Shakira - Sale El Sol

Sale El Sol, Shakira
Sony Music, Colombia
Rating: 57
By Carlos Reyes

Milquetoast. That’s the official word Club Fonograma’s staff is using to describe Shakira’s latest album Sale El Sol, the seventh album in her triumphant career. There’s a shared anxiety among music journalists to legitimize true divas, we do our own share with Shakira. The Colombian global star has created a career of unexpected turns (musically), always keeping an ambitious eye to get into the new trend, and adding her peculiar persona to anything she gets her hands on. Shakira is like the one hot girl in your class generation, who is also very nerdy (that justifies that cool The xx’s “Islands” cover). Ok, not Zooey Deschanel hot nerdy, but tidy enough to make good music through/by her sensuality. We also know her career is inconsistent, mostly on her atrocious English-language albums. Sale El Sol breaks the rule; it’s her first bad Spanish language album, aside from a few numbers, it’s inefficient, milquetoast, almost colorless.

When Shakira delivered the amazing Fijacion Oral Vol.1 she argued she was ‘trapped’ on a line between Bocanada (Gustavo Cerati) and Velvetina (Miguel Bose), she clearly found her escape with “Loba”, perhaps her finest single yet. While following the disco strings would’ve been the obvious choice, Shakira announced she was going back to her roots, a place not even Shakira is sure about. When her fantastic single “Loca” was unveiled, everyone assumed she was coming back to her ‘Latin’ roots; unfortunately, she comes back to an era of uncooked melodies, like in Pies Descalzos, except it’s not very charming this time around. The title track opens the album with a very sober Shakira picking up on her career-motif of love making people blind and stupid; somehow, she always finds a way to make it work. In “Sale El Sol”, every ounce of content is set loose to a level of self-reflective leisure.

Like most of her first singles, “Loca” is completely misleading to what’s really in store, but before getting into the depressing part, let’s highlight how amazing “Loca” is. This is the kind of mainstream hit any pop lover secretly hopes for, a song fully unattached of the pop sound (as a genre), and picking up an out-of-nowhere sound like Merengue to extend pop music even more. Rarely has Shakira sounded this good, rarely any of her peers get this sexy in and out, dragged & sweaty. Only Shakira is able to envision herself and her men as 4-leg animals over and over again, always keeping it sexy & cute. Too bad most of the rest of the album manifests so very little; the lyrics are all restrained, and the music is uninspired, only nearby to fill its purpose.

People have been salivating for a Shakira-Calle 13 collaboration, and “Gordita” finally does it. The song is not bad at all, just a bit underwhelming considering how epic it could’ve been. After dissecting in many parts, we know what’s missing, Visitante’s magic touch in the music. Talking about Residente, he shares album credits with Cuban-American rapper Pitbull (in “Rabiosa”), who he has dissed via Twitter several times. Gustavo Cerati (get well soon) co-wrote and produced “Tu Boca” and “Devocion”, two pieces in which Shakira accomplishes to sound like the rocker she’s always strike to become, despite that, they’re hardly memorable beyond its electrified riffs. Sale El Sol could be divided in two; one half with the fun dance jams, the other, with poor-to-middling tracks as little stimulating as "Waka Waka" and 97% of her English songs.

19 comments :

Anonymous said...

justo para halloween !!! :D

el amarillo said...

Que pena! este disco debe ser peor que su contra parte anglo. A mi mas que un disco me pareció un compilado de retazos, mira que meter merengue (aunque no es tan malo) y todos esos remixes de la misma canción, luego estas colaboraciones tan pobres. Definitivamente no se si esto se puede llamar disco. Pensé que por lo menos se esforzaría en la portada, pero no se cual es peor... lo que si es seguro es que prefiero verla de loba que de loca, esa canción es una severa estupidez! no se que me molesta mas de ella... se creyó la tigresa del oriente o se cree española con su kiki. No quiero oírla mas, jamas!!!
Lo que mas odio de esta etapa de Shakira es que no permanece real para si misma y estas canciones no me dan la mas mínima pista de lo que es como artista... si es que le queda algo de eso.

