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Home Culture ‘Women no longer cry’: Shakira finishes the demolition and sculpts a monument to current pop culture | Culture

‘Women no longer cry’: Shakira finishes the demolition and sculpts a monument to current pop culture | Culture

by News Room
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Shakira has just finished a demolition job that started two years ago. Of narrative demolition towards her ex-partner, but also conceptual: demolishing the old Shakira to musically reconvert herself into an artist anxiously tied to her time. The great battles are won in the most extreme moments and the Colombian has emerged victorious today after facing the most turbulent period of her 47 years of existence: added to the breakup of her marriage were her problems with the Spanish Treasury and the illness of her father. And in that troubled environment arises the reconstruction of Women no longer cry, that it is not just an album: it has the category of monument to today’s pop culture, that of the sparkling world of TikTok, that of frivolity, that of allowing the people to entertain themselves watching how two celebrities tear themselves apart before their eyes, the of music without musicians, that of processed sound, that of desperation to embrace the trend of a fashion that transmutes every week… Also that of sisterhood and feminine strength, already from the album’s title itself.

Throughout three decades of recording career, the singer from Barranquilla always tried, with greater or lesser success, to position herself as a contemporary artist, someone with the radar activated to capture in real time what was happening in music. Sometimes she arrived late, other times she was completely right and quite a few she stayed halfway. But it is today that this desire to adapt to the times makes more sense, very meritorious, being an artist with a long career. There is a lot of urban genre in the album, starting with several of the rules that the style that dominates current music has imposed, such as the obligatory collaborations (of the 16 songs, she only dares to do four on her own) or the length of the songs, around three minutes, the standard time that our brain is capable of maintaining attention today. At least, that is what consumer gurus have defined in the digital age.

The Colombian connects the antenna well and detects the current fury over the revival of disco music, the vindication of afro-beat, the emergence of the Mexican regional, reggaeton (but not much)… And he is accompanied by leading artists of these trends, such as the rapper Cardi B, that urban genius that is Bizarrap, the Mexicans of Fuerza Regida, his compatriot Karol G or the reggaeton singer Rauw Alejandro. In some moments a recognizable Shakira emerges, with the howls of a wolf or the return to the pop-rock of her most classic times. Almost all of her songs sound rabidly commercial, with their very singable choruses, everything ready to fill bernabéus. And since we are talking about a concept album about her sentimental fiasco, it is fun to look for reproaches and insults directed at her ex-partner. One has a great time, come on.

Shakira with Cardi B, with whom she sings ‘Puntería’, in an image published on the Colombian’s Instagram account.Instagram

Seven of the 16 songs Women no longer crytheir first full-length album in seven years (the previous one, The Golden, saw the light in the distant 2017), they were already published. In them the singer exposes the different phases she went through after breaking up her marriage. These moods are very explicit from the title: the mordant Congratulations (with Rauw Alejandro); the bachata and nice Monotony (with Ozuna); the gang of girls, in partnership with Karol G, I look great to you; the forgettable ballad with his children, acrostic; the futile empty cup (with Manuel Turizo); the result and opportunist lying down The boss (with Fuerza Regida, the only letter of the seven that does not deal with the breakup), and the irresistible hit with Bizarrap Sessions, Vol. 53, an anthem that will bounce around in our skulls for a long time. From the lyrics of this last song he has extracted the title of the album: “women no longer cry, women make money,” says the text. Well, this is what we had, narratively morbid and that musically we could define as a talented artist trying to adapt to the times with uneven results.

What’s new? Nine more pieces. Aim, with the New York rapper Cardi B. Placed first on the album, it is a stimulating start, a song dance soft with a very well placed nineties keyboard. In the lyrics the two artists are playfully sexual. “Bite me hard, never forget this ass,” Shakira intones. In The strong, The Colombian sings as she did before, without the pouting that is popular in urban music. She sounds powerful: the keyboards (once again) and Bizarrap’s eighties production elevate the piece. Long time no see It is the most pop of the album, a Shakira recognizable to her old followers, with a spectral guitar pluck at the end. Rocket, with Rauw Alejandro, exudes a fun disco vibe. (In brackets) emerges with a swaying melody of regional Mexican aroma, with the Texans Grupo Frontera. In How Where When returns to the pop-rock of the nineties, to that Shakira with a guitar and shaking her hair: “Life is a bitch, I know that. / But for every withered flower. / One is always born again.” In Nassau, The subject of enthusiastic debate in the society press, it welcomes new company: “I, who had promised that I would never love again, you appeared to heal the wounds that that one left,” the lyrics say. A theme of afro-beat, the bubbling rhythm that obsesses young musicians right now.

Last It is a final farewell song to the father of her two children and that the Colombian assures that she recorded outside the delivery deadlines of the album. It is better that it had not arrived on time, because the ballad does not contribute anything musically. And that’s it. Well, no: there’s Dutch DJ Tiësto’s remix of the Shaving Sessions, Vol. 53. (the song where she skins her ex-partner, to understand us), an effective way to give another life to the topic, if it needs it.

Time, and only time, will tell if the songs that make up this work can be considered a remarkable work of art or if, however, they remain an anecdote where we all dance and enjoy the show. Perhaps we won’t have to wait long, and as the currents of entertainment accelerate, Shakira’s musical proposal deserves to be forgotten sooner rather than later. But today, March 2024, Women no longer cry It is the album that Shakira had to record, the musical and personal reinvention of the biggest Latin female pop star of the moment.

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