Shakira’s second English CD is unlike her debut English effort in that it doesn’t have any condescending and stereotypical flamenco-driven sounds. Here, she straightforwardly rocks and experiments with combining different kinds of sounds, an effort that she started with the excellent first volume of her Oral Fixation collection. However, unlike the first volume, Oral Fixation Vol. 2 is less cohesive and many of the songs come off as unmemorable fillers. When I factor in the fact that two of the songs, The Day and the Time and Something, are English versions of No and En Tu Pupilas from the Spanish album, that leaves only nine tracks here that’s new and that’s not exactly what I’d call value for money, especially when those two tracks are exact and faithful replicates of their Spanish original versions.
On the whole, most of the tracks feel like watered-down versions of better songs from Shakira that I’ve heard before. They aren’t bad at all, it’s just that they don’t stick to the mind. Only three songs stand out. Don’t Bother, the lead single, is a feisty song where Shakira sings with infectious gusto and energy. How Do You Do is an interesting track that incorporates a choir chanting The Lord’s Prayer as she slurs and mangles her English in the foreground of the track. It’s a beautiful kind of campy sacrilege that has to be heard to be believed when Shakira’s less-than-graceful English makes her come off like she’s shrieking the four-letter word while Latin chants about loving the Lord accompany her in the background. Timor is How Do You Do rehashed with a choir backing Shakira as she eccentrically rocks her way through the song.
The other tracks, including Illegal which features former respectable guitarist turned celebrity parasite Santana, pale in comparison to these three tracks.