She Wolf (Shakira song)

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"She Wolf"
Single by Shakira
from the album She Wolf
Released 10 July 2009 (2009-07-10)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2008
Genre
Length 3:07
Label Epic
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Shakira
  • John Hill
Shakira singles chronology
"Si Tú No Vuelves"
(2007)
"She Wolf"
(2009)
"Did It Again"
(2009)

"She Wolf" is a song by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira, taken from her eighth studio album of the same name (2009). It was released on 10 July 2009, by Epic Records as the lead single from the album. The song was written by Shakira, John Hill, and Sam Endicott. Shakira and Hill also served as the producers for the song. A Spanish-language translation of the song titled "Loba", which features additional lyrical contributions by Jorge Drexler, was also released earlier on 6 July. Musically, "She Wolf" is a disco, hi-NRG and synthpop-inspired track that details Shakira's boredom due to her uncaring partner, and how she looks for others to please her.

Upon its release, "She Wolf" was met with favourable reception from music critics, many of whom praised it for being different from the other songs released at that time. Commercially, "She Wolf" performed well on record charts. It peaked in the top 10 of charts of countries like Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. In the United States, "She Wolf" peaked at numbers 11 and one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and Dance/Club Play Songs charts, respectively. The Spanish-language translation "Loba" peaked at number one on both the Hot Latin Songs and Tropical Songs component charts. "She Wolf" was certified double-platinum in Spain and platinum in Italy, Mexico, and the United States.

An accompanying music video for the song was directed by Jake Nava, and features Shakira dancing in various locations, such as a red cave and a golden cage. Critical reception towards the video was also positive, many of whom praised Shakira's dancing ability. For additional promotion, Shakira performed the song on a number of shows and music festivals. It was also a part of the setlist for The Sun Comes Out World Tour in 2010.

Background and composition[edit]

An 18 second sample of the chorus of "She Wolf". The song has a seventies-disco vibe to it.[3][4]

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"She Wolf" was written by Shakira, John Hill, and Sam Endicott.[5] Shakira and Hill also served as the producers of the song.[5] In an interview with Rolling Stone, Shakira said that the idea for "She Wolf" came to her "very mysteriously", revealing "I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting".[6] Endicott, musician and lead singer of American post-punk band The Bravery, explained how he and Hill began working with Shakira, saying she "contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff. We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened".[7] "She Wolf" was described by Slant Magazine as a "sleek, hi-NRG/Italo throwback that's drenched in disco strings".[1] Mikael Wood from Spin identified the song's genre as synthpop.[2] Shakira also howls and pants at various times during the song.[3][4][8] It is written in B minor key and is a moderate dance groove with a tempo of 120 beats per minute.[9] Shakira's vocal range on the song spans from B3 to D5.[9] One of the lines of the song, in which Shakira sings "I'm starting to feel just a little abused, like a coffee machine in an office", is often cited as an example of the unusual lyrics present in Shakira's songs.[1][10][11][12][13][14][15]

The song was released by Epic Records as the lead single from the album of the same name.[3][16][17] "She Wolf" was made available for digital download on ITunes on 10 July 2009.[18] It was released as a CD single later on 21 September.[4][8] A Spanish-language translation of the song titled "Loba", which features additional lyrical contributions from Jorge Drexler,[19] was released on 6 July 2009.[20]

Critical reception[edit]

The song was well received by most music critics. David Balls from Digital Spy gave the song a positive review and said that the song "manages to be fresh and quirky while still sounding like a smash".[4] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine labelled "She Wolf" as a "sleek, hi-NRG/Italo throwback" and said that its lyrics "walk a fine line between campy and really campy".[1] Michael Cragg from MusicOMH called it "three minutes of delicious pop, as camp as it is clever", and concluded that the song is "the kind of wonderfully bizarre couplet we’ve come to expect from Columbia’s shrinking violet".[11] Jonathan Goss from Sabotage Times praised its lyrics and commended Shakira's use of the word "lycanthropy".[15] He summed up the review by calling "She Wolf" a "modern classic".[15] Spin critic Mikael Wood complemented it as "lovably bonkers."[2] Fraser McAlpine from BBC Chart Blog gave it an overall positive review, but criticized Shakira's howling, calling it "half-hearted".[8] Ben Ratliff from The New York Times, however, gave it a negative review, saying that the song is "undercooked and overwritten" and that it "reaches a special class of fascinating-awful".[21]

