Shakira allegedly returns back to her original sound with ‘Loca’, a merengue flavored Latin dance track which foresees the release of her upcoming bilingual album, Sale El Sol. ‘Loca’ is being released in English and Spanish under the same title.

It draws a lot of influence from what she did in ‘La Tortura’ off Fijation Oral Vol. I. It is basically a cover of El Cata’s ‘Ella es Loca con su Tigre’, who also features in the Spanish version. It is naughty, sounds strictly Hispanic, as Shakira channels her inner Calle 13, or does an impersonation of Calle 13’s frontman by attempting to go Puerto Rican as she emulates the words to the song. The vocal arrangement is the only flaw; the way Shakira sings the track seems to be as a desperate attempt to express her empathy and connection to the Latin population after her underperforming venture in pop with She Wolf.

It sounds a little salsa, but predominantly merengue; its Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, the Dominican Repulic and Southern Florida comprised in three minutes. Lyrically, it is a new gear for Shakira, as the lyrics swing on the verge of racy (mostly in the Spanish version). It danceable and unquestionably saucy. If Shakira tinged at a sound like this with ‘La Tortura’, she is not playing and has let it all out in ‘Loca’.

It has obviously been done before in the likes of Calle 13, Olga Tanon and Thalia, along an extensive string of Latin performers, but since Shakira has made a breakthough internationally, she will surely make an actual impact with ‘Loca’ and introduce what others cannot deliver, say in the North American market.

★★★

C.Perez

Sale El Sol reportedly out October 19th, featuring production by The Neptunes, Lester Mendez and Jim Ronsin.

Download ‘Loca’