Jun 21, 2019

Shakira’s She Wolf Continues Her Mission To Keep All The Ladies’ Hips Shaking

Trust Shakira to come up with something sexual yet coming from somewhere strange and erotic. She Wolf is the eighth studio album of the Colombian singer and it came in the heels of her successful Oral Fixation Vol. 1 and 2 double album. I guess because those albums were heavily Latin-flavored, she decided to veer away from her Latin roots a little bit in this album. It’s still there of course. It would be impossible to take out Latin music from a Shakira album. What I mean is, in this album, through the help of The Neptunes production team, she decides to experiment and add other sounds into her core production and I actually like what I hear. Some of the songs work, some, not quite, but as a whole effort, it shows her willingness to evolve and make her music more palatable to a bigger non-Latin America market. By doing so though, she may alienate her core Latin American audience but also gets herself more exposure and traction in areas in the world that listen to contemporary pop or EDM music. The album is a composite of songs where R&B mixes with Latin music so one can hear different interesting instruments in it. What is in there though is Shakira’s smoldering vocals as she navigates each song in her trademark sensual way. Once again, in the album I have, there are three Spanish songs, two of them, the Spanish versions of the songs in English – and – I have pointed this out before, the Spanish versions are much better – as translations often lose some of the nuance of the song. Nevertheless, Shakira straddles both worlds comfortably and anyway, it’s only those who can speak both Spanish AND English who can notice the missing nuances. Otherwise, dance away to this album and your hips will continue to shake from this Shakira offering.

Written by @tonyfabelous from Fabelousity
Jun 04, 2019

Some Songs in Shakira’s Oral Fixation Vol. 2 Don’t Translate Well Into English From its Spanish Original

When I was listening to the songs in Shakira’s Oral Fixation Vol. 2, I thought that some of the songs there sounded awkward in terms of the way they were titled and the way the lyrics came out in English. This is because this album had a Spanish version Fijacion Oral Vol. 2. I could characterize my Spanish as somewhere around a Primary Grade 5 student, which I think is enough to appreciate songs, so I was thinking, I should really instead be listening to the Spanish version of this album – and appreciate it in its original intent. Although I am sure each song was translated with deftness and care, a lot of nuance is really lost in translation. I could compare it to reading Pablo Neruda’s poem in Spanish – and then reading the English translation. Poetry depends so much on the cadence of the words so a bit of that gets lost when translating it to another language. Songs are like poetry as well, so I think that is what happened to the English version of Fijacion Oral Vol. 2. To illustrate this, take for example the title of two songs in this album - “Dreams for Plans” and “Costume Makes the Clown.” They do sound like awkward translations from another language, don’t you think? Also, when I was listening to the song “Animal City” – something was a bit off with the lyrics. “It's an animal city / It's a cannibal world / So be obedient, don't argue / Some are ready to bite you, my love”. Scientifically, it would take an extreme situation for an animal to become a cannibal, so to compare an animal to a cannibal in terms of loving is well, weird! And cannibalism is not really just biting another animal – it is eating your own specie! Which really got me wondering, what was really the original message of this song because apparently, something got lost in translation here. Anyway, I should probably listen to the Spanish version and find out what she really wanted to say in this song and in the others as well.

Written by @tonyfabelous from Fabelousity

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