On the spanish-language albums that elevated her to Latin-rock-goddess status, Shakira Mebarak sounded playful, bohemian and rebellious. On her English-language debut, she sounds downright silly, but the blame is not entirely hers. Surrounded by a battalion of producers and songwriters, the twenty-four-year-old yodeling diva can't quite overcome the pedestrian nature of most of the material at hand, the bulk of which she co-wrote. Equally misdirected are her efforts to spice things up with obvious touches of Latin American folklore (the opening "Objection" sounds like a cross between "Livin' la Vida Loca" and an Astor Piazzolla tango). Shakira's voice is a wild and beautiful instrument, and she's capable of delivering scorching moments of musical passion, as her live performances have amply demonstrated. But if you take away the Zeppelin-esque crunch of the Glen Ballard-penned ballad "The One" and the sinuous chants of the Lebanese-flavored "Eyes Like Yours," you'll see that, for now, at least, Shakira's magic is lost in translation.
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