« Previous | Main | Next »

Shakira - 'She Wolf'

Post categories:

Fraser McAlpine | 15:42 UK time, Monday, 14 September 2009


No matter how eye-catching the video may be - and there are some people on the internet who are reacting like Elmer Fudd used to in the old cartoons, when Bugs Bunny dressed up as a girl - no matter how disco-tastic the song - and it is PLENTY disco-tastic - there's one tiny little problem with Shakira's latest which may threaten to ruin the whole thing. It's a bit like the Princess And The Pea, and I'm the princess.

The pea is this: If you're going to pretend that you're a werewolf, even a sexy werewolf in a leotard, with no body hair and no tail, it would be a good idea to spend some time getting the howl right. In a song about wolves, the howl is the key thing you can't mess up. You know it, I know it, and the people who made Being Human DEFINITELY know it.

Shakira's howl is so half-hearted it makes a hilltop lit by the full moon at midnight seem more like a dark back garden under a gibbous cloud.

(Here's the video. That is one bendy wolf.)

Have a listen...go past the 'Music Sounds Better With You' pulsating filter-disco - complete with strings, robot burps, chuntery funk guitar and orchestral stabs - past the verses, which are the best thing about the song by a country mile, even with the odd warbly vocal bits in. What you're looking for is the chorus, the moment where, if this were a film, the clouds would part, the moon would shine down and Shakira's toes would become awfully hairy.

"There's a she-wolf in the closet", sings Shaky, "open up and set us free...", and THAT'S where the howl happens. "Ah-wooo" , she goes, sounding for all the world like a bored child-minder, sitting with her toddlers on that fairground ride which is essentially giant plastic ladybirds going around in a bumpy circle.

"Ah-wooo" , she says, eyes a-rolling, "are you having fun yet? Johnny? Jemima? It's exciting, isn't it? Ah-wooo. Ah-wooo."

Oh wait, did I say the verses are the best bit? Can I qualify that by adding that the best verse of all is the vocoder-harmony robo-choir climax in verse 3? That makes up for EVERYTHING...

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: September 21st
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.