By Jack Rico
Shakira’s 11th album El Dorado is a love letter to Colombia. The title itself refers to Colombia’s “lost city,” full of alluring mystery and enchantment. With thirteen tracks, the album is predominantly sung in Spanish, with four tracks in English, and one track in French. While some artists crash and burn while trying to transition into different genres, Shakira proves that she still has it in her and most importantly, her hits don’t lie.
El Dorado starts off with the catchy track, “Me Enamoré,” a song that will make anyone dance, whether you’re at home or at the club. This track hints at a romantic summer love that blossoms into a lifelong commitment.
The repetitive beats and lyrics of, “When a Woman,” makes this track a successful earworm. This song throws back to the same energy as her single, “She Wolf,” from 2009. The Shakira flair and repetitiveness of this track is what makes it work. Overall this song bleeds with female empowerment, singing about what a woman is capable of when it comes to love.
The best tracks from the album are the indie pop track, “Amarillo,” and her soft piano ballad, “Toneladas.” These tracks are much different from the rest of the album because they channel the Shakira that we originally fell in love with. Both tracks have soft indie vibes which immediately takes us back to her Pies Descalzos days. “Amarillo,” is the song that would be in the background of a romantic comedy montage, its lulling beats and lyrics makes you want to sway along to the rhythm, reminiscing about the head over heels part of a relationship. “Toneladas,” is an unconditional love anthem, her fans will be able to relate to the feelings she’s expressing through those lulling piano chords. This feels as a page straight out of a diary, a love letter that she’s finally sending to her one true love.
A definite standout from the album is, “Chantaje,” a collaboration with Colombian artist, Maluma. This reggaeton track is already making a buzz on Billboard’s Latin charts. This sultry duet mirrors the back and forth, hot and cold moments of a relationship.
Another standout track is her saucy bachata collaboration with Prince Royce, “Déjà Vu.” This tune is extremely catchy with beats that will leave you hypnotized. Not only is this song a standout within the album, but both fans of Shakira and Prince Royce have been raving about it nonstop ever since its released back in February — three months later, fans are still loving it. This is the first collaboration between these two and we still can’t get over just how well they sound together.
“Comme moi,” is one of the most versatile tunes in the album. She mixes reggaeton with undertones of tropical beats, English lyrics, and a French bridge rapped by Black M that will reel you in. Although this is not as popular as “Déjà vu,” it does prove once again that Shakira can do it all.
El Dorado is a new era for Shakira and fans alike. Although not every song is a record breaker, Shakira owns this album unabashedly － she is sharing a new chapter of her life with her fans after three-years. El Dorado seamlessly combines reggaeton, pop, indie, electronica, a piano ballad, and bachata.
Compared to her former albums, El Dorado will definitely make its mark amongst the Latin charts. While El Dorado hints at the familiar, it is an original work that will stick with fans through the years. It is the perfect blend of herself titled album Shakira and its predecessors Sale el Sol, and Pies Descalzos, but with a more edgy, sultry tone due to the mix of genres that she incorporates to keep things fresh.