What I said yesterday about female pop stars not needing to put their sexuality up front to make great music?
Oh Lordy. I’m only flesh and blood. But a man. I’m utterly powerless to resist Hips Don’t Lie. Holy Moly! What a tune. The whole thing just sounds like holidays. Like getting lucky. Like party time.
This is such a monumentally brilliant pop song. Not solely because of how sexy it is. I’m not gonna bullshit you though. That’s a big part of it. The rhythms, the horns (the brass instruments I mean, mind out of the gutter please) and the special guest Fugee doing one of the best hype man ‘featuring’ performances of all time.
“I never really knew that she could dance like this, she make a man wants to speak Spanish, ¿Cómo se llama? Sí, bonita, sí”
I’ve always been a little enthralled to Spanish culture. I studied the language in high school. As I grew up and learned there were other countries that spoke the same groovy words, the Latin world become a fascination. Columbia, The Dominican Republic, Cuba. The image portrayed made me feel like these places were all such a seductive mix of old world grandeur and chilled out sun worship. Be it the Buena Vista Social Club or J-Lo there was an easy breezy charm that seemed so hard to dislike. When you’re stuck in rain swept concrete new town England especially it seemed like paradise is where the sun shines and the rum flows.
There is not a beating heart alive that can’t enjoy Hips Don’t Lie. I can’t say I’ve followed her work in any great detail beyond this. I’m aware of Shewolf, Wherever Whenever (the small and humble line is one of the ultimate pop gags) and the one she did for the World Cup in 2010. She’s damned good at pop music. And yet nothing comes close to the genius of Hips Don’t Lie.
Shakira had a decade of output in the Latin arena before this crossover hit. She has been megastar famous ever since and rightly so. Proper pop should have an element of the exciting. It should make you feel like you’ve got the sun on your face and the sand between your toes. It’s testament to a great pop song that it doesn’t matter who is performing it a crowd is pleased to hear it.
This is one of the great pop songs of the last 20 years. I’d wager Madonna would trade her whole 21st century output for a Hips Don’t Lie. I would easily trade Madonna’s whole 21st Century output for another song as great as Hips Don’t lie anyway. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll post one. Not a Madonna song. Another pop song. As good as Hips Don’t lie. This is a theme week after all.