79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
I had never heard of Shakira before she released this cross-over English album, but it took less than a second for me to become a fan. I first encountered Shakira's name atop a list of most popular videos and wondered who in the world this performer was. The Whenever, Wherever video totally blew me away; I admit it took a couple of viewings for me to get past her beauty and all of those amazing little moves and shakes she has perfected, but pretty quickly I realized that the song in and of itself was addictive. Soon I was watching both the English and Spanish videos of the song, eagerly awaiting the moment when a CD full of Shakira's music would find its way to my stereo. As someone not very familiar with Latin music, this album brings a whole new type of sound into my world, and my appreciation and interest in this style has grown immeasurably as a result of my buying this album. My respect for Shakira likewise grew in leaps and bounds as I learned more about her, such as the fact that at 24 she not only wrote or co-wrote all of these songs but also produced them, as well as the fact that she was already one of the most popular Latin singers in her part of the world.
There is a lot of variety to be found on this album; alongside traditional Latin stylings, Shakira incorporates elements of Spanish, Arabic, and even good old American rock and roll music, melding all of these influences into a sound that is uniquely her own. Laundry Services offers up nine English-language songs, two Spanish tracks, and the Spanish versions of her two biggest hits. Now I wish I hadn't forgotten all the Spanish I learned in college, but it really doesn't matter all that much. Listening to Shakira sing in her native language is mesmerizing and provides a much clearer example of her unstoppable musical talent. Her English songs are great, but clearly she is more comfortable singing in Spanish, and the opportunity to listen to two great songs in both of their versions can be pretty illuminating. Whenever, Wherever pulses with obvious pop appeal, and it alone certainly earned Shakira this particular fan; its Spanish-language version, Suerte, is even more enjoyable. Underneath Your Clothes is a nice ballad that offers up the softer side of Shakira but fails to communicate the immense talents she has at her disposal. Tengo is a song that may not appeal to everyone, but I think its strong tango introduction makes for a great beginning of this cross-over album; closing the album with the Spanish-language version of the song, Te Aviso, Te Anuncio, is an equally nice and symmetrical touch. The One is another excellent ballad, while The Fool is a song that I would definitely release as a single; these two songs rival Whenever, Wherever as the best tracks on the album. Poem to a Horse is a rocking little number that belies its rather timid-sounding title. I don't know what Shakira is saying in Te Dejo Madrid and Que Me Quedes Tu, but I certainly like how she is saying it. The one and only song that comes across as a little weak is Rules, but I would like to say for the record that I personally would have no problem following any rules that Shakira might require of me.
This album isn't perfect, and in some ways it is a fairly unusual crossover album. Shakira's newly-learned English is not perfectly understandable at times (but the liner notes do contain all of the song lyrics) but her voice always resonates the beauty and passion and incredible talent she carries inside her. The Spanish tracks serve an important dual purpose - assuring her long-time Latin music fans that she has not abandoned them for the US market and allowing people like me to get an understanding and develop an appreciation of the incredible Latin music we have been missing out on all these years. Shakira has it all as far as I'm concerned, a true musical artist with a commitment to her career and to her fans all over the world that will assure her success for many years to come.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2001
First of all, I want to comment on critics who say the meaning is lost in translation on "Laundry Service." Some critics have attempted to compare "Laundry Service" with her former work. It is true that the brilliant "Donde Estan Los Ladrones," is her most outstanding work thus far. In fact it is pure brilliance.
But you cannot compare these two albums!! "Donde Estan Los Ladrones," was fully done in a romance language that can be fully appreciated: Espanol (Spanish). While the majority of the tracks in "Laundry Service" were done in her newly-found language: English. Last, music is universal, and musicians share with the world the talent that emanates from them, so while her music may not be at its best in a new language, her effort is inspiring.
