Shakira Triumphs Over a Breakup With Bangers (Album Overview)7 min read

Shakira, la mujer que tú eres.

When you’ve been busy reserving flights to Barranquilla for the pilgrimage to worship on the ft of her almost 21-foot tall statue, the Colombian icon launched her twelfth studio album in the end on Friday (March 22), the primary in seven years since 2017’s El Dorado, referred to as Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran. (Do you see what she did there? It’s a line from her record-breaking diss observe aimed toward her ex.)

It’s no secret that Shakira’s life appears to be like lots completely different as of late: she’s a single mom now following a extensively publicized cut up, a transfer from Barcelona to Miami along with her kids, and a settlement after an extended, headline-making seven 12 months battle over her taxes. Within the time between her final album and now, she’s co-headlined the Tremendous Bowl, gained some main awards, and launched a ton of collaborative songs with superstars – however there was no actual glue to tie collectively the previous seven years of her profession. Till now.

Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran is one thing of a hybrid: it’s basically half new EP, half latter career-era biggest hits, containing a bulk of the collaborative singles she’s launched over the previous two years, from “Te Felicito” with Rauw Alejandro to Highest-charting Spanish-language observe on the Billboard Scorching 100 Guinness World File-breaking “TQG” with Karol G, to her emotional love letter to her children “Acróstico” that includes her sons Milan and Sasha, “El Jefe” with Fuerza Regida.

Some may name that it a copout to lump the previous few years’ releases collectively and tack on a number of new tracks, however frankly, it’s simply good enterprise. These smashes all need to have a house on one album, anyway. And, maybe extra meaningfully, all the collaborations with musical family and friends characterize her journey to discovering herself, personally and sonically, as soon as once more.

The album’s new choices are a stable stretch from begin to end, offering a combination of radio-friendly, trendier choices and traditional Shakira sounds alike.

“Puntería” with Cardi B kicks off the gathering, concurrently changing into the album’s newest single. The synth-y, bouncy ode to a lover who has good purpose (ahem) finds well-documented fangirl Cardi fortunately flexing her bilingual chops on enjoyable and breezy verses as Shaki swoons and croons her means by way of, sounding hornier than ever: “Siempre llegas fijo / Hasta mi punto G” – or “You at all times arrive at my G spot,” mainly. (I did clutch mis pechos pequeños after I first realized what she was saying.) The equally flirty “Cohete,” a re-team with “Te Felicito” companion Rauw Alejandro, sees the duo floating throughout a danceable pulse that will float comfortably alongside dreamy cuts like Doja Cat and SZA‘s “Kiss Me Extra” and one other standout of 2024, Kali Uchis and Peso Pluma‘s “Igual Que un Ángel.”

Las Mujeres shuffles continuously by way of genres, as Shakira demonstrates her versatility and skill to faucet into tendencies all through: La Loba’s love’s gone chilly on “(Entre Paréntesis)” with Grupo Frontera, a regional Mexican providing that tackles the sound that’s taken over radio in current months, as popularized by Peso Pluma and additional explored by many pop ladies, together with Belinda and Becky G. The seductive “Nassau,” then again, offers a touch of latest love on the horizon throughout a chill, Afrobeat-inspired shuffle.

Bizzarap, in the meantime, makes a robust case for fully producing her subsequent report with “La Fuerte,” a follow-up to their globally dominating collaboration, “Bzrp Music Classes, Vol. 53.” This one’s far much less, erm, pointed (“Clara…mente…”), however simply as robust of a pairing, offering the album’s most EDM festival-ready moments, and one in all Shakira’s greatest full-on dance flooring bangers shortly. (Tiesto‘s remix of their music classes, additionally tacked onto the report, additionally provides a sweaty dance flooring serve.)

However a number of the new songs sound outdated…in the easiest way: “Tiempo Sin Verte” is a shocking return to type, and a reminder of who she actually is: the observe transports us again to the ’90s pop-rock oriented, guitar-driven roots of Shakira’s profession, circa Pies Descalzos, whereas the beat additionally remembers one in all her greatest, “Las de la intuición.” It’s an instantaneous Shakira traditional upon the very first play: these signature quivering vocals as she lingers on the recollections of a former flame, the moment earworm melodies, and most of all, that bridge. That bridge! “En mis sueños sigo imaginando queeeeeeee / Aún veo el sol brillando en tu pieeeeeeel.” That craving, these yelps, nearly Sade-like in supply, are the cherry on high of an already completely constructed pop tune, and proof that bridges in pop music matter. That is precisely why the 2 minute pop tune simply doesn’t hit the identical. This is an ideal pop tune, and Shakira at her greatest.

And she or he doesn’t cease there with the throwback vibes: “Cómo Dónde y Cuándo” sees the singer diving even deeper into rock chick mode and stoically shifting ahead whereas declaring “life’s a bitch,” throwing two center fingers as much as the fuckery of the previous whereas nonetheless sonically tapping into one thing from her angsty earlier years, circa Dónde Están los Ladrones? and Laundry Service. It feels completely right to listen to her sounding like this once more, and remembering precisely who she is.

Shakira leaves all of it on the ground with the ultimate, heartbreakingly weak “Última,” a determined plea after hitting the wall (“La Pared,” if you’ll) midway right into a romance and asking the impossibly tough questions throughout a easy piano melody – “¿Cómo es que te cansaste de algo tan genuino?“, or “How is it you bought bored with one thing so real?”) Except for the beforehand launched “Monotonía” with Ozuna, it’s one of many only a few moments she permits herself to get actually unhappy concerning the cut up on a report in any other case crammed with dust-yourself-off empowerment anthems, razor-sharp kiss-offs and wink-winks aimed toward new flings.

That’s type of the genius of the lengthy recreation of Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran, a report that finds a worldwide icon rebuilding in actual time.

Slowly however certainly shaped over these previous few years, the album feels appropriately scattered for a turbulent time in Shakira’s life, bouncing wildly between previous and current sounds, genres, collaborators. There’s joyous, uplifting moments of enjoyable and flirtiness, gratitude for her family members, bitter anger, self-empowerment and defiant shade and, on uncommon event, complete devastation.

Shakira might not have completely found out the place to land sonically in 2024 amid all of her private life drama, however there’s an unwavering power that ties the entire venture collectively as rolls with the punches and offers the standard songcraft we’ve come to count on of the veteran celebrity. And she or he could also be crying on the album’s cowl, however these are diamond tears.

Even at her lowest, she’s nonetheless incapable of placing out something lower than gems. Las mujeres ya no lloran, las mujeres facturan.

Purchase Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran on vinyl.

Try the MuuTunes Spotify playlist. You may as well subscribe on Apple Music.

Picture credit score: Jaume De Laiguana & Nicolas Gerardin

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