After She Wolf and Sale El Sol (two albums that were released back to back) failed to ignite any hits or musical interest on the American charts (all I remember from her last album is Rabiosa and Loca), Shakira has got her eyes set on the club charts with her upcoming 8th studio album. And if Gloria Estefan can team up with Pharrell to create her forthcoming dance album (if you've heard her first sweat-igniting single Wepa you know what I mean), then why can't Shaki?
The Colombian bombshell hasn't begun work on the album, but word on the street is that Afrojack (Eva Simon's Take Over Control, Pitbull's Give Me Everything) may be on board as one of the producers, and she is planning meetings as well as a few beat listening sessions with some of the industry's top (read: safest radio hit bets) hitmakers, such as RedOne, Dr. Luke, Benny Blanco, Max Martin, Venus X and DJ Tiesto.
“I’m sending her a lot of hyrbrid-oriented stuff—Turkish reggaaton, a lot of kuduro that sounds like African trance,” Venus X tells The Fader. “Hopefully I’ll be able to introduce her to things that are working on the dance floor so she can translate and re-interpret them for universal pop.”
“Shakira wants to make dance music. She’s always been ahead of the curve. With “Ojos Asi,” she was doing Arabic instrumentals with Spanish vocals.”
I tend to cringe whenever some of my favorite pop performers start to work with the same five producers everyone works with in America, but if Shakira brings the international flavor to her new album like she did with one of my all time favorite songs Ojos Asi, then I think she might be on to something quite exciting. If she merges some international sounds and instrumental flavor over a hot universal club beat it will not only catapult her to the highest of pop statuses where she belongs, but it will also help her stand out from all the dance bandwagon jumpers that are not only flooding the charts with their dated interpretations of dance pop, but are doing a shitty job at it as well. I prefer sexy, animalistic Shakira over boring, R&B/pop Anglo sellout Shakira.
She hasn't been much on the U.S. radar since Laundry Service, and I've always loved when Shakira would experiment with different sounds. And since she as well as Madonna are looking to re-invent the dance wheel, I've got my sights set on two awesome albums I will be pumping throughout 2012. But with the list of producers rumored for her new album (excluding Venus X) I'm not going to lie I'm a bit worried. RedOne hasn't released a timeless pop hit since he gave Lady Gaga all his good beats for The Fame, Afrojack is wack, everyone and their mama is working with Dr. Luke and Max Martin, Benny Blanco is okay, and Tiesto is too trancey for my taste. Since Shakira is pretty much a control freak in the studio, I'm sure she will pull some of the best shit out of her producers.