That said, Laundry Service stands all on its own as an awesome, eclectic fresh debut from a very beautiful singing, creative and awe inspiring artist; Shakira. Note that on the back of the CD is says, "Entire album produced by Shakira." Friends, this is the truth! This woman emanates TRUE non-manufactured, raw, poetic, eclectic, lovely talent! Her unique, unforgiving, soaring, and flowing vocals, reminds the first time listener of a modern day Latin Janis Joplin in terms of power in the voice, crossed with Natalie Merchant?s soothing pipes, and Alanis Morisette?s angry voice ultimatums. Not only is Shakira's voice powerful and multi-versatile, but her stage presence, along with her eye candy beauty, makes her the complete all around diva. She can easily polish a heartfelt ballad, and rock like the rockera she is. That is what sets her apart, and that is why she has had worldwide success.
The first track on her mostly English cd, ?Objection (Tango)? is my favorite song on the CD!! This song is so awesome! I felt like a kid in a candy store listening to it more than a month and a half before the CD was released! I knew it would stir up some great sentiment! Objection is a tango song with a hard driving guitar and rhythmic singing that fits nicely. Track 2 ?Underneath your clothes? is a great ballad! WOW! The bridge in the middle is just what the song needed too. It?s almost an aside and then she comes back into the chorus; it works well! Track 3 ?Whenever, wherever? is a great song with an awesome debut video to match too! The hard, yet, subtle drums add life to the song and Shakira?s vocals paint a great picture! Track 4 "Rules" opens with a great guitar and rhythmic drum sound. The song is good. Track 5 "The One" is a great ballad that incorporates a soothing introduction and a continuously infectious hook! Love it! Track 6 ?Ready for the good times? lights up the room with a Selena disco medley beat! Track 7 "Fool" has a paceful beat and truthful lyrics that get your attention! It is a love rock ballad! Track 8 "Te Demo Madrid" is a great track that makes you want to get up, and dance and sing!! It has nice elements of alternative music mixed with rock and pop, the harmonica is great too! Track 9 ?Poem to a horse? is a rock song that has a very meaningful message in the lyrics. Track 10 ?Que me quedes tu? has a great Oriental type of intro with a flavoring 60s guitar, and then is warms into a ?Sombra de ti? (one of her former songs) type of singing and music beat! Love it!! It is a great ballad with soft touches mixed in with some up beat tempo. Track 11 ?Eyes like yours? is the English version of Shakira?s ?Ojos Asi.? This English version pails in comparison to the original Spanish version. I do like the chorus, but the non-chorus parts sound very awkward. Track 12 and 13 are Spanish versions of her English songs on the CD that are just as good as the English-language counterparts.
Shakira is only 24 years old and I cannot wait for all the good music and love that is too come from her! This will hopefully prove to America and the rest of the world, that true talent should rule the music world. Move over manufactured fakes, Shakira has taken the throne in the English market and previously in the Spanish market. Very soon, she will become a long lasting, cementable international star.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2002
I bought Shakira's album a few weeks ago, and it still manages to spellbind me. Her voice, her foot-thumping, dance-inducing beats, and the messages in the lyrics are so amazing that I can't stop listening to it! I don't speak that much Spanish (I'm taking it in school) but it is still so much fun to listen to and memorize the lyrics to them. My favorite songs are as follows:
1: Underneath Your Clothes. This song has a melodic pop-rock-then back to pop beat that keeps me humming and singing all day. The lyrics are strong and the vocals are great.
2: Te Dejo Madrid. No, I don't really know what she's saying, but the music and the fast beat combined with the quick and unforgettable vocals make this song one to remember.
3: Whenever, Wherever. I LOVE this song. It moves fast and never lets go, it's lyrics are constantly playing themselves in my head. I could never play this song out.
4: The One. A slower, yet very emotional song. It displays Shakira's true vocal talent when she spikes at those high, long notes.
5: Eyes Like Yours. This song has a catchy Arabic beat that makes you want to dance (and I do dance!). The lyrics are a little hard to remember, but definitely put this song up there.
