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She Wolf

Latin funk from the belly dancing chanteuse

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Shakira | DANCES WITH WOLF Shakira's latest is full of wild beats

“I’m starting to feel just a little abused, like a coffee machine in an office,” Shakira warbles on the title song from her third English-language album. It’s an image so bizarre you’d laugh if you stopped to think about it—which you won’t, because you’ll be too busy dancing to the scratchy funk guitars, elastic bass line, and steady house pulse behind those words.

Similarly mesmerizing sounds abound on the rest of She Wolf, as the Colombian star dives headfirst into the omnivorous disco style she’s often flirted with in the past. A team of producers led by the Neptunes (back in peak form after a recent lull) surrounds her limber vocals with unorthodox grooves that incorporate reggaeton rhythms à la 2006’s smash “Hips Don’t Lie,” klezmer-esque horns, crisp new-wave riffs, and more.

With only nine tracks, followed by three español translations and a handful of superfluous bonus tunes, She Wolf feels a bit thin. That quibble aside, this is some of the most unusually effective dance-floor dynamite you’re likely to encounter all year. A-