Shakira – She Wolf

It’s nice to be occasionally reminded that the music world’s past present and future is neatly ‘yin and yang’ed by the Anglo bop of the Beatles and the Afro-American cruisey groove of Smokey Robinson. Occasionally a pop anomaly appears from another culture entirely, bypassing the conveyor belts of the MTV machine… and hundreds of millions of the world’s population — who çuriously ¿pose questions upside down¿ — love it. How else can you explain Shakira and her Oral Fixation assault on soccer stadiums everywhere? You’d imagine some Sony company exec in some ivory tower somewhere — blowing the contents of his double-shot latté across the room when they first heard it — may have had a word or two in the shell-like of their pint-sized superstar. But no, Oral Fixation it was to be — Nutball Sprite: 1; Global Music Monolith: Nil.
Now it seems that she’s over her ‘mouth thing’ and has transformed into a She Wolf. And, yes, one still gets the feeling Shakira is a re-fried bean short of a whole enchilada. Columbia’s second biggest export and the world’s pre-eminent latina balladeer is again off her trolley with choreography that combines screw-loose robot conniptions and ‘put that away!’ contortions only an obstetrician should be privy to.
As mentioned, Shakira is a ‘she wolf’ and this is quite possibly the first song ever composed to number the word ‘lycanthropy’ in its long list of ‘huh?’ lyrics. By which I mean, it’s a song with lyrics that read like they’re drafted in part by Nokia predictive text, and in part by a dodgy Spanglish auto-translator. Try: ‘not getting enough retribution or decent incentive to keep me at it / I’m starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office’ … I see… I really must give the office Krups a de-scale and a cuddle.
Being a she wolf has also done untold damage to Shakira’s wardrobe, which seems to be malfunctioning with the sort of regularity you’d expect from the proverbial two-peso watch. She kicks off with a ‘full-body’ leotard with one sheared-off leg and a disappearing midriff — an edgy look psychopathic dance instructors the world over will soon be adopting I’m sure. Then there’s a skin-toned contortionist’s suit, perfect for sticking a stiletto behind your ears and some very public pelvic floor exercises. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, Shakira signs off with some freeform rooftop, hoppy-skippy, interpretive dance in a fetching two-piece Mayan temple maiden outfit.
Shakira is loopier than a yo-yo carnival. I just hope she keeps getting away with it.

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