I would imagine I am not the only American music fan who didn’t know Shakira existed until her single “Whenever, Whenever” was on repeat on every music station in 2001. Whenever, Whenever was the lead single for Shakira’s English language album Laundry Service, which was her 5th studio album. I didn’t know of any of her music before that single.
Listening to Dónde Están Los Ladrones, Shakira’s 4th album, is an interesting experience. Because the album is in Spanish, I don’t really know what she’s singing about. So instead of focusing on the lyrics, I am listening to the musicianship and production. This album was released in 1998. There are some element of the production that sound very 1990’s. Which I always find interesting. The Guitar tones, the mix, I can just tell this is a 90s album. And that’s not meant to be a bad thing. I love the 90s.
Also, listening to Shakira’s vocals, there is no doubt that this woman can sing! She has a very interesting voice, that could be compared to Alanis Morissette. I’m not the only person to make that comparison, but when you can’t understand the words, your brain grabs on to similarities where it can.
This album is full of songs that genuinely made me happy as I listened through. There are clear evidences of American pop-music influences, but there are some instrumentation choices that are coming from her Colombian roots. I wish there would have been a bit more Colombian roots.
Also, The title track rocks! This would be a great concert song, and I can imagine when the Chorus hits, the crowd would go nuts.