GiL said...

this is the kindest review
for a bad album
i've ever read.

Carlos Reyes said...

I actually love the album cover.

Deo Ingus said...

sale la sola porqueria...

Andrew Casillas said...

You're an idiot Carlos ;)

Daniel said...

Totally agree that this album is uninspired. It's terribly disjointed too, it seems to be a bunch of b-sides cobbled together not an album that flows organically like Ladrones or Fijacion 1. Loca and Rabiosa will be dancefloor fillers but they are just "El Cata" songs with shakira singing on them. PS: Have to disagree that Loba was anything more that terrible, not sure why you love that song so much but hey you are usually spot on so i'll forgive you.

FalsaBaiana said...

I love the cover too! You're much too harsh on ol Shaki here though. While I agree this doesn't have anything on Fijacion Oral or pre-crossover stuff, I still really enjoy listening to it (not something I could say about She Wolf or Oral Fixation. The merengue numbers are charming and very danceable and I think "Antes de las seis" is truly lovely.
It's a real shame there isn't too much in they way of new or original material.

Anonymous said...

And seriously, how did this merit the same rating as She Wolf? Geez, that was crap ok?

JOSE LUIS MERCADO said...

Es la primera critica no tan buena que leo del disco..

ArisTOTIles said...

ps la neta, reviews de discos tan malos com este me sirven para apreciar todo lo bueno que hay, de que otra manera puede uno saber que es bueno si no tiene algo malo con que compararlo.

Anonymous said...

Primera crítica mala de "Sale el Sol": 5 estrellas en EW Entertainment Weekly, 3.5 estrellas en Rolling Stone. 9.5 sobre 10 en Metacritic (promedio de críticas en medios norteamericanos...)

De hecho este álbum tiene mejores críticas que todos sus antecesores recientes.

Creo que esta vez están bastante errados en Club Fonograma.

y ojo! no soy fan de ella

eyeze said...

wow epic fail club fonograma!

this album is pop genuis. and thats not just me saying fucking ALL MUSIC gave it 4.5/5 stars.

sorry but you and your staff just didn't get it. and im sorry you didnt. your loss.

Spiderman's Grammy said...

With great power comes great responsablity.

Don't slam Shakira when she doesn't deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Creo que está equivocado. Este disco es una verdadera reivindiación de Shakira frente a She Wolf, con sonidos más propios de ella y con una letras más inspiradoras.

Hay muchos que aún no han podido aceptar con libertad que Shakira pueda tener una parte en la industria y otra en la independencia de hacer lo que se le antoja. Es una costumbre ontusa es ade criticar, criticar y criticar sólo por el hecho de que alguien sea existoso, pues por más debacles que esta mujer haya tenido, TODO lo que ha hecho ha marcado. Tristemente, la gente muere más de envidia que de otra cosa.

"Sale el sol" es un hermoso disco y las críticas han estado a su favor en la mayoría de los medios. Creo que esta vez, ustedes están equivocados. Escuchen el disco sin tantos prejuicios, a ver qué les parece.

Anonymous said...

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Washington but about put the report.

el amarillo said...

Yo intenté escucharlo, créeme que lo hice, pero no agarré ni media nota. Las reseñas en otros medios se compran, no se cuanto vale un 3.5 en la Rollin, pero su buena plata debe costar. Yo no digo que Shakira sea una mala artista, ella ha demostrado cosas buenas en el pasado, pero esto NO es bueno. Me quedo con la opinión de que esto parece un conjunto de lados b, no hay cohesión alguna.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with this review. It is the first bad review I read about this album. You expect her popish-lady-gaga junk she gave us in She Wolf, which was Shakira going off on a tangent from her whole career of great, original -and inspiring- music. And now that she is back on track with this beautiful album with genuine sounds and lyrics that speak more of who she is, you bash on that??!! Unbelievable. "Sale el Sol" is an amazing album, clearly you got it wrong this time.

Anonymous said...

Milquetoast is a mighty pretentious word, guys. Shame!

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