Thsi CD is definitely a MUST-BUY for anyone that is interested in having a good time while listening to music.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2001
Let me get out of the way several aspects I have NO concern about, that being an artist's crossover aspirations and what language they sing in. None of that matters as long as the music itself demonstrates heart, soul, and ambition. As for Shakira, I'm a fan of her last two albums, and find that her artistic vision on LAUNDRY SERVICE has in no way been sidetracked by the words "crossover" or "language"...in fact, she seems to be solidly moving forward as an artist!
Shakira's voice is passionate and original (NOT an Alanis clone!), her lyrics are intriguing, and the song arrangements continue to balance rock, pop, dance, soul, and the subtle regional touches that one would expect by an artist born in Columbia. The songs are mostly brand new, although there is an English version of my all-time favorite Shakira track "Ojos Asi" (titled "Eyes Like Yours"), and two versions of the wonderful track "Suerte."
Contrary to another review, I see absolutely NO sign that Shakira has in any way compromised her music with teen-pop (or any other insincere) elements to appeal to a certain audience. The one way that she is widening her audience--by singing primarily in English--hasn't preoccupied her from building on the strengths of her past albums. In any language, Shakira is a true original!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2001
I was first introduced to the music of Shakira when I moved to Costa Rica five years ago. Her first CD, "Pies Descalzos", was a a huge hit here, as it was throughout Latin America. She followed this up with a slightly different, but equally successful CD, "Dónde están los ladrones?", produced by Emilio Estefan (Gloria's husband), and then with an MTV Unplugged CD. Under the guidance of the Estefans, Shakira learned English so that she could conquer the English-speaking market, and "Laundry Service" is her first foray into that market.
Shakira is a major-league talent. She is Colombian, with a Lebanese father, and her genius lies in her ability to fuse pop, rock, and various rhythms from different countries in an original and sophisticated way to produce immanently catchy songs which people of different cultures can identify with. Prominent examples of this are found on her second CD, where she uses a Mexican mariachi sound on "Ciega, sordomuda" and an Arabian sound on "Ojos Asi" (my personal favorite Shakira song, an English version of which appears as "Eyes Like That" on Laundry Service, translated by Gloria Estefan). On Laundry Service she also uses Peruvian flute sounds on "Whenever, wherever", the first single from the CD. And it is appropriate that for a CD aimed at a North American audience, one can hear, for the first time from Shakira, distinctly American sounds. A surf guitar sound appears on two songs, reminiscent of the guitar intro of Kenny Loggins' "Footloose."
Whoever compared Shakira to Alanis Morrisette doesn't really know Shakira's music. Unless you can say that anyone who sings a song or two about unrequited love is like Alanis, they are not in any way comparable. Her phrasing in a couple of songs reminds me of the lead singer for No Doubt, though I certainly wouldn't categorize her as being like anyone else. Her voice is powerful and unique.
Shakira has become more commercial over the years - she has dyed her hair blonde and she shakes her hips a lot in her music videos. But she is no Britney Spears clone. She is an intelligent, sophisticated artist who writes her own music, and her music is original. Having listened to "Laundry Service" three or four times now, I like it a great deal, though it doesn't grab me as much as her first two. This may come with time, however - I didn't like the second one so much when it first came out, and it eventually became my favorite. But you really can't go wrong with any of her CDs - they are all top-notch.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2001
I've been a fan of Shakira's for a couple of years now (ever since Estoy Aquí), but always wondered when she'd debut in English, and now she's done it with nine tracks (four are in Spanish) on LAUNDRY SERVICE. LAUNDRY SERVICE is a great collection of songs, albeit eclectic. There are almost Beachboyish moments; along with earthy real songs where Shakira almost seems disenchanted with life; very "pop"-inspired songs; and then culturally infused moments, most notably "Eyes Like Yours." Overall, though, Shakira comes off as the Shakira we've always known and loved, just in English. She HAS NOT "sold out," creating an album off pop inspired garbage; instead she's given us an English extension of previous albums, growing and evolving as an artist and part of that is broadening her appeal via English.
