Assimilation. For those not in the know, she is the Colombian equivalent of Alanis Morrisette. I sneaked into the record store to pick this up. It was right near the front and I grabbed a copy and made a mad dash to pay for it. I covered up my punk rock t-shirt and walked quietly up to the counter to pay. I had my credit card out so that the transaction would happen quickly. Everything seemed to be going fine until the slightly hip store clerk had to engage me in conversation. The store clerk asked, “Did you see her at Tower Records in Hollywood today?” Mortified, I stuttered, “No, this is a closet pleasure for me.” Now I was pissed, all I wanted to do was buy and leave. I didn’t need a friend. The clerk responded with, “This release is not too good if you like her earlier releases.” In my mind I’m thinking, “Why the fuck are you taking to me?” I composed myself and said, “I heard a track on an internet radio station and I liked it.” The clerk handed me my credit card slip to sign, I signed it and I was out of there. I got in my car and proceeded to put the CD into the stereo. I started the car and started driving down the street. I am really hesitant about this release. This is supposed to be Shakira’s breakthrough crossover record to the masses. She normally sings in her native tongue of Spanish, but she wants to make it in the USA. She enlists Emilio Estefan (Gloria’s husband) as executive producer. Bad move number one. I pull over to sample what is in store for me. First song is a dance number mixed with a tango theme and does not have the energy of her previous release. Me being me, I fast forward towards the tracks that are sung in Spanish. Familiarity comforts me and her trademark octave changes are prevalent. Spanish is a more romantic sounding language to me. There are two tracks that are repeated here that are in both languages. The Spanish versions sound to me more flowing. Many of the English lyrics sound confused and jumbled. I have a hard time interpreting the thoughts she is trying to put forth. Also confusing is all the different styles of music that are represented here. I guess she is trying to please everybody at once and hope something would stick. My mind scattered, I switch CDs and listen to the latest Crispus Attucks CD to get my hardcore rage in balance.