She Wolf (album)


She Wolf (album)
She Wolf
Studio album by Shakira
Released October 9, 2009
Recorded 2008–2009
Compass Point Studios[1]
(Nassau, Bahamas)
Genre Dance-pop, electropop, latin pop, pop, world
Length 40:53
Language English, Spanish, French
Label Epic/Sony Latin
Producer Shakira (also exec.), Amanda Ghost(exec.), Lukas Burton, Future Cut, Jerry Duplessis, John Hill, Wyclef Jean, The Neptunes, Timbaland
Shakira chronology
Oral Fixation Vol. 2
(2005)
She Wolf
(2009)
Sale el Sol
(2010)
Singles from She Wolf
  1. "She Wolf"
    Released: July 13, 2009
  2. "Did It Again"
    Released: October 16, 2009
  3. "Give It Up to Me"
    Released: November 10, 2009
  4. "Gypsy"
    Released: March 26, 2010

She Wolf (Spanish: Loba) is the sixth studio album by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira, first released on October 9, 2009 through Epic Records and Sony Music Latin. The album sees Shakira shift from Latin pop and pop rock to electropop while also exploring dancehall. She co-wrote and co-produced all of the album, apart from her second US single, which was produced by Pharrell Williams and his production outfit. The album was preceded by the title single "She Wolf" ("Loba", in Spanish-speaking countries) which reached top 10 worldwide. "Did It Again" ("Lo Hecho Está Hecho" for Latin America) was released internationally as the second single whilst the US and Canada received the Timbaland-produced "Give It Up to Me". According to Nielsen Soundscan, She Wolf had sold 379,000 copies in the United States and over 2 million worldwide.[2]

Contents

Background and production

When speaking about the album Shakira said "I felt very curious and intrigued about the electro-pop world and everything it has to offer, I wanted to make sure that this album was very bassy and that the kicks hit really hard, and I wanted to concentrate on the beat. But my music, to a certain extent, is very complex -- because I always try to experiment with sounds from other parts of the world."[3] In addition to the disco-influenced title track, there's "Good Stuff", a synthed-out snake-charmer punctuated by ululating and staccato beats; "Long Time", a percussive midtempo groove with a Colombian Gaita bridge; and "Why Wait", a dancefloor scorcher by way of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". (Shakira worked on the arrangement with Hossam Ramzy, who had worked on "Kashmir" with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.) "It's an electronic album generally speaking, but it does have different organic instruments that, combined with the synthesizers, create a different sort of ambience," says the two-time Grammy and seven-time Latin Grammy Award winner. "You've got to put together a nice meal and make sure the spices don't take over the main ingredient. And at the end of the day, it gives a nice flavor in your mouth."[3] Shakira told Rolling Stone magazine that the album was recorded by Gustavo Celis during a series of 12-hour-a-day sessions mostly in the Bahamas with John Hill, Pharrell and other collaborators. The hard work helped transform her sound from the slithery Latin-tinged pop of “Hips Don’t Lie” to something more glitchy, buzzing and fiercely danceable. "It's very electronic and dance-oriented, club-oriented. It’s designed for people to have fun and enjoy themselves and forget about their troubles and the crisis,” says Shakira. She also says that she always wanted to do a bass-heavy record without losing “the fusion, which is something I’m always very interested in—bringing in elements from different cultures. So you’re going to find Colombian, Middle Eastern influences, but always with the synthesizers as a dominant element...The worst that can happen to me is repeating myself and repeating the same old formula,” Shakira tells Rolling Stone, adding that she takes a long time between records “because I really want to be sure every detail makes me happy". Shakira also said that she was very pleased to work once again with Wyclef Jean. She attributes some of their creative synergy to the fact that they "both come from the developing world and we have been close to extreme poverty.” Pharrell forced her to step outside of her box and learn to work more quickly, while Hill introduced her to electro acts like Crystal Castles: “They’re a good example of how electronica can take you to different places".[4] Shakira worked with Timbaland to produce her second US single "Give It Up To Me" which was originally recorded for his own album Timbaland Presents Shock Value 2.[5] Rolling Stone magazine confirmed that the song initially featured Timbaland rapping but his verse was replaced with Flo Rida and then later Lil Wayne. President of Epic Records Amanda Ghost, said of the recording "everyone’s breath was taken away when Lil Wayne said he wanted to jump on the record." The decision for Shakira to record the song is responsible for the delay of the album's release in the US.[6] In an interview with El Universal Shakira went on to speak about the album. She mentioned 9 of the 12 songs which appear on the track-listing as well as two others an English song titled "Send Me an Angel" and a Spanish song "Devoción" featuring Gustavo Cerati.[7] For undisclosed reasons these two song are not included in the album. "Devocion" was later included in her next studio album, Sale El Sol.

