Something tells me this song would’ve done better had it been released during the summer, not the Christmas single release week. No matter though, Shakira’s back with the lead single from a brand new album, ‘Sale el Sol’, and it’s called ‘Loca’. How very exciting, and after the ‘She Wolf’ era ended it’s successes with the title track, she’s only gone and got Dizzee Rascal, a man who’s had quite a good run of chart luck (five non-consecutive #1 singles in the last two years), to feature, so as to ensure maximum success.
If you thought thing went a little too pop and not enough Latino on her last LP effort, those worries are soon a distant memory because as soon as ‘Loca’s introduction hits you, it’s clear Shakira is back with the heavily influenced Latino-pop she’s most well-known for. The song itself hails from a special type of Spanish dance music called merengue, which consists of a dance beat, western pop influences and traditional Spanish instrumentation such as the tribal drum loop and the saxophone, all of which are used in ‘Loca’.
On Shakira’s part, she’s up to her old antics of not so much singing, but slurring out the lyrics as fast as possible with a couple of sultry groans to add a bit of sexual appeal, then slipping seamlessly into a bit of Spanish before ruining much of the fun by imitating a goat when she sings “I’m crazy but you like it/Loca, loca, loca,” (Loca translates as ‘crazy’). However, that’s nothing on how Dizzee Rascal pops up like a bad smell and proves he’s still a far cry from the rapper he was from his ‘Boy In Da Corner’ days just by the simplicity of the first lyric – “Dat girl is a nuttuhh”.
Here’s the video. Unfortunately, Shakira’s belly dancing isn’t all that when she’s got no belly to dance with.
It’s a partial success. ‘Loca’ is extremely catchy for all the wrong reasons; Shakira’s inability to pronounce words properly (just listen to the way she says “loca”) and her usual vocal foibles do stunt the fun of the song, and of course, Dizzee Rascal’s addition is pointless and the song would probably serve better if there was no collaborator. But one thing is for certain, and that is this song a fun. WAY fun. Perhaps a bit too much fun for these cold winter months where we’re actually getting snow, but at least it’s a promising lead single for what should be a brilliant return to form with ‘Sale el Sol’ after the disappointing ‘She Wolf’.
Rating: 4.0 STARS
Download: December 13, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Sale el Sol’