The latest hit single duo of "Whenever, Wherever / Suerte," which aren't exact translations of the other, will instantly grab you. The instrumentation, fast pace, great lyrics, and the way Shakira sings the song really captures your attention, and deservedly so. Great two songs!
Other headliners include both versions of the spirited, passionate "Tango;" "Underneath Your Clothes," that braves the line of being a little sappy, but is saved by Shakira's singing; earthy "Rules;" disco-inspired "Ready for the Good Times;" and seamless, joyful "Te Dejo Madrid." Each song is made memorable by unique instrumentation and the way Shakira incorporates her own little unique exclamations throughout the songs and the authenticity in her lyrics.
If you enjoyed any of her Spanish albums, you'll love LAUNDRY SERVICE.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2001
"Laundry Service" is a mix of catchy pop oriented songs ("Whenever, Wherever"/"Suerte", "Ready for the good times" which is ready for the dance floor) and rockier edges ("Rules", "Te dejo Madrid", "Poem to a horse", the rock ballads like "The one", "Underneath your clothes", "Fool", "Que me quedes tu"). I enjoyed the cultural mix in her sound, integrating latino beats, pop, oriental vibes. I understand, having heard the excellent "MTV Unplugged" as well, that her Spanish speaking fans might be a little deceived, but this is honestly a good pop-rock album high above today's common pop standards.
The voice is somewhere between Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan or Gwen Stefani sometimes, but she has enough personality to develop a completely personal style. She has what it takes to become a great artist. I read one of the previous reviewers said her accent was too strong to sing ballads in English - where did that person hear any trace of accent? The infused sound and the versatility of her voice makes it a record you do not really grow tired of, as you're travelling through diverse moods, rhythms and styles from track to track.
I am confident that her strong personality (which shines through the sometimes very naïve lyrics and her always inhabited interpretations) will guide her to make the right choices in the future. I will keep an eye on her next releases...
I was hesitant about purchasing this album because Shakira is (yet?) unknown in my corner of the world but I don't regret the encounter. Oh, and by the way, I am now out to complete my collection with her previous Spanish albums.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2002
"Laundry Service" is an honest album if nothing else. Shakira, a native Columbian, is used to writing in Spanish, and her first time writing in English (Laundry Service) proves to be truthful, honest, with the simplicities of phrase that we fluent in the language can fail to catch.
A Review of the Songs:
Objection/Tango: Love, love, love it! Great tango intro. The first English song Shakira ever wrote, this one is pretty good. 4/5 stars.
Underneath Your Clothes- Though the title is misleading, this ballad is beautiful...about the real person, not their outward appearance. 4/5 stars.
Whenever, Wherever- One of my favorites! A beautiful beat; the first single. 5/5 stars!
Rules- Pretty; an okay song. Could be a bit better. 3.5/5 stars.
The One- Cute, catchy lines! Luv it. 4/5 stars.
Ready for the Good Times- A dance song, peppy. 4/5 stars.
Fool- Could be a single! Great lyrics! 4.5/5 stars.
Te Dejo Madrid- A STANDOUT. I LOVE THIS!!! I believe that 'Te Dejo Madrid' translates as 'I leave you, Madrid'. Check me if I'm wrong, people fluent/native in Spanish! I still love this song, though (an entirely Spanish track). 5/5 stars.
Poem to a Horse- Alright. Soso lyrics, honest, but I don't get them that much! 3.5/5 stars.
Que Me Quedes Tu- Beautiful song in Spanish. I love ANYTHING she sings in Spanish! 4/5 stars.
Eyes Like Yours (Ojos Asi)- BEST ON THE ALBUM. A gypsy, medieval like intro into Arabic...singing in Arabic.....her voice- oh my goodness, EVERYTHING about this song is PERFECT! ...take my word for it- it is easily the best track on the album. She's nuts not putting it out as a single. 5/5 stars.
