Album: Shakira: Oral Fixation Vol. 2|
Street Date: November 29, 2005
Reviewed by: Joey
I would like to preface by saying this CD is worth buying if only for the centerfold, where Shakira is covered only by leaves. Nothing else. If you've seen the CD cover, you'll know what I'm talking about. But it's expanded. This is Part 2 of a series, the first one being Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 (also reviewed by me) which was released this summer. This is the English version. Most of the songs are new, except for two English adaptations of Spanish songs from Volume 1.
1. How Do You Do - "Have you ever felt starved, or is your belly always full?" Shakira questions in this song?" The opening of this song is a choir chanting part of the Our Father, and there is also some Arabaic, which is cool to hear. The song has a catchy chorus, but it's not really one of the highlights of the album.
2. Don't Bother - This is the lead single off the album. While the radio hasn't been too friendly towards it, the CD still sold 130,000 copies opening week. This song is AMAZING. It's the reason I bought the album. It's a great pop/rock song, very reminiscent (lyrically) of some of Alanis's Jagged Little Pill days. The song is about a scorned woman watching her ex-boyfriend with a new girl. "Sure she doesn't know how to touch you like I would. I beat her at that one good." Rock on, Shakira.
3. Illegal - This song features the guitar talents of Santana. It's really grown on me since I first heard it. The chorus is really catchy. This would make a great third single. The lyrics are good. "It should be illegal to deceive a woman's heart." She writes very well in English, considering it's her second language. The arrangement of this song sticks out and it's one of the highlights.
4. Dreams For Plans - This is one of the songs that were originally in Spanish. I don't think it loses anything through the translation. It's got a good chorus, but I'm sure the lyrics were better in Spanish, if I spoke Spanish. The only beef I have with the song is how the chorus's lyrics are awkward. The arrangement is just as good as the Spanish version, and her voice sounds good.
5. Animal City - The song starts out with her yodeling, Jewel-styling, and then goes into a hella-catchy chorus. "It's an animal city, it's a cannibal world." The chorus is good, too. The arrangement is great and this is a stand-out track. I'd like to comment on Shakira's voice. You either love it or hate it. My mom hates it, but I like it. So, if you don't like it, you won't enjoy listening to it for 40 plus minutes.
6. Dreams For Plans - This is a weird title, but I like the song. The chorus's chord scheme is a bit tired, but her voice sounds really good, and the song will probably get stuck in your head. The arrangement and production aren't real stick-outs, but they're not bad. I like the piano.
7. Hey You - I read somewhere that the chorus is reminiscent of the old song "Downtown", and it does sort of... but "Downtown" didn't have a hot bellydancer singing it, so ha! The opening is awesome, with the guitar and horns. This would make a good second single. When she sang this song live on MTV's concert, she sounded great. Her vocals sound great on CD, too. This is a catchy song. I don't even know what adamant is, so her English is obviously good.
8. Your Embrace - "Tell me what's the use of a 24 inch waist, if you don't touch me?" asks Shakira. This is a pretty song. One of the better songs, mainly because of Shakira's vocals. The chorus is cool and the production is also good. The strings add an extra touch to the song to make it good.
9. Costume Makes the Clown - It starts off kinda soft, but quickly goes into a hot rock song. The production is a bit sub-par compared to the rest of the album, but this is a great rock song, especially the opening verse. "I'm not here to let you down, but the costume makes the clown," says Shakira. The lyrics are good, especially when Shakira says "humble breats" ('Whenever, Wherever', anyone?)
10. Something - I can't believe it, but I like the Spanish version better. Maybe it's because the lyrics flowed better and the English lyrics are awkward... but I like the version where I have no clue what she's saying. "En Tus Pupilas" is muchos better-o. But this song is still enoyable. Again, Shakira tricks you with some French in the begining. But there's French in the Spanish version, as well.
11. Timor - The little kids in the chorus are enough to make Michael Jackson drool, but I don't think it works. "How about a people who don't matter anymore?" they say. I love the drums in this song. It's really an upbeat song, and it's one of the highlights on the CD, with Shakira's voice sounding tremendous and the writing being superb. Definitely stick around for this one.
In conclusion, Shakira is hot. Not only that, but this is a great CD. It's ranked at # 3 for 2005 for me, behind Ryan Cabrera (1) and Jason Mraz (2). Check this out if you like Shakira or like pop/rock music. It gets two thumbs up from me.
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