This is/isn't a review of Shakira's new album, Sale el Sol. I say "is", because I'm going to go ahead and give a quick opinion of the album. I say "isn't" because the meat of the blog post will be after that... skip down a bit, you'll find it. I'll even throw in my usual row of handy-dandy asterisks to help you. But now to the music...
I have to say that the album is much as I thought it would be... closer to old-school Shakira, but with some of the newer elements mixed in. The only track on the album I really don't like is "Lo que más", which is a little too whiny of a love ballad for my sensibilities. "Loca" and "Rabiosa", on the other hand, have been taking turns getting stuck in my head for the nearly a week that I've owned the album. Also the title track, "Sale el sol", but more on that later in the blog.
Overall, this is probably the best album Shakira has put out since Fijación Oral, Vol. 1., and is arguably better than Laundry Service, which had its dodgier moments. Really the last great album from Shakira was Dónde están los ladrones?, and I think we've finally gotten some of that groove back. : )
Semi-permanently lodged in my brain this week has been the title track of the album Sale el Sol. Or more accurately, the first line or two of the chorus. The bit that goes, "Un día después de la tormenta, cuando menos piensas, sale el sol." Translated (and this is not a literal translation, but a translation that matches the spirit of the phrase, for anyone reading who might happen to be bilingual and say to themselves, "Hey! That's not what that middle bit means!"), this means "One day after the storm, when you least expect it, the sun comes out."
There's a lot of truth in that. We humans sometimes get so caught up in life's storms that we forget that no storm lasts forever (unless you live on Jupiter... the Great Red Spot is pretty close to being an eternal storm). And when the storm is over, the sun comes out. Some of us, though, after spending a lot period of time - years, even - in a storm become almost afraid of the sun. I am one of those people.
I am afraid of happiness. I am afraid to acknowledge that things are going well, because whenever things start going well, I wait anxiously for the other shoe to drop and for the storm to start again, because that's where I'm most comfortable... it's what I know. The sun starts shining on me and I'm continually scanning the horizon for the clouds because they've become like old friends.
Well my friends, the sun is shining on me and has been for a bit over a year now. And despite my searchings I'm having a hard time finding any clouds in the sky, and it seems the sun is determined to shine on even brighter, at least into the foreseeable future. So my proposition for myself from now until the end of the year is to enjoy the sun while it lasts... to accept the warmth without keeping one eye on the horizon. El sol ya salió, and I'm gonna soak it up. : )
Song o' the Day: "Sale el sol" by Shakira, naturally. Though to give everyone a break from Shakira and to do something completely different (llama!) I'll also throw in "Here Without You" by Three Doors Down, which is oddly appropriate right now for reasons I don't feel I'm at liberty to explain. : )