Here are two pop albums. Shakira’s self-titled album, which shows her dominating at ballads, and Kylie Minogue’s “Kiss Me Once,” a mostly dull dance-pop album.
Shakira: “Shakira (Deluxe Edition)” (RCA) Shakira’s main strength is that she, more than any other pop star, conveys emotions well. So, while many will take notice of the Rihanna feature “Can’t Remember to Forget You” and the upbeat “Dare (La La La),” the real highlights here are the love ballads.
Lyrically, songs like “Broken Record” and “23” aren’t original, but they’re melodically addicting and, because Shakira is so good with emotion, they’re also true. She actually sounds like she’s in love, which makes lines like “I don’t need to keep looking/You are the one” and “It doesn’t matter to me/As long as you love me” – which could easily be portrayed with indifference – work. And then there’s the
Blake Shelton duet, a truly bizarre song that also shows Shelton at his most likable.
Grade: A MINUS
Kylie Minogue: “Kiss Me Once” (Warner Bros.) “Sexercise” is an amazing song title for sure, but there’s a reason that more people are focusing on the title than the song itself. Meanwhile, other tracks include “Sexy Love,” “Feels So Good” and “Les Sex” (I guess she just can’t get sex out of her head). The ballads, especially the Enrique Iglesias duet “Beautiful,” are dull, and the dance tracks sound dated. If she was trying for a “Femme Fatale,” she ended up with a “Britney Jean.”
Grade: B MINUS
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