Suerte- Whenever, Wherever in Spanish. I'm still trying to translate it (somewhat), but it still is cool. 4/5 stars.
Te Aviso, Te Anuncio- Objection/Tango in Spanish. 4/5 stars.
All together, a beautiful, honest, raw album. She infuses so many styles- pop, rock, dance, gypsy- that you can listen to it all the way through and STILL be surprised. An awesome effort....no, an awesome ALBUM period.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2002
When you hear a Latin artist has released an English language album, you assume there will be plenty of bland love lyrics set to the kind of music you hear piped into your local Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant, where you try to enjoy a Cancun Combination Platter while trumpets blare in your ears.
Sexy Shakira blazes a pretty impressive pop album, with minor missteps. She used an Spanish/English dictionary and a thesaurus, and while some of the the songs are a little awkward, Shakira throws in so much ear candy, you will not care. Her album title refers to love being a jumble of so many different things, like a bunch of clothes in a washer. Song by song:
1. Objection (Tango)
Angry, kick butt song suffers from goofy tango opening that reminded me of Weird Al Yankovic, before the whole thing went into B-52s territory. Cool midway rap smacks me of T'Pau.
2. Underneath Your Clothes
A song about looking further than skin deep, Shakira's voice is great and raw. Cool opening line: "You're a song/ Written by the hands of God".
3. Whenever, Wherever
Current radio hit about obsessive love is a great dance track, with English lyrics cowritten by Gloria Estefan.
A Go-Go's riff kicks off a pure pop song with such an '80's feel, I felt a longing for "Night Tracks" and Yuri Andropov!
5. The One
Another heartfelt love song, which turns into a hard rock ballad part way through. A great balance, though, with Shakira's voice making the song.
6. Ready for the Good Times
Shakira goes '70's disco in funky dance song. She has found love, and will never let go. Where else will you hear a reference to seven legged cats?!
Sad lyrics about hating a mate so much, the pain becomes pleasure, made more effective by a folk opening breaking into another power ballad.
8. Te Dejo Madrid
Spanish language song is not translated in the liner notes, but sounds incredible!
9. Poem to a Horse
Weird title to a song about trying to reach someone completely wrapped up in themselves. Best line: "You keep on aiming for the top/ And quit before you sweat a drop".
10. Que Me Quedes Tu
Another Spanish language pop song that sounds great, but I do not remember enough of Senora Playa's high school Spanish class to know what Shakira is singing.
11. Eyes Like Yours
Smoldering lyrics about traveling the world to find the title cranial organs fits well with Asian Indian type instruments. George Harrison would be proud.
Spanish language version of "Whenever, Wherever" seems to flow better that the earlier song.
13. Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)
Spanish language version of "Objection (Tango)" seems to flow about the same as the earlier song.
This is a very good personal album, full of different songs. I was reminded of songs by everyone from Metallica to Falco, but Shakira makes all of these her own. She produced, and either wrote or cowrote all the songs, and I am looking forward to her next move. I highly recommend this album, Shakira's songs are a breath of fresh air in a sometimes smoggy pop field.
All of the song lines quoted are directly from the liner notes (when I was able to take my eyes off the very photogenic songstress).
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2004
With the release of Shakira's first English album, I find myself wondering how many other hugely talented Spanish musicians there are out there whom I'm missing out on. Not only did Shakira write all the songs on 'Laundry Service', she also produced the entire album. What surprised me after purchasing 'Laundry Service' was the fact that I actually really enjoyed its four Spanish tracks. I was also surprised at Shakira's talent for writing English lyrics. True, they are not amazing or flawless, but she is writing in a second language. I can barely form complete sentences in French or Spanish, let alone write song lyrics. I trust her Spanish albums are much deeper and she wears more of her heart on her sleeve, but I expect that, with practice, hopefully any future English albums will be just as meaningful. I look forward to watching Shakira grow into her second language skills, and hopefully she'll release another English album, awing us all with amazing development.
