Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Shakira: She Wolf [Epic, 2009]
Finally, a much-delayed album is spiffed up instead of diddled around. The four songs added after it was finished lift the back end decisively: the first collab does Kid Cudi a favor, the second accepts one from Lil Wayne, and the two in Spanish come with her strongest melodies (translations, please!). Not that the rest is flat, exactly; "She Wolf" and "Spy" warble as winningly as anything on "Oral Fixation." But though I love her vibrato and hear the unidiomatic lilt of her English as a species of music, even I often felt in need of more. Admittedly, though, it wasn't just the extra tracks that swayed me. It was all the different ways she promised to love me. With Shakira, you figure different really means different. A-