At the 2009 International Dance Music Awards ceremony, "She Wolf" was nominated for "Best Latin Track", but lost to American rapper Pitbull's song "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)".[22] At the 2009 Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica awards ceremony, the song was nominated in the category "Canción Del Año" ("Song of the Year").[23] At the 2009 Premios 40 Principales awards ceremony, "Loba" won the award for "Best International Song In Spanish Language".[24] At the 2009 Premios Shock award ceremony, the song was nominated "Best Radio Song".[25] At the 2010 Premios Juventud awards ceremony, the song was nominated for "Mi Ringtone" ("My Ringtone"), but lost to Tito El Bambino's song "El Amor".[26] At the 2010 2010 Latin Billboard Music Awards, the song was nominated for "Latin Pop Airplay Song of the Year" and "Latin Digital Download of the Year", but lost both.[27] At the 2010 ASCAP awards ceremony, Jorge Drexler won an award for his composition of "Loba".[28] It was acknowledged as an award winning song at the 2011 BMI Latin Awards.[29]

Commercial performance[edit]

In Austria, the song entered and peaked at number three on the Austrian Singles Chart, spending a total of 19 weeks on the chart.[30] In the Dutch-speaking Flanders region of Belgium, the song entered the Ultratop chart at number 48 and peaked at 16, spending a total of 15 weeks on the chart.[31] It performed much better in the French-speaking Wallonia region of Belgium, where it entered the Ultratop chart at number eight and peaked at number five, spending a total of 21 weeks on the chart.[32] "She Wolf" was Shakira's second consecutive single to peak at number five in the region, after "Beautiful Liar" (2007).[32] In Finland, the song entered the Finnish Singles Chart at number 13 and peaked at number 6, spending a total of 13 weeks on the chart.[33] In Germany, the song peaked at number two on the German Singles Chart.[34] In Ireland, the song peaked at number two on the Irish Singles Chart, spending a total of 12 weeks on the chart.[35] In Italy, "Loba" entered the Italian Singles Chart at number 12 and peaked at number three, spending a total of 22 weeks on the chart.[36] It became Shakira's first single to receive a record certification in the country after the Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana (FIMI) certified the song platinum for selling 30,000 units.[37] In Norway, "She Wolf" narrowly missed charting inside the top ten of the Norwegian Singles Chart by peaking at number 11.[38] In Spain, "Loba" entered the Spanish Singles Chart at number 25 and peaked at number two,[19] being kept from the top position by American rapper Pitbull's song "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)".[39] In this region, it was certified double-platinum by the Productores de Música de España (PROMUSICAE) for selling 80,000 units.[40] In Switzerland, the song entered and peaked at number three on the Swiss Singles Chart, spending a total of 23 weeks on the chart.[41] In this territory, it was certified gold by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for selling 10,000 units.[42] In the United Kingdom, the song peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart and spent a total of 16 weeks on the chart.[43] The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified "She Wolf" silver for shipments of 200,000 copies.[44]

In Canada, it peaked at number five on the Canadian Hot 100 chart, spending a total of 20 weeks on the chart.[45] "Loba" became a success in Mexico, peaking at number one on the Monitor Latino airplay chart[46] and receiving a platinum certification from the Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas (AMPROFON).[47] In the United States, "She Wolf" debuted at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Shakira's highest debuting song on the chart.[48] It later narrowly missed reaching inside the top 10 of the chart by peaking at number 11.[49] "She Wolf" spent a total of 20 weeks on the chart.[49] On the Hot Dance Club Songs chart, it peaked at number one and spent a total of 15 weeks on the chart.[50] "She Wolf" became Shakira's second solo consecutive single to peak atop the chart after "Illegal" (2006).[50] On the Pop Songs chart, it peaked at number 11 and spent 12 weeks on the chart.[51] "She Wolf" remained as Shakira's highest-debuting single on the Billboard Hot 100 until "Can't Remember to Forget You" broke its record in 2014 by debuting at number 28.[52] The Spanish-language translation "Loba" peaked at number one on Hot Latin Songs chart, spending a total of 22 weeks on the chart.[53] It became Shakira's fourteenth top-ten single on the chart and tied her with American singer-songwriter Selena for having the fifth-most top-ten singles for a female artist.[48] Later in 2010, Shakira became the third-ranking female artist with the highest number of top-ten singles on the chart after the release of "Loca".[54] On the Tropical Songs chart, "Loba" peaked at number one, spending a total of 20 weeks on the chart.[55] "She Wolf" was certified platinum in the United States for shipments of 1,000,000 copies by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[56] As of March 2014, "She Wolf" stands as Shakira's second highest-selling digital song in the United States with sales of 1,812,000 units, behind her 2006 hit "Hips Don't Lie".[57]

Music video[edit]

