Open wide

Shakira's new album Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 is sung entirely en Español, the precursor to November 2005's English-speaking Oral Fixation, Vol. 2. But why wait for a translation? Do you tear your eyes away from the video for Fijación's crisply pulsing "La Tortura" to ask of a Spanish-speaking pal, "What the hell is that woman doing with her hips?" Of course not — Shakira speaks the international language. The album continues the Colombian superstar's method of writing most of her own material — of fusing her fiery, quirky personality to pop, dance and rock-en-Español texture — and talent is talent in any language. "En Tus Pupilas" is a dream, a silken whisper of a love stronger than the face of God, while the insistent "La Pared" is the sound of Shakira singlehandedly destroying the recent scourge of stolid Coldplay-ready piano ballads. Fijación remains easily melodic, from uplifting dance-pop ("Las De La Intuición"), to fun, cinematic bossa nova ("Obtener Un Si") and an anxious "Escondite Inglés," where Shakira gets possessed by Puffy AmiYumi and the organ solo checks "Rock Lobster" by the B-52s. Fijación Oral's musical eclecticism and breezy poetics make it a summer album. Don't wait until November to fall in love.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].

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