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New Music: Shakira And Rita Indiana

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Let's start with Shakira. In the last few days, she's unveiled two versions of her new song "Loca" ("Crazy"), one in English and one in Spanish.

Whenever we shine a light on artists like Shakira or Juanes, we get a handful of people complaining that they're "too pop."

Say what you will, but Shakira is responsible for some of the most influential Latin music in the last few decades.

Sure, she lost us on some of her recent work, but she's promised to return to her roots in her upcoming album Sale El Sol (The Sun Comes Out) and her new single "Loca" ("Crazy") is an interesting departure from the Shakira to whom we've become accustomed. Recorded in the Dominican Republic, it's a cover of Dominican artist El Cata's "Loca Con Su Tiguere" (roughly translated as "Crazy For Her Man").

It's interesting to hear Shakira doing a traditional merengue sound here — it's pretty classic, not even techno merengue. Audio courtesy of You Tube:

The English version of this song features UK rapper Dizzee Rascal. I grew up listening (and loving) Shakira en Espa?ol, and I think Dizzee Rascal is brilliant.

So I should love this single in English right?

Not so sure.

I constantly find myself caught up in the "Does Shakira sound better in Spanish?" debate. When it comes to that question, it's hard to say where the boundaries between habit and true musical value lie. We are creatures of habit, after all. With Shakira, I think I just feel more comfortable listening to her in Spanish.

Listen to the English version and tell us what you think.

npr.org, 08.09.10

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