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Laundry Service

Shakira

Release Date: 11.13.01
Record label: sony/epic
Genre(s): Pop

70 Music-Critic Score
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Let The Good Times Roll
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent


Shakira's 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).


Laundry 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.


Laundry 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.


Laundry 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. 18-Mar-2002 10:40 AM