Songs

The title track "She Wolf" is a sleek, hi-NRG/Italo throwback that's drenched in disco strings and which disguises Shakira's quirky vocal tics with heaps of robot effects. The song's lyrics walk a fine line between campy and really campy ("I'm starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office"), and Shakira's ability to make likening oneself to a kitchen appliance sexy with just a simple moan is unrivaled. "Did It Again" is a bawdy electro-number where the Neptunes get bubbly synths and military drum patterns surround Shakira’s vixen-as-tease lyrics—arguably Shakira’s strongest suit—the whole thing perfectly apt for a weekend club excursion".[8] "Why Wait" relies heavily on the Neptunes’ trademark “dry drum” sound, using their old textural paintbrushes, while it is propelled by a driving 4/4 stomp. The Wyclef Jean track "Spy", meanwhile, carries on the disco-update theme of “She Wolf”, as thundering string quartets swirl around Shakira’s call-and-response vocals with Jean.[8] The pulsating John Hill electro-number "Men in this Town", is a dumbed-down ode to L.A. nightlife crammed with references to Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, SkyBar, and the Standard Hotel.[9] It was also described as an '80s-style electro stomper, a bit reminiscent of No Doubt".[10] "Long Time" and "Good Stuff" are filled with a hybrid of dancehall and Latin-pop rhythms.[9] Why 'Long Time' was described as "a sparse, carnivaly party tune";'Good Stuff' is a midtempo track with a Middle Eastern feel and a chorus that's a bit '80s radio."[10] In "Mon Amour", a noisy hunk of stadium rock, Shakira wishes her ex and his new girlfriend a terrible vacation in Paris. "Hope the French fleas eat you both alive," she sings, "And your room smells, and the toilet doesn't flush, and the locals treat you mean, and the service takes too long..." 'Gypsy', an Amanda Ghost co-write got a countryish feel to it, complete with mandolin and strings."[10]

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[11]
Billboard (mixed)[12]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[13]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[14]
The New York Times (unfavorable)[15]
NME (7/10)[16]
The Observer 4/5 stars[17]
PopMatters (5/10)[18]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[19]
Slant 3/5 stars[9]
Spin 3.5/5 stars[20]

The reception to 'She Wolf' was positive. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 72.[21] David Balls of Digital Spy gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and said "At just over 30 minutes in length, this is a bantamweight boxer of a pop album – a bit on the slight side, but there's barely an ounce of fat on it. ... Her ability to mix this album's eclectic range of influences into a listenable, cohesive collection of songs should be ample compensation. Holding it all together, of course, is that distinctive voice."[10] Niel McCormick from The Telegraph agreed, saying, "In her quest to extend her appeal from her Spanish language base to global superstardom, there is a sense that Shakira is genuinely trying to invent something original. The 32-year-old’s Latin rhythms, vocal tricks and ear for eccentric hooklines have lifted her out of pop rock homogeneity. ... The result is a groovier, more modern and electro-flavoured collection, yet it is Shakira’s weird mash of melodies, multiplicitous vocals and man-eating lyrics that define its character. ... When it comes together, the result can be so inventive and surprising you can hardly believe your ears."[22] Dan Cairns of Times Online said, "In a world not short of female singers who foreground their sexuality while in the process obscuring their identity, Shakira stands out. She defines the terms of her sexuality, she’s also defending her inalienable right to be, well, a bit silly. She remains poised on the brink of perpetual laughter, it shouldn’t detract from the meticulous attention to detail that distinguishes this as a superior pop album."[23] Johnny Davis from The Guardian also commended the album by saying "Sure, a combination of Latin licentiousness and English self-taught via Bob Dylan lyrics and a thesaurus means you're never quite sure the Colombian singer knows what she's saying, but third English language album proves she does. The music's Pharrell Williams-assisted dancefloor pop; the words entirely Shakira's. Preposterously brilliant."[24] Mike Diver from BBC Music echoed previous reviews stating that "the darkness that creeps in from the edges of this record is always kept at bay by playful and inventive instrumentation and quirky wordplay from the singer, at her best when making like Mariah Carey after a quarter-bottle of tequila and a weekend lost in the rainforest: you sense she could hit the highest of notes if she wanted, but a deliberate weariness keeps her histrionics in check. One can conclude She Wolf is perhaps the most enjoyably varied pop album of 2009."[25] On the Allmusic review, the album received 4.5 out of 5 stars. "This time, she focuses on one sound only: a pulsating electro-disco that crosses all boundaries and welcomes all nationalities. Such concentration behooves Shakira, freeing her to release her inner She Wolf, a wild wacko who's as coo coo as she is carnal. ... this blend of cheerful weirdness and sick beats — often supplied by the Neptunes, delivering tough, sensual rhythms in a way they haven’t in a long time, but also John Hill and Wyclef Jean — is giddily addicting, a celebration of all the strange sensuality that comes out at night".[11] Jim Cantiello from MTV News called the album "jaw-droppingly wild and deliciously unpredictable" and even went as far as saying "is one of my favorite pop albums of the year (if not the decade — yes, I said decade)"[26] Tamara Palmer from Metromix said "it’s all about those snappy and nimble Neptunes tracks, which refreshingly don’t sound like the predictable Pharrell-and-Chad beats from years past."[27] Andy Gill from The Independent also commented on the style of the album "There's also a significant sea-change in Shakira's sound, mostly courtesy of The Neptunes, which brings her more in line with the contemporary generic dancefloor electro employed by less distinctive pop divas."[28] Johnny Dee from Virgin Media said "With 'She Wolf', Shakira has made one of the most ridiculously catchy and properly bonkers pop singles of the decade. Shakira’s talent is she turning these soap opera lyrics into excellent pop songs."[29]

