March 13, 2014


The Complete Guide to Shakira's 'Shakira' Album

The Latest: Listen to Shakira's entire new album via Spotify below. Then watch the official music video to "Empire" below.

The Buildup

A lot has happened to Shakira since she released last studio album—the Spanglish Sale el Sol—in 2010: She separated from her partner of 11 years, started dating soccer star Gerard Pique, gave birth to a baby boy, took over for Christina Aguilera on The Voice for two seasons and survived a vicious sea lion attack.

Girl has gone through a lot. The Colombia native says the nearly four-year gap between Sale el Sol and her upcoming self-titled album has been a period of rediscovery. "Throughout the course of creating this body of work, I learned a lot about myself," she wrote on Facebook of her 10th studio LP. "This album has spanned a very eventful time, with many ups and downs, but ultimately, the happiest period in my life thus far. Though I didn't realize it at the time, all the directions I began exploring in the initial phases of recording were helping to pave a path for me of rediscovery.

"I realized that I will always be a little bit of everything and I don't have to choose. I am sometimes extremely sensitive, sometimes upbeat, others dreamy and romantic, and even at times a little melodramatic. (Call it the Caribbean blood.) But always authentic and always sincere."

Shaki says recognizing her multiple personalities and moods helped inspire a multigenre record. She described Shakira as "a little bit of rock, a little bit of folk, a little reggae and naturally some dance—but as always, and above all, a lot of heart."

The Music

Our first taste of the record came with the reggae-rock-pop hybrid "Can't Remember to Forget You," a collaboration with Rihanna. After peaking at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 so far, Shakira's lead single became the Latin hottie's biggest hit in almost five years.

Its accompanying music video has been a huge success for Shaki and Rih Rih too. The booty-centric clip amassed 100 million views in 11 days and currently boasts 190 million less than two months later.

Shakira recorded a Spanish version of the single, sans Rihanna, titled "Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidarte." The track peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart—her best showing since hitting No. 1 with "Loca" featuring merengue singer El Cata in 2010.

To further hype the record, the 37-year-old stunner dropped buzz track "Empire." Get ready to head bang: This is likely the rowdiest and rockiest you'll hear the new mommy get.

Watch the official music video below.

A snippet of album opener "Dare (La La La)" surfaced via a new Activia commercial starring the Latina diva. The full version was revealed less than a week later, listen to a stream here

If we weren't already surprised by the multiple musical directions Shakira is diving into, you'd definitely color us shocked at hearing this banger in an Activia promo. The track's pounding percussion and chanting chorus sounds like an adequate followup to "Hips Don't Lie," but instead soundtracks a digestive health-oriented yogurt. Should it get the single treatment—and it sure sounds like a radio hit—we're hoping for a sexy music video.

Photo Credit: Shakira/Twitter
Photo Credit: Shakira/Twitter

While the rest of the album is being hidden under wraps, a new cover story with Billboard details the tracks "23" and "Medicine."

Guitar-based "23" track is a love song Shakira wrote for her lover Pique, whom she met when he was 23—Shaki is 10 years his senior. The chorus' lyrics go, "Hey, do you believe in destiny? / 'Cause I do as I did then / When you were only 23." 

While that sounds cute and all, we'll eagerly await the song's end: The couple's adorable son Milan (left) closes the track with a giggle. D'aww!!!

Meanwhile, the LP's most surprising moment likely comes via "Medicine," a duet with country superstar Blake Shelton. "I told [Blake] I wanted to work with Nashville people," the famous hip shaker recalled of her Voice co-star—whom she performed a Lady Antebellum cover with on Season 4 (below). "I wanted to do a song that had the narrative of a country song, that was picturesque, that was a real song, but also suited me."

Billboard writer Leila Cobo described "Medicine" as "light enough on fiddle and steel guitar to work on pop radio." Is Shaki pulling a Kelly Clarkson on us?

The Plan

If you were missing Shakira music in your life, well, have no fear: There are BIG plans for the LP. "The design behind this album was to break globally, not just in the Latin markets, but to put her on top of the charts everywhere, especially the U.S.," Tom Corson, president of the singer's label RCA Records, told Billboard. 

Corson described "Can't Remember to Forget You" as an "event record." He added, "You get the two biggest stars in the world together and make a sexy, fun video. It was too good to pass."

Don't forget that Shaki's in the middle of her second season as a coach on The Voice. The LP drops a few weeks before the live shows begin, so expect her to perform live for its millions of viewers. Plus, she's signed recent partnerships with TargetT-Mobile and Crest toothpaste.

In a few words: Shakira and Shakira will be everywhere.

A few more words: Shakira drops March 25.

The Tracklist:

1. "Dare (La La La)"
2. "Can't Remember to Forget You" ft. Rihanna
3. "Empire"
4. "You Don't Care About Me"
5. "Cut Me Deep" ft. Magic!
6. "Spotlight"
7. "Broken Record"
8. "Medicine" ft. Blake Shelton
9. "23" 
10. "The One Thing"
11."Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidarte"
12. "Loca por Ti"