Oral Fixation, Volume 2

Studio Album by released in 2005
Oral Fixation, Volume 2's tracklist:
How Do You Do
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Don't Bother
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Illegal (feat. Carlos Santana)
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The Day and the Time (feat. Gustavo Cerati)
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Animal City
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Dreams for Plans
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Hey You
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Your Embrace
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Costume Makes the Clown
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Something
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Timor
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Oral Fixation, Volume 2 review

"Shakira's music has a personal stamp that doesn't look like anyone else's and no one can sing or dance like her, at whatever age, with such an innocent sensuality, one that seems to be of her own invention."

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Oral Fixation Vol. 2 is more mature and better focused than Laundry Service

Shakira's 2001 English-language debut, Laundry Service, may have expanded the Colombian superstar's audience far beyond her Latin fan bases, but it also scrubbed her particular blend of South American pop, Middle Eastern-influenced melodies and decidedly international dance music a little too squeaky-clean. Earlier this year, Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 reunited the gyrating beauty with her native language and more substantial material. Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 sustains that album's eclecticism and darker moods, but in English. It finds Colombian rock goddess reclaiming some of the bite she showcased on 1998's smashing Donde Estan Los Ladrones (Where are the thieves?). Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 is more mature and better focused than the spin-cycle pop of Laundry Service. For both recent albums, Shakira co-wrote her songs with Lester Mendez and Luis Fernando Ochoa. Produced by the renowned Rick Rubin, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 also features cameos by Carlos Santana and Gustavo Cerati, the Argentinean former lead singer for pop-rock band Soda Stereo.

New songs and English renditions of a couple of tracks from Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1

The album includes new songs as well as English renditions of a couple of tracks from its predecessor. En Tus Pupilas and Dia Especial have been rerecorded as, respectively, somber Something and The Day and the Time, which improved greatly upon its Spanish counterpart. Kick-off track How Do You Do starts with a haunting reading of The Lord's Prayer before launching into a risky questioning of faith and religion. Shakira touches on the highs and lows of celebrity on a trio of tracks – the bittersweet Your Embrace, the guitar-driven Costume Makes the Clown, and the диско-fied, politically charged Timor. Selfish men and failed relationships –two oft-mentioned topics of interest – anchor much of Oral Fixation, Vol. 2. First single Don't Bother is a bitter ode to strength, jealousy, and survival that is fast becoming an anthem for those who have been rejected in the face of love; Dreams for Plans is a wistful collage of relationship memories; and Carlos Santana slides a sexy guitar riff under soulful standout track Illegal. The purple haze of Prince hangs over Animal City, one of the disc's most inventive moments. It's a free-wheeling melange of rock riffs, electronic accents, mariachi horns and confident vocals.

Shakira explores genres, often mixing multiple influences in a single song

Occasionally clumsy but most often clever, Shakira's English lyrics and performances still lack the confidence of her Spanish tracks, yet Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 manages to maintain the musical credibility that Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 won back. And again, her charm is seductive. The 28-year-old superstar from Colombia shows off her rich voice, with its iconic yodel, which she plays like the powerful instrument it is – at times romantically soft, soaringly operatic, or times angrily rock. As with Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1, Shakira explores genres, often mixing multiple influences in a single song. Shakira has been performing since she was 8, and that may explain why an artist so young is able to so effortlessly move across cultural and musical boundaries. And when Shakira moves, it's hard not to follow.