat. That being said, Sale el Sol truly is one of Shakira’s best releases, with songs sure to become classics within the next year.
Best tracks: “Sale el Sol,” “Antes De Las Seis”