Chart performance

Shakira performing She Wolf at the 2010 NBA All-Star Game

"She Wolf" debuted at number fifteen on the Billboard 200 chart with sales of 89,000 units. According to Nielsen Soundscan, the album was Shakira's lowest charted album so far. After two weeks, the album sales total was 158,000 units.[30] About the sales, a spokeswoman from Epic Records said, "After a four year hiatus, Shakira came back with a great album and we are very happy with its progress, this project was never about the first month for us,".[30] According to Nielsen Soundscan, "She Wolf" has sold 379,000 copies alone in the U.S.[31] However, the album has been moderately successful worldwide, having been certified Gold in Russia, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, France, Argentina, Greece, and Hungary, Platinum in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East, 2x Platinum in Colombia and Mexico, and 3x Platinum in Taiwan. Before the release of She Wolf in the U.S., the album sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and reached number one in 18 countries according to her label.[32][33] The album debuted at number two at Billboard European Top 100 Albums.[34] In February 2010, She Wolf was certified Platinum in the GCC by IFPI Middle East.[35]

Release

Shakira performing "Gypsy" in Manchester, on The Sun Comes Out World Tour

Shakira's official website announced that "The full album is due out in October 2009 from Epic" and it "features a predominantly English track list". The site also announced that a Spanish album will be released in 2010.[36] Shakira premiered "She Wolf" on Z100[37] and KIIS-FM on July 13, 2009.[38] Shakira stated in an interview that the album will have 3 Spanish songs.[37] It was since revealed on her official website that the album would be released November 23 in the USA with exclusive bonus content that would not be available elsewhere. In Argentina, Colombia (and possibly others Spanish-speaking countries too) "Loba" was re-released on March 22, 2010 with extra features like the Spanish version of the single "Gypsy" ("Gitana") and remixes.[39]

Singles

  • "Loba" was released as the lead single from the album on June 29 and "She Wolf" on July 6. Written by Shakira and John Hill, the song was well received by critics. The single reached top-ten worldwide.
  • "Did It Again" was released as the official second single internationally on October 16, 2009. It was released with a Spanish counterpart title "Lo Hecho Está Hecho" and has reached the top 40 in most countries including #17 in Ireland, #26 in Switzerland, #29 in the UK and #34 in Germany and Austria.
  • "Give It Up to Me" was released as the second single from the album (third overall) in Canada and the US on November 10, 2009 and features rapper Lil Wayne. It was produced by in-demand hip-hop producer Timbaland and had originally been recorded for his album Shock Value II. It reached 29 and 31 in the US and Canada respectively. The song doesn't appear on any version released in Spanish speaking territories.
  • "Gypsy" is the fourth and final single from the album, although it is the third single in each country, it is being serviced with Spanish version "Gitana" which is not included on the album. "Gypsy" and "Gitana" were sent to radio stations around the world on February 22, 2010 and the song's video features tennis star Rafael Nadal.

