By David Browne
Updated November 16, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

If one were to judge by the single ”Whenever, Wherever,” with its shameless Latin-pop hook and equally shameless writhing-in-mud video, you’d think this Colombian pop star would be a fireball, a distaff Ricky Martin. You’d be mistaken. Shakira’s first English-language album is the ultimate in crossover nightmares. Its wan ska-pop, faux-country ballads, and generic rock barely betray a Spanish accent or any musical heritage. (She can’t decide if she wants to sound like Alanis or Shania.) It’s enough to incite another anti-WTO rally.

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