Colombian pop rocker Shakira has been primed for U.S. stardom since her riveting TV performance at 2000's Latin Grammys, and Laundry Service is the kind of assured, eclectic English-language debut that can only further the cause. The 24-year-old beauty's strengths are right up front: "Objection" delivers a snarlingly Alanis-like vocal, peppered with an exotic tango accordion and surf guitars, and a tough feminist perspective propelled by a surging carnival rhythm familiar from hits by Ricky Martin and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Rather than indulge the processed hip-pop of her Latin crossover compatriots Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez, Shakira keeps arrangements muscular and rocking, quoting U2, the Cure, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles while dropping in Andean pan pipes and charango, as on the powerhouse single "Whenever, Wherever." This, as well as her dense, literate lyrics, defies stereotypical expectations for this tropical star. But Shakira has forged her Spanish-language career upon hardheaded, inconoclastic decisions. One of these, the Arabic-flavored smash "Ojos Así" which Shakira performed on the Grammy broadcast, is reprised here as "Eyes like Yours" and retains every drop of its exotic exuberance. Surprisingly enough, Shakira's lyrics survive and thrive in translation. Always a poetic lyricist, she devoted herself to learning English well enough to write in it, and "Fool" and "Poem to a Horse" neatly capture her offbeat imagery and wordy rhymes. Perhaps the greatest testimony to her diligence is that the Spanish tracks on Laundry Service, including versions en español of "Objection" and "Wherever," segue seamlessly into the mix. Fans of Latin rock have yearned for an artist capable of translating the music's unique charms to a greater audience -- with Laundry Service, Shakira is set to make such dreams come true.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've heard a few of the songs, and they are very good. I love ''Underneath Your Clothes''. It is so pretty. Suerte is incredible. My only complaint is that there is not enough Spanish Language material.