It is puzzling at first to see Shakira holding a guitar on the cover of her new self-titled record. After all, these 15 tracks are more of an attempt by the Colombian star to enter the electronic genre.
Yes, Shakira attempting EDM (electronic dance music) might sound like a stretch, but this is an album that brims with surprises. Opening track Dare (La La La) has a title that hints at her grand vision.
It's a song that starts with various indecipherable chants and a hint of Shakira's trademark Latin style. But then it morphs into an electronic beat. The track lays the groundwork for the rest of the album. Yet as the album proceeds, Shakira introduces more guitar riffs into her sound.
Of course, like any good pop album these days, it also features its fair share of guest stars: Rihanna appears on the loose Can't Remember to Forget You, and Blake Shelton helps on Medicine, a lovely ballad.
Unlike artists who are just riding the EDM bandwagon because it sells, Shakira really makes an effort to incorporate it into her style.
One feels this is less of a gimmick and perhaps the basis of her new sound. No wonder she chose to name this album - her tenth - after herself.