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "She Wolf"   Shakira, John Hill, Sam Endicott Shakira, Hill 3:10
2. "Did It Again"   Shakira, Pharrell Williams Shakira, The Neptunes 3:13
3. "Long Time"   Shakira, Williams Shakira, The Neptunes, Hill (add.) 2:56
4. "Why Wait"   Shakira, Williams Shakira, The Neptunes, Hill (add.) 3:43
5. "Good Stuff"   Shakira, Williams Shakira, The Neptunes, Hill (add.) 3:18
6. "Men in This Town"   Shakira, Hill, Endicott Shakira, Hill 3:36
7. "Gypsy"   Amanda Ghost, Shakira, Ian Dench, Carl Sturken, Evan Rogers Shakira, Ghost, Lukas Burton, Future Cut 3:18
8. "Spy" (featuring Wyclef Jean) Shakira, Jean Shakira, Jean, Jerry Duplessis 3:27
9. "Mon amour"   Shakira, Albert Menéndez Shakira, Hill 4:06
10. "Lo hecho está hecho"   Shakira, Jorge Drexler, Williams Shakira, The Neptunes 3:13
11. "Años luz"   Shakira, Drexler, Williams Shakira, The Neptunes 3:44
12. "Loba"   Shakira, Drexler, Hill, Endicott Shakira, Hill 3:09

Personnel

From Allmusic.com[45]

  • Mert Alas - Photography
  • Michael Brauer - Mixing Engineer
  • Lukas Burton - Producer
  • Míguel Bustamante - Mixing Assistant
  • Gustavo Celis - Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Vocal Engineer, Vocal Mixing
  • Olgui Chirino - Vocal Arrangement, Vocals (Background)
  • Dave Clauss - Engineer
  • Andrew Coleman - Arranger, Digital Editing, Engineer
  • I. Dench - Composer
  • J. Drexler - Composer, Lyricist
  • Jerry Duplessis - Producer
  • S. Endicott - Composer
  • Future Cut - Producer
  • A. Ghost - Composer
  • Amanda Ghost - Producer
  • Ryan Gilligan - Mixing Assistant
  • Hart Gunther - Assistant Engineer
  • Will Hensley - Mixing Assistant
  • Mario Inchausti - Vocal Arrangement
  • Wyclef Jean - Composer, Producer, Vocals (Background)
  • Alladin El Kashef - Engineer
  • Jaume Laiguana - Art Direction, Design
  • Michael Larson - Assistant Engineer
  • Alex Leader - Engineer
  • Stephen Marcussen - Mastering
  • PJ McGinnis - Assistant Engineer
  • Vlado Meller - Mastering
  • A. Menendez - Composer
  • Miami Symphonic Strings - String Arrangements
  • Walter Murphy - Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
  • The Neptunes - Producer
  • Jessica Nolan - Project Supervisor
  • Dave Pensado - Mixing Engineer
  • Marcus Piggott - Photography
  • Ed Rack - Engineer
  • Hossam Ramzy - Percussion Arrangement, String Arrangements
  • Andros Rodriguez - Digital Editing, Engineer, Mixing, Vocal Engineer
  • Christina Rodriguez - Art Direction, Design
  • E. Rogers - Composer
  • Jon Secada - Vocal Arrangement
  • Shakira - Art Direction, Composer, Design, Lyricist, Percussion Arrangement, Producer, String Arrangements, Vocal Arrangement, Vocals (Background)
  • Serge Tsai - Engineer, Vocal Engineer
  • Sergio "Sergical" Tsai - Mixing Engineer
  • Joe Vilicic - Engineer
  • William Villane - Mixing Assistant
  • Lawson White - String Arrangements
  • Ed Williams - Vocal Engineer
  • P. Williams - Composer
  • Andrew Wuepper - Mixing Assistant

