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Record Rating: ***

Shakira - Oral Fixation Vol: 2 - Sony BMG Even before her second English-language album hit the record store shelves at end of last year, Shakira was having a great 2005. When Fijacion Oral Vol. 1 was released in June, she set a weekly sales record for Spanish-language albums. The single hit La Tortura from that disc spent 25 weeks on US Latin charts at number one. 2005ís successes continued to mount into 2006 with the release of Oral Fixation, Vol. 2.

Her first English language album since the thirteen million selling Laundry Service, it debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart, making it the third top five album of her career. The first single Don't Bother sets the tone for the album; sheís emulating a young Alanis Morrisette throughout the eleven tracks. In the vein of the song, in the video she hits her cheating lover where it hurts, she drives his fancy car to the dump and gets it totally crushed and trashed. But there's nothing as exuberant and over the top here as Laundry Service.

Your Embrace is the albumís equivalent to Underneath Your Clothes, but the ballad sizzles midway unlike the latter. She even takes a few tracks from her last release and translates them to good effect. Something, which also made an appearance on Vol. 1, sounds much better in English than its Spanish counterpart. A guest appearance from the legendary Carlos Santana on Illegal kicks the album into a short lived high five moment and itís pretty much standard fare from there on. You have to give her full marks for not giving in to the pressure of attracting fans the cheap Britney way, and for that alone sheís worth a listen.

Read our other reviews:

Damien Rice - O       Daniel Powter - Daniel Powter       Santana - All That I Am       Mattafix - Signs Of A Struggle      


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