Anymore, in this current pop climate, if a female singer wants to break through, she has to have something different than everybody else. Such as, perhaps, a vocal range that ranges from bubble-gum to soul sister. And belly-dancing skills can’t hurt either.
Enter Shakira and her third album, Laundry Service. This driving record sets her apart from her competition with a quickness. While Britney is speaking breathlessly in her latest release, Shakira is belting out at the top of her lungs, and pop is better for it. Let Miss Spears show off her navel; Shakira makes hers move like a snake.
And it is that Middle Eastern blood that lifts this album. The music is influenced heavily by rhythms and instrumentals from that region, and Shakira’s voice adds a mysterious tilt to tracks like “Eyes Like Yours” and the powerhouse single “Whenever, Wherever” (and if you can’t get enough of that particular song, check out its twin, “Suerte,” which is in Spanish, like several other songs on this album). The English-language market is there for Shakira; the question is if it’s ready to shake.