Laundry Service - Shakira

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Laundry Service - Shakira

1 CD(s) - Latin, Rock En Espanol - Label: Epic - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 11/11/2002, 11/03/2002 - 5099749872059, 509974987...

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89% positive

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Review of "Laundry Service - Shakira"

published 11/10/2003 | theediscerning
Member since : 14/08/2002
Reviews : 150
Members who trust : 60
About me :
Am I back?? I dunno. Have I the front?? Where do you side?
Super
Pro Some great tracks...
Cons ...again and again, with merely good tracks in between
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Lyrics
How does it compare to the artist's other releases

"Coming clean"

Yes, Shakira’s debut English album may be some months old now, but it is still one of the successes of the last two years, and still selling well. Proof of this is the fact that theediscerning’s copy went within hours on amazon’s marketplace. So at risk of losing mucho street cred by posting this op, he may as well reveal what he was passing on so rapidly.

Well, the first three tracks are the hugely successful singles, and if someone expects much detail, then someone is reading an op about a subject of which they know nothing. Of the three, theed’ much prefers Objection (Tango), the thumpingly good Latino-tinged stompalong with the accordion-style backing. It is Underneath Your Clothes, however, that continually provides the biggest surprise in pop ~ the surprise being why The Bangles haven’t sued for it ripping off Eternal Flame note for note.

After Whenever, Wherever, track three, and the launch single (the one with the annoying ‘le do le le le le’ bits ~ apparently that’s how it’s spelled ~ and the panpipes), we get Rules, and if the singles haven’t set the tone, this will. A rumbling percussive introduction, leading into fairly high-tempo pop, with reasonably well-thought lyrics (albeit with the odd line or three), choruses that outlast the day and can stick in your mind to the extent they keep you awake at night revolving round, and radio-friendly, non-challenging instrumentation. For those expecting an ethnic tinge to all numbers, however - sorry, for you’ll be disappointed.

The back cover proudly states that Shakira produced the whole album, and she also had some hand in writing each number. She is actually the prodigy of the Miami scene, and one family in particular ~ Gloria Estefan and her husband. Mrs E co-wrote Whenever, Wherever, and Mr was “Executive Producer” (capital letters seemingly obligatory). Shakira shows good depth in her styles, while staying within a tried and tested formula, as outlined above.

The One is the nearest the album gets to a second ballad, with power guitars added here and there. It’s not a classic, by any means, and the range of Shakira brings to mind vocalists of old that theed’ would prefer not to be reminded of ~ Barbara Streisand, etc. Ready for the Good Times has the most electronic backing of the album, with no authentic drumming to be heard, and a mid-Atlantic (FM) disco-ish feel.

Fool is, similarly, rather weak radio musak on first listening, but the album gels into a decent consistency on multiple listens. Te Deio Madrid is presumably the only track on here that doesn’t concern man and woman (or woman versus man, etc…) ~ despite the title of the track that follows. There’s a nice twangy guitar behind the chorus, and some strong, more modernistic ones to drive the song along too.

Poem to a Horse starts off with breezy brass, before mellowing into a mid-to-high tempo number. Again, there’s no immediate catch, but after a few listens it will be persuasively addictive. Que Me Quedes Tu follows at a slower pace still, with a rather AOR-style drum backing, and no real appeal to these ears, bar the basic simplistic melody. Perhaps being ignorant of the meaning doesn’t help… ~ writing this on a laptop meant the translations on shakira.com were unavailable.

For those still doubting the Spanish elements in this CD, the back three are also Spanish-tinged, although with the next, Eyes Like Yours, that only refers to the subtitle, “Ojos Asi”. It is credited “English lyrics by Gloria Estefan”, although who wrote it originally is anyone’s guess. It actually starts with an Egyptian-style riff, before thumping into a high energy story of searching Arabia for the titular peepers. And seeing that what follows are merely Spanish-language versions of Whenever, Wherever, and Objection (Tango), it serves as a very nice signing-off point.

This helps bring us to the final evaluation. Should you love the singles, then there will be nothing to disappoint here, except perhaps the lack of the more exotic instrumentation some might presume was to be used. And at least liking the singles is compulsory, as five of the thirteen tracks are they. As much as Eyes Like Yours is a great track, there is no real fourth single, and this is the point | if you dislike the singles, then mark this one mentally with “Avoid”, and if you can take or leave them, or own them elsewhere, then this may be disposed off safely, with little regret.

Try before you buy in that case, despite the following four stars ~ it may be an album you could fall in love with, but may provide you with little extra.

And no, nowhere is Shakira’s album title actually explained.


* * *

This edition has also been supplanted by the equally daftly titled Washed and Dried limited edition, which ends with a further version of each of the three singles, and puts some multimedia gubbins on a second disc. This points out the fact that the original album, at under an hour, is not of sterling value, but further heightens what theediscerning said above. Boy is he good…

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Comments on this review

  • h_o_y_f_d published 08/03/2006
    Very nicely written review! Well Done! :)
  • shaun_hull published 24/12/2005
    Very in depth review. However I love this album and each and every track is pure magia to me.
  • franproc published 23/10/2003
    At first I loved this album, but now I'm tired of it. xxxxxx
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Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Latin, Rock En Espanol - Label: Epic - Distributor: Sony Music/Arvato Services - Released: 11/11/2002, 11/03/2002 - 5099749872059, 5099749872028

Product Details

EAN: 5099749872059, 5099749872028

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