DAILY NEWS: Shakira’s Roots Are Showing

By Nuria Net

In Shakira’s new song “Gordita,” featured singer Residente of Calle 13 raps that “I liked you when you were more gordita [a little fatter], with black hair, rounder face and sort of rockerita.”The line sums up what many of Shakira’s Latino fans have been thinking for years, and she has seemed to take note.”There’s a much more Latin and alive side to the album,” the 33-year-old singer told EFE news agency last month. “I wanted to get in touch with merengue, the genre which I grew up with.”Merengue is in full force in Shakira’s new album, “Sale el Sol” (Sony), due out Oct. 19. It includes the hyped-up single “Loca,” already out, a remake of the hit “Cada loca con su tiguere” by the little-known Dominican urban artist El Cata, who is featured on the track.Shakira puts on a teasing baby voice as she rapid-fires the lyrics, which includes Dominican slang words such as “kiki” and “tigre.” We’ve seen this before. Just like “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka,” this is the latest rhythm-heavy cover Shakira is coopting for a global audience.

The Colombian powerhouse remains one of the few truly bilingual stars on the planet, but it’s precisely her global-pleasing brand that has diluted her spark for some original fans.”This is a far more ‘Latin’ album. It’s different from what she did in her early days – which a lot of fans yearn for – with some exceptions,” says Leila Cobo, executive editor for Latin content and programming at Billboard magazine.”It’s different … in that it’s more of a ‘party’ set, but it’s very exuberant and rings true.”Even though the album features rock tracks (“Tu boca”) and ballads (“Lo que más”) reminiscent of the early pop-rock albums (“Pies Descalzos” and “¿Dónde están los ladrones?”) that made Latin America hopelessly devoted to her, Shakira’s main throwback seems to be freeing her from the constraints of fame.”I felt stifled by the demands of the industry,” she told Argentina’s Clarin newspaper a day after her Madison Square Garden show two weeks ago. “It’s liberating. You would think that reaching the top would feel more free, but it seems to be the opposite: The demands are even greater.”She’s been liberating herself a bit too literally.On the album cover, she lies on a beach, dirty in sand, wearing those colorful plastic Silly Bandz bracelets seen on 13-year-olds everywhere. Her new video for “Loca” follows her frolicking in a water fountain in Barcelona, Rollerblading among her fans, and undressing in the middle of a street.The superstar may be feeling freer and speaking of her roots, but she doesn’t seem serious about looking back. Her abs are as packed as ever, and her hair as gold, just as her career is.

Story and Photos via Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/latino/2010/10/06/2010-10-06_untitled__shakira0.html


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