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Women take control of their sorrow with Shakira

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Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment US Latin
Shakira released her most recent album, “Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran,” on March 22, this being her twelfth album released, the most recent being from 2017.

4.5 out of 5.0 stars
On March 22, Latin pop sensation Shakira released her twelfth studio album, “Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran” ( translated as “Women No Longer Cry”).  The singer has made a comeback with this album after the release of her eleventh studio album, “El Dorado,” in 2017. Shakira has stayed in the public eye since with the release of two collaborations, including Anuel AA’s “Me Gusta” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “Girl Like Me” in 2020. That same year, Shakira captivated audiences with her performance at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show with Jennifer Lopez. In 2022, the artist went through a public divorce from Spanish soccer player Gerard Piqué and a tax evasion scandal. 

Reflecting the singer’s transition from alternative Latin rock and pop to dance pop in 2009, the 16track album is a blend of the two styles with dance Pop songs like “Puntería” and alternative Latin rock songs like “Cómo Dónde y Cuándo,” making the album a rich listening experience. The album as a whole is masterfully produced, primarily by Shakira. Before the album’s debut, Shakira released eight singles for the album “Te Felicito” with Rauw Alejandro; “Monotonía” with Ozuna; “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions;Vol. 53” with Bizarrap; “TQG” with Karol G; “Copa Vacía” with Manuel Turizo; “El Jefe” with Fuerza Regida; “Puntería” with Cardi B; and “Acróstico,” the only single that doesn’t feature another artist.

The album opens with “Puntería,” a Dance Pop collaboration with New York rapstress Cardi B. Throughout the song, Shakira expresses how the man she is with has “good aim” and knows what to do, what to wear and what to say to get her attention. She tells her lover that no matter how she tries to avoid his love, it consumes her and that no other men can get her attention. Shakira feels like she is captivated by this man’s actions and that everything that should feel wrong feels right. Cardi B’s verse matches perfectly with the dance beat and her vocals in the final verse with Shakira, showing an unconventional side to the rapstress’ artistic skills.

“La Fuerte” allows Shakira to express how she had to be the strong one and how hard it was for her to be in a relationship. She wishes that she had set her pride aside and asked for her needs to be met while in the relationship with her first words being, “If I had known it was going to be the last time, I would have enjoyed it more” (translated from Spanish). The beat juxtaposes the melancholic theme of the lyrics. Produced by Bizarrap, the upbeat backing pulls the listener into the song while allowing Shakira to pour her heart out in the lyrics. Shakira is pleading with her ex lover asking him to tell her if he still loves and remembers her. She says that in his absence, her lover has left a void in her. 

“Tiempo Sin Verte” is a Latin alternative rock song where Shakira again expresses how hard a relationship has been on her. The artist talks about how she hasn’t seen her lover in a long time and that not a day goes by where she doesn’t think of him. As the song comes to a close, she expresses how she has had to “play strong” after breaking up with her lover. 

“(Entre Parentesis)” with Grupo Frontera is a blend of the Regional Mexican and Alternative Rock genres that tells the story of a woman whose partner is pulling away from her and putting an end to it. In the chorus, Shakira and Payo Solís of Grupo Frontera sing “This doesn’t give anymore. You put the end in parenthesis (translated from Spanish). “TQG” is a heartbreak song, where Shakira and Karol G take pride in breaking up with their ex partners before it was too late. Dedicated to and sung with her children, “Acróstico” is a piano ballad that spells the names of her children, Milan and Sasha, in each chorus. The album, filled with 11 other dynamic songs, is a look into Shakira’s heart. As a whole, it is one of the most genre defying albums she has released. 

“Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran” takes inspiration from so many influential Latin genres and pulls together beautifully. Shakira’s vocals are on display while she also highlights the talents of all the artists she collaborated with on the album. Shakira’s choice to not record these songs in English shows that she is finally making music she loves after finding confidence in her artistry. Listen to the album and just get into it, it has something for all listeners, from Shakifans and Wolfies to the casual listener.

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