The album opens with the up-beat dancing track, 'Objection (Tango)'. I've loved this song since the very first time I heard it. It's a very fun and energetic song basically telling off a guy who pays more attention to another girl, rather than Shakira. It's too bad the video for it is terrible. The second track is the beautiful ballad, 'Underneath Your Clothes'. From the very first line of this song ("You're a song/Written by the hands above...") I was hooked. It's lyrics are sweet, and You can't help but fall in love with this song. The third track, and first single, to drop from 'Laundry Service' is the up-tempo 'Whenever, Wherever'. Despite the fact that it was so overplayed, I'm still not sick of it. I must say, that's quite a feat. This was a great choice for the first single, and I'll bet it surprised people when 'Underneath Your Clothes' also happened to be a big hit, knocking the presumed title of "One Hit Wonder" off the end of Shakira's name.
One of my favourite songs off of 'Laundry Service' is the fun 'Rules'. It's an up-beat, humorous track, stating that if her man wants to be with her, he has to be sure to follow all the rules she's laid out for him. These rules include only laughing if he's laughing with her and only crying if he's crying for her. Shakira also never fails to mention that he's condemned to her. I was actually surprised that this one wasn't released as a single, as I prefer it to 'The One'. Speak of the devil, the fifth track on the album is 'The One'. This was the fourth single to drop from Shakira's English debut. This is a mid-tempo love song with sugary sweet, romantic lyrics ("You're the one I need/The way back home is always long/But if you're close to me I'm holding on"). 'Ready For The Good Times' is a very energetic, up-beat track. I love the music on this one, and lyrically it's great too. The title basically explains the theme of the track, Shakira wastes no time in telling listeners that she doesn't want to sit back "watching other people live/Frozen by the fear to fail".
'Fool' is one of the best songs off of 'Laundry Service'. Lyrically, it's about Shakira not being able to help liking a man who doesn't like her back. It's a mid-tempo track and Shakira's voice sounds amazing on it. The first Spanish track on the album is 'Te Dejo Madrid'. Unfortunately, I don't own a Spanish-English dictionary, so I have no idea what she's singing about. Nonetheless, I absolutely adore the up-beat energy it's full of. This is one of the best tracks on the album. I completely love 'Poem to a Horse'. It has a great up-beat tune, and the lyrics are fabulous as well. There's only one mention of reading poems to the horse which occurs in the lines "What's the point of wasting all my words/If it's just the same or even worse/Than reading poems to a horse"). The second Spanish track on the album is the mid-tempo 'Que Me Quedes Tu'. Again, I have no idea what the lyrics are, but I don't mind it at all (this is coming from someone who figured she would have to skip all the Spanish songs). Shakira's voice sounds beautiful, very emotionally driven and sweet.
'Eyes Like Yours' is one of the best songs on the album. It was one of Shakira's Spanish hits, and she rewrote the lyrics in English for 'Laundry Service'. She sounds amazing on this version, and I love the lyrics, so she must sound even better on the Spanish version, and the lyrics must be flawless. The twelfth track on the album is 'Suerte'. It's the Spanish version of 'Whenever, Wherever'. I suppose that if you spoke Spanish, you would probably prefer it to the English version (because artists always seem to sound better in their mother tongue), but I prefer English simply because I'm able to sing along with the words without stumbling over myself. Following in the same footsteps as 'Suerte', 'Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)' is the Spanish version of the English 'Objection (Tango)'. Once again, the Spanish version is probably better, but my lack of bilingualism still sways me towards the English version.
The only thing really keeping Shakira's album from being unbelievably amazing is her lack of practice in writing English lyrics. Hopefully she will make another English record, and will then proceed to (optimistically) dazzle all of us listeners with her writing skills. Until then, I most definitely recommend 'Laundry Service' to all fans of energetic dance music.
THE FINAL VERDICT: 85%