our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
first English language album comes six years and eight-million
album sales into her world-spanning career.
A native of
Columbia and of Lebanese decent, this is one talented individual
who has written, produced and sung Laundry Service to make
it one of the more interesting albums to come out this month (released
March 11, 2002 in UK). Shakira, who won a Grammy for best Latin
Pop Album (Donde Estan los Ladrones?) in 2001, has a unique
sound, combining all the usual pop factors of Kylie, the world
music sound of the pan pipes and accordion, the cynical songwriting
style of Alanis Morrisette and the Latin smoothness of Gloria
Estefan (the album's executive producer is Emilio Estefan Jnr).
Service has some great songs on it but isn't the classic that
her credentials might have promised. The truth is that as an album
it has more in common with Star Trek movies than multi-million
selling albums. I'm not suggesting she looks like a Klingon (anything
but), yet she manages to capture the Trekky tradition of putting
out alternate crackers and duds.
Service's high points, then, come from the odd numbered tracks,
while many of the even numbered tunes are instantly forgettable.
The opener "Objection (Tango)" surprises with a French
intro and the combines it brilliantly with poptastic pleasure.
Skip to track three to enjoy the first single "Whenever,
Wherever" which goes for the all-out Latin anthem feel, complete
with rousing chorus and South American pipes. "Fool"
(track seven) is also outstanding, and has some great lyrics and
self-directed criticism. And towards the end of the album it's
good to see some songs in Spanish to give us a feel of what she
had previously built her reputation on.
Service isn't as unglamorous as its name suggests. Rummage
around in the even-numbered smelly socks and you're sure to find
a few sweet-smelling items to try on.
liked Laundry Service...
2. Underneath Your Clothes
3. Whenever, Wherever
5. The One
6. Ready for the Good Times
8. Te Dejo Madrid
9. Poem to a Horse
10. Que Me Quedes Tu
11. Eyes Like Yours
13. Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)