Standing in stark contrast with the radio-friendly, Rihanna collabo “Can’t Remember To Forget You,” Shakira’s newest song, “Empire,” is a slow-building ballad leading up to one gloriously explosive climax. And yes, that’s a sexual double entendre. You can stop winking at us.
Opening with a very Joanna Newsom-meets-Regina Spektor, piano-led intro, Shaki gently coos her way through the verse. Slowly, the “Voice” judge meanders her way into the chorus: “Like the empires of the world unite/ We are alive/ And the stars make love to the universe/ You’re my wildfire every single night.”
Hear that? Shak’s lovemaking towers over man-made civilization AND Mother Nature combined. (#Gulp) Sure, some of the metaphors get a little “coffee machine in an office”-status obscure, but they’re just so damn earth-shakingly monumental! You can’t help but be overpowered by Shakira’s lyrical imagery.
Much like our good friend Brad Stern of MuuMuse said of Mariah Carey’s “The Art Of Letting Go,” “Empire” is a total grower. It may not pack the immediate punch of a Top 40 chart-topping shower, but damn if you’re not completely satisfied after a few go-arounds. (Do you even have to ask if that was a sexual double entendre? C’MON.)
Look for Shakira’s self-titled, tenth studio album, set to be released on Mar. 25 — if the space-time continuum hasn’t been irreparably warped by all the Shaki-lovemaking by then.
+ Listen to Shakira’s “Empire.”
Photo credit: RCA, Sony Latin Iberia