Shakira is celebrating her 26th year in music this year. The Latin superstar may have only come to the wider world’s attention in 2001 with her first English language album Laundry Service but she was already a bit star in Latin America following the release of her 1995 album Pies Descalzos and her 1998 album Dónde Están los Ladrones? Shakira’s last Spanish language album was 2010’s Sale el Sol, which she followed up with the self-titled English language album Shakira in 2014. That album didn’t achieve the success Shakira has become accustomed to and quickly stalled her in the UK.
Heading back to her Spanish roots, Shakira has released her eleventh studio album El Dorado (The Golden One) which sees the star singing mostly in Spanish with a handful of songs sung in English. The album’s lead single Chantaje (Blackmail) features fellow Colombian singer Maluma (if you’ve never heard of him, you should check his music out!) and it’s been a humongous hit across the world with the video one of the fastest to reach 1 billion views. At a time when Justin Bieber is jumping on the Latin bandwagon, it’s baffling how Chantaje wasn’t a huge hit here in the UK. The song’s pulsating rhythms are perfect for the summer and it’s a corking track!
Maluma isn’t the only chart-topping star Shakira teams up (he appears again on the R&B influenced Trap) with on El Dorado. She also enlists Carlos Vives on the hit La Bicicleta (The Bike), Latin pop star Prince Royce on the ballad Déjà vu, Reggaeton star Nicky Jam on the punchy Perro Fiel (Faithful Dog), French rapper Black M on Comme moi (What We Said) and Magic! on the English version of the track.
The album kicks off with Me Enamoré (I Fell In Love), which is a beat-driven uptempo track that sets the tone perfectly for the record. The tempo for the most part of El Dorado is up and it’s the perfect album to dance your socks off to over the summer. Shakira sounds like she’s having the most fun she’s had in years and El Dorado is solid collection of hits in waiting for the singer. The English song When a Woman captures the intense feeling of being in love over hypnotic beats while Amarillo (Yellow) is a dreamy moment that oddly has more in common with Fleetwood Mac than the rest of the songs contained here.
El Dorado is a superb release from Shakira and her best in a long time, probably since the two-part 2005 album Fijación Oral, Vol 1 and Oral Fixation, Vol 2. Shakira has reconnected with her roots and added a contemporary feel to the songs on this album. She’s definitely riding the current Latin wave that is dominating charts all over the world and El Dorado should be a huge record for her. If you’ve never really given Latin music a chance, I’d highly recommend starting with El Dorado and working your way back through Shakira’s flawless back catalogue.
Track Listing: 1. Me Enamoré 2. Nada 3. Chantaje (featuring Maluma) 4. When a Woman 5. Amarillo 6. Perrio Fiel (featuring Nicky Jam) 7. Trap (featuring Maluma) 8. Comme Moi (with Black M) 9. Coconut Tree 10. La Bicicleta (with Carlos Vives) 11. Déjà vu (with Prince Royce) 12. What We Said (featuring MAGIC!) 13. Toneladas Record Label: Sony Latin Release Date: 26th May 2017