Oral Fixation Vol. 2

Shakira's 2001 English-language debut, Laundry Service, may have expanded the Colombian superstar's audience far beyond her Latin fan bases, but it also scrubbed her particular blend of South American pop, Middle Eastern-influenced melodies and decidedly international dance music a little too squeaky-clean. Earlier this year, Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 reunited the gyrating beauty with her native tongue and more substantial material. Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 sustains that album's eclecticism and darker moods, but in English. "En Tus Pupilas" and "Dia Especial" have been rerecorded as, respectively, "Something" and "The Day and the Time," but the other nine cuts are more of a slightly inferior continuation than a bleached-out rehash. "Illegal" features Carlos Santana's instantly recognizable and somewhat disruptive guitar licks, but the "My Sharona"-biting riffs of "Animal City" effectively kick and snarl. Occasionally clumsy but most often clever, Shakira's English lyrics and performances still lack the confidence of her Spanish tracks, yet Oral Fixation manages to maintain the musical credibility that Fijacion Oral won back.

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