Charts, sales and procession

Charts

Chart (2009/2010) Peak
position
Argentina Albums Chart[46] 1
Austria Albums Chart[47] 4
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[48] 12
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[48] 11
Canadian Albums Chart[49] 18
Croatian International Albums Chart[50] 3
Danish Albums Chart[51] 31
Dutch Albums Chart[52] 5
European Top 100 Albums[34] 2
Finnish Albums Chart[53] 21
French Albums Chart[54] 7
French Top 50 Digital Chart[55] 1
German Albums Chart[56] 3
Greek Albums Chart[57] 22
Hungarian Albums Chart[58] 23
Irish Albums Chart[59] 1
Italian Albums Chart[48][60] 1
Japanese Albums Chart[61] 26
Mexican Albums Chart[62] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[63] 24
Polish Albums Charts[64] 17
Portuguese Albums Chart[48] 5
Spanish Albums Chart[65] 2
Swedish Albums Chart[66] 23
Swiss Albums Chart[67] 1
UK Albums Chart[68] 4
US Billboard 200[49] 15

Sales and certifications

Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
Argentina[69] Platinum (CAPIF)
Brazil[70] Platinum (IFPI)
Chile[71] Platinum (IFPI)
Colombia[72] 2× Platinum (IFPI)
France Platinum[73]
GCC[35] Platinum (IFPI Middle East)
Greece[74] Gold (IFPI Greece)
Hungary[75] Gold (MAHASZ)
Ireland[76] Gold (IRMA)
Italy[77] 2× Platinum (FIMI)
Mexico[78] 2× Platinum (AMPROFON)
Poland[79] Gold (ZPAV)
Russia[80] Gold (NFPF)
Spain[81] Platinum (PROMUSICAE)
Taiwan[82] Platinum (IFPI)
Switzerland[83] Gold (IFPI)
United Kingdom[84] Platinum (BPI)
Venezuela[85] Gold (IFPI)

Year-end charts

Chart (2009) Rank
French Albums Chart[86] 121
Mexican Top 100 Albums[87] 12
Spanish Albums Chart[88] 38
Swiss Album Chart[89] 78
Chart (2010) Rank
Spanish Albums Charts[90] 24
Swiss Albums Chart[91] 84
US Billboard 200[92] 114

Chart procession and succession

Preceded by
Nada es Color de Rosa by Yuridia
Mexican Albums Chart number-one album
October 19, 2009- November 9, 2009
Succeeded by
Paraíso Express by Alejandro Sanz
Preceded by
Celebration by Madonna
Irish Album Chart number-one album
October 15, 2009 - October 22, 2009
Succeeded by
Crazy Love by Michael Bublé
Preceded by
Le Clan des Miros by Renan Luce
French Digital Top 50 number-one album
October 25, 2009 - November 1, 2009
Succeeded by
La Superbe by Benjamin Biolay
Preceded by
Touch Yello by Yello
Swiss Albums Chart
October 15, 2009 - October 22, 2009
Succeeded by
Liebe ist für alle da by Rammstein
Preceded by
Nada es Color de Rosa by Yuridia
Argentina Albums Chart
October 16, 2009 - November 7, 2009
Succeeded by
Mercedes Sosa by Mercedes Sosa
Preceded by
Arrivederci, mostro! by Luciano Ligabue
Italian Albums Chart number-one album
August 08, 2010 - August 22, 2010
Succeeded by
"The Final Frontier" by Iron Maiden

Release history

English release

Region Date Format Label Catalog
Austria[93] October 9, 2009 Standard edition (CD, digital download) Sony Music Entertainment 88697595872
Belgium[93]
Germany[94] 88697381882
Italy[93] 88697595872
Ireland[93] 88697591412
Netherlands[93] 88697381882
Switzerland[95]
New Zealand[96] 88697595872
France[97] October 12, 2009 Jive Epic, Sony Music 88697381882
United Kingdom
[98][99]
RCA Records 88697591412
Extended edition (CD, digital download) 88697595872
Denmark[100] Standard edition (CD, digital download) Sony Music Entertainment 88697381882
Finland[101]
Greece[102]
Philippines[103] October 14, 2009
Sweden[104]
Norway[93]
Japan[105] Sony Music Japan EICP1273
Brazil[106] October 15, 2009 Sony Music Entertainment 886973818824
Turkey[107] October 22, 2009 88697381882
Australia[108] November 6, 2009 886975914128
Canada[109] November 23, 2009 88697381882
United States[110] Special edition (CD, digital download) Epic Records 886976169527

Spanish release

Region Date Format Label Catalog
Colombia[111] October 10, 2009 Standard edition (CD, digital download) Sony Music Entertainment 886975991228
Mexico[112] October 12, 2009 88697599122
South America[93]
Portugal[93] 88697599122
Spain[93] October 13, 2009
Argentina[39] March 22, 2010 Special edition (CD, digital download)

References

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