Pop star Shakira is out with a new CD this week called "She Wolf." It's her first release since 2005's "Oral Fixation," Volumes 1 and 2, a release that sold 12 million copies.

Critic Tom Moon has our review of this new release.

(Soundbite of song, "Hips Don't Lie")

Mr. WYCLEF JEAN (Rapper): (Singing) Ladies up here tonight, no fighting�

TOM MOON: First of all, a confession. Any woman who locates her hips as the center of her intuition has my undivided attention.

(Soundbite of song, "Hips Don't Lie")

Ms. SHAKIRA (Musician): (Singing) I'm on tonight. You know my hips don't lie. And I'm starting to feel you boy. Come on let's go, real slow. Don't you see baby asi es perfecto.

MOON: That's the incandescent single by Shakira and songwriter-producer Wyclef Jean that made her inescapable in 2005. The pair is back on Shakira's new album, "She Wolf" with a song called "Spy."

(Soundbite of song, "Spy")

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) There's a spy above my window. I know it's you. You like keeping an eye on me. I know you like keeping an eye on me. There's a spy above my window. I know it's you.

Mr. JEAN: (Singing) It's me.

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) Won't you like to keep an eye on me? I know you like to keep an eye on me.

Mr. JEAN: (Singing) I feel, girl.

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) Keep an eye on me. But if you want it, gotta let it be.

MOON: Sounds like Shakira and Wyclef are trying to re-create the magic that worked last time, but like much of the plasticky, overproduced "She Wolf," the track falls flat. One reason is the rhythm: For the most part, Shakira has de-emphasized the Latin beats that marked her previous efforts and replaced them with generic dance-pop diva tracks.

(Soundbite of song, "She Wolf")

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) �feed the hungry. I've been devoting myself to you Monday to Monday and Friday to Friday. Not getting enough retribution or decent incentives to keep me at it. I'm starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office. So I'm gonna go somewhere cozy to get me a lover and tell you all about it.

There's a she wolf in your closet. Open up and set her free. There's a she wolf in your closet. Let it out so it can breathe.

MOON: Though she was once known for poetic, if slightly offbeat, expressions of love, this time, Shakira has dumb the lyrics down, way down. Here's the not-quite-profound refrain from a tune called "Gypsy":

(Soundbite of song, "Gypsy")

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) 'Cause I'm a gypsy. Are you coming with me? I might steal your clothes and wear them if they fit me. I never made agreements like a gypsy, and I won't back down 'cause life's already bit me, and I won't cry. I'm too young to die if you're gonna quit me 'cause I'm a gypsy.

MOON: Still, there are times on this CD when Shakira's brilliance comes through. Take this tune, which features her passionate vocals over a roaring Egyptian orchestra.

(Soundbite of song, "Why Wait")

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) Why wait for later? I'm not a waiter. Something's coming on, coming on strong. Don't take too long. Don't you wanna know. Baby come home. One more night with you. I won't think it through. Time's coming. But you knew nothing in the world you can think of that I won't do to you.

MOON: There's been much to admire on Shakira's previous records: By exploring new rhythms and sound combinations, she's expanded the parameters of dance pop. A few tracks on "She Wolf" do that, but most of the time, it seems Shakira is serving up what she knows will work commercially and nothing more. She might talk in these songs about being a bold, independent-minded woman, but when you get right down to it, she's mostly just following the pack.

(Soundbite of song, "Did It Again")

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) Hey! When it comes to men it's known that I end up choosing wrong �cuz I always trip and fall the same old rock and repeat and go back.

NORRIS: The new album from Shakira is "She Wolf." Our reviewer is Tom Moon.

(Soundbite of song, "Do It Again")

Ms. SHAKIRA: (Singing) Thought about everything, I'm so naive imagining all that. Did it again, now I got it all wrong. But it felt so right, I can't believe it. And all the mistakes that went on for too long. Wish there was a way I could delete it.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.