Shake Away

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Shake Away
Studio album by Lila Downs
Released 2 September 2008 (2008-09-02)
Genre Latin pop, world music, rock, alternative
Length 60:14
Language Spanish/english
Label Manhattan Records


Lila Downs chronology
  • Shake Away
  • (2008)
Singles from Shake Away
  1. "Ojo de Culebra (Feat. La Mari)"
    Released: 2 September 2008 (2008-09-02)
  2. "Perro Negro (Feat. Ixaya Mazatzin Tleytól)"
    Released: 2008
  3. "Yo Envidio en Viento"
    Released: 2008
  4. "Black Magic Woman (Feat. Raul Midón)"
    Released: 2009
  5. "Tierra de Luz (Feat. Mercedes Sosa)"
    Released: 2009

Shake Away (Spanish: Ojo de Culebra) is the sixth studio album by Mexican singer-songwriter Lila Downs. It was released on September 2, 2008 on Manhattan Records. After attaining international success in 2001 with her first English record, Border, Downs wanted to release a fifth Spanish-English language project as its followup. In the vein of her earlier work, the album is heavily influenced by latin pop, world music, flamenco and rock.[1] Downs enlisted Paul Cohen as executive producer, also working with Celso Duarte, Brian Lynch and Aneiro Taño.[2]

At its release Shake Away received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented Lila's evolution from her earlier work. The album debuted at number 36 on the US Billboard Top Latin Albums, with first-week sales of 30,000 copies. Internationally, the album topped the charts in Argentina, Germany, Mexico and Spain. Shake Away was nominated at Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 2009 Grammy Awards, and the Top World Music Majors at the WOMEX Awards.[3]

Five singles were released to promote the album. Although its lead single ("Ojo de Culebra") was the only track to reach the US Billboard Hot 100, the follow-up singles "Perro Negro", "Yo Envidio el Viento", "Tierra de Luz" and "Black Magic Woman" enjoyed moderate success on the Hot Latin Songs,[4] World Music Songs and Latin Pop Airplay charts.[5] The projects were promoted with the Ojo de Culebra Tour in 2009 and 2010, which visited the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Background and composition[edit]

After achieving international success in 2001 with her first English album, Border, Downs released a Spanish-language record as its followup (her first since 1999's La Sandunga). Having co-written nearly sixty songs for the project, she decided to divide the release into two editions and put herself "on the mission of selecting [her] favorite ones" to record. Shake Away contains all Spanish-English language songs and Ojo de Culebra features all Spanish-language tracks. Downs initially said that the second version would have a "completely new repertory of songs", although the completed album included two Spanish translations of songs from the first record. When recording the albums, she worked with previous collaborators Celso Duarte and Aneiro Taño and new partner Brian Lynch. The artwork for both Shake Away album was inspired in the mythological account.

Shake Away is heavily influenced by Latin pop.[1] The introductory track, "Little Man", incorporates folk music styles[1] and its opening banda styles. "Ojo de Culebra" ("Shake Away") features Spanish singer-songwriter La Mari, with elements of Mexican cumbia music, flamenco and reggae. "Minimun Wage" is a country song with rock elements against an alternative background. "Perro Negro" ("Dog Black") features Mexican singer-songwriter Ixaya Mazatzin Tleytól is a fussion on ska and rock.

The five track, "Yo Envidio el Viento", is a translation into Spanish of "I envid the wind" by the American singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams has a ballad feel. "Skeleton" also influences of rock, and traditional music, using a simple melody to emphasize Lila's vocals. "Black Magic Woman" featuring singer-songwriter Raul Midón is a cover by Peter Green that has rock-folk elements.[6] The disc concludes with an English version of "Yo Envidio el Viento" and "Justicia".

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Little man"   Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 3:47
2. "Ojo de culebra" (Featuring: La Mari) Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 4:04
3. "Minimun wage"   Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 4:08
4. "Perro negro" (Featuring: Ixaya Mazatzin Tleytótl) Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 3:02
5. "Yo envidio el viento"   Lucinda Williams 3:44
6. "Skeleton"   Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 3:02
7. "Black magic woman" (Featuring: Raul Midón) Peter Green 3:12
8. "I would never"   Paul Buchanan 4:44
9. "Justicia" (Featuring: Enrique Bunbury) Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 3:51
10. "Taco de palabras"   Lila Downs 3:05
11. "Los pollos" (Featuring: Gilberto Gutiérrez) Tradicional 3:17
12. "Tierra de luz" (Featuring: Mercedes Sosa) Lila Downs 3:41
13. "Silent thunder"   Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 4:44
14. "Shake away"   Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 3:45
15. "I envid the wind"   Lucinda Williams 3:45
16. "Nothing but the truth"   Lila Downs/Paul Cohen 3:53


  1. ^ a b c Shake Away/Ojo de Culebra. (Media notes). Lila Downs. Manhattan Records. 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ Thom Jurek (2 September 2008). "Shake Away Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Shake Away/Ojo de Culebra awards". Allmusic. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Top Latin Albums". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Charts World Music Album". Billboard. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Jon Lusk. "Lila Downs – Shake Away (album review)". BBC Music. Jon Lusk. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 

External links[edit]