Laundry Service
by Shakira, pop (2001)
Sony/Epic, ASIN B00005R2M3

Hot Colombian Latina artist Shakira sizzles her way into her English debut. I don't know what laundry services have to do with this album, as there are no songs in here even distantly related to a washing machine.

The songs are an eclectic mix of Madonnaish pop, Alanis Morissetteish angst, and no-nonsense big billowy epic ballads. In short, this is pure pop.

The Gloria Estefan co-penned first single Whenever, Wherever is an amazing uptempo tune with a crazy and catchy chorus. It's a perfect singalong song, with lines like "Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don't confuse them with mountains".

I guess something got lost in the translation. Still, it's a hoot singing that line aloud just to see everybody's reaction.

There's even an epic ballad called Underneath Your Clothes. I'm not making that title up. "Underneath your clothes there's an endless story," she cries, and I don't dare to ask, seriously. I just hope it's a good story.

Loopy lines aside, there's no confusing the feel-good Ready For The Good Times and Objection (Tango). Then it's cooling down and hugging and kissing with smoochie slower tempo tunes a-plenty. I especially love Fool.

I really don't want to know what Poem To A Horse is all about.

I must say one thing though - judging from the presence of both English and Spanish tracks, Shakira is more fiery and in her element singing in Spanish. Check out both versions of Whenever, Wherever and its counterpart Suerte. The latter just burns.

Laundry Service is a wonderful pop album, and let's just leave it at that and enjoy. Altogether now: "Whenever, wherever! Thereover, hereunder!..."

Rating: 88

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