Shakira makes pop music the way the Coen brothers make movies. There’s something just a little bit off about it. The fundamentals and foundation are there, but beyond that, the playing field is wide open. On her third English album (and first in four years), Shakira frontloads with eight songs in English before wrapping up with three Spanish tunes. Throughout She Wolf, she and her producers (mostly the Neptunes) tear through a set of songs where the pop princess howls, pants and cracks her voice in that way that she does. On the title tune, she prowls in search of prey, electronic burbles skittering and propelling every skulking move. And “Good Stuff” flips a bunch of sounds from the Neptunes catalog into super-hooky pop candy. She Wolf is mostly about sex — alone, with others. Doesn’t matter. Shakira unleashes a sexy beast here, inviting listeners to come along for the ride. It’s her call of the wild. —Michael Gallucci
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