Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie

First Hit #1: June 17, 2006

I imagine Wyclef Jean is on this track because if it was just Shakira it would sound like she’s an incorrigible braggart. This is a song about how Shakira is amazing at dancing, while also being beautiful and having truthful hips. It’s not a bad choice, though Jean references the name of his band so much it’s kind of distracting, but I kind of wish Shakira’s first trip to the top was more of a Shakira song, and had lyrics that were a bit less about how generally amazing it is to be as beautiful and talented as Shakira. I say this because her voice is actually something a bit different, the accent giving it a flavor that distinguishes it from more than a few artists who are dancers first. It’s also nice to hear a song that owes its sound to trends far apart from what’s on the charts. This is not like Powter or Blunt just ignoring hip hop – after all, Wyclef Jean is right there – but it’s kind if a divergent evolution of trends, as it doesn’t owe a debt to the same trends that dominate. It’s different because it’s from a different culture, but it fits in because people aren’t that different, and popular music has a similar core no matter how much the instruments diverge.

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One Response to Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean – Hips Don’t Lie

  1. RBerman says:

    A fun debut. She’s like Celine Dion’s voice in Mariah Carey’s mid-90s body. Despite the lyric, she’s not really a dancer. It’s mainly the female answer song to any of several “Hey, you look good dancing in the club” songs we’ve seen here lately. The briefly heard clarinet is an unusual texture for 00s pop music; too bad we didn’t hear more of it. I wish the riff was a real trumpet voluntary, but it seems to be a keyboard. As with Sean Paul’s reggae, the rhythm is recycled from elsewhere; this one is called “Dem Bow” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUrZ-GwusJo).

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