A still from the video showing Shakira dancing in a glittering red cave, dressed in a black half-bodysuit.[17][58][59]

Development and synopsis[edit]

The accompanying music video for the single was directed by Jake Nava, who had previously collaborated with Shakira on the video for "Beautiful Liar".[17] The dance sequences in the video were choreographed by Nadine "Hi-Hat" Ruffin,[17] and are said to incorporate ballet, popping and locking, tribal dance and moves similar to the ones in the eighties drama Flashdance.[58] Talking about her dancing in the video, Shakira said, "I start doing all kinds of outrageous stuff and hanging upside down and doing stuff that wasn't planned. But it was kind of an improvisation. I just got caught in the moment."[58] The music video premiered on 30 July 2009, on MTV[58] and was made available for download on iTunes a day later on 31 July.[60] The video for the Spanish-language translation "Loba" was released on the same day.[61]

The video begins with Shakira getting out of bed in the middle of a full-moon night.[17][59] Her nails begin to grow and she is shown lacing a pair of boots.[59] Shakira then enters a closet, which leads to the inside of a glittering ruby-red cave, where she begins dancing wearing a black asymmetric bodysuit.[17][58][59] The next scene depicts Shakira striking different poses inside a golden cage (with the sign "Do Not Feed the Animal" on top),[17] clad in a skin-toned leotard.[62] Shakira explained the usage of the golden cage in the video, saying that "I just wanted to express what it feels like for a she-wolf to be in captivity. To be in a golden cage. I think I've been in a golden cage most of my life. And now not anymore".[58] The setting changes and Shakira is seen performing a dance routine in a club with many back-up dancers.[59] A wolf is also shown walking in the club and transforming into a woman.[59] Near to the end of the video, Shakira dances on a rooftop with a backdrop resembling San Francisco.[17][59] As the song ends, she falls backwards from the roof and lands in her closet.[17] The video ends with Shakira lying back in her bed and smiling as thunder cracks.[17]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception towards the video was mostly positive. Adam Fairholm from the Internet Music Video Database praised Shakira's dance moves and flexibility in the video and complimented Nava's direction.[17] James Montgomery from MTV also commended Shakira's dancing, noting that she "even manages to out-Beyoncé".[63] He also complimented Shakira's body, commenting that her posterior is the "breakout star of the video".[63] Anna Pickard from The Guardian appreciated the originality of the video and noted that "the moves contained in this video are not the kind of thing you see every day".[59] Andrew Bast from The Daily Beast, however, gave the video a negative review and criticized it for being overly sexual.[62]

At the 2009 Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica awards ceremony, the video received a nomination in the category "Video del Año" ("Video of the Year").[23] At the 2010 Premios Juventud awards ceremony, the video won the award for "Mi Video Favorito" ("My Favourite Video").[26] At the 2010 Premios Lo Nuestro, the video won the award for "Video del Año" ("Video of the Year").[64] On 28 April 2014, the video reached 100 million views on video-sharing website YouTube and was hence marked "Vevo Certified" by video hosting service Vevo. It is Shakira's tenth "Vevo Certified" video.[65]

Live performances[edit]

Shakira performing the song at the 2010 NBA All-Star Game

Shakira performed the song live for the first time on the finale of the season four of America's Got Talent, on 16 September 2009.[66][67] On 17 September, she performed the song at the 2009 ALMA Awards ceremony.[68] She performed "She Wolf" along with "Did It Again", the second single off the album, on 18 September episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live![69][70] and the 17 October episode of Saturday Night Live.[71] On 24 September, Shakira performed "She Wolf" and "Hips Don't Lie" on the BBC Radio 1Xtra Live Lounge.[72] On 28 September, she performed the song on T4, a scheduling slot on Channel 4.[73] On 25 September, she performed the song on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, along with her hits "Whenever, Wherever" and "Hips Don't Lie".[74][75] She performed "She Wolf" along with "Did It Again" on 17 October episode of Saturday Night Live.[71]

On 14 February 2010, Shakira performed "She Wolf" and "Give It Up to Me", the third single off the album, during the halftime of the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.[76] She wore a low-cut leotard and a sparkling fur gilet for the performance.[77] At the 2010 Rock in Rio festival held in Madrid, Spain, Shakira performed "Loba", the Spanish-language translation of the song.[78] On 10 June, at the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony, Shakira performed "She Wolf", "Hips Don't Lie", and the official 2010 FIFA World Cup song, "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)".[79] On 26 June, Shakira performed the song at the Glastonbury Festival, which took place in Pilton, Somerset.[80] The song was also included on the setlist of The Sun Comes Out World Tour in 2010 and 2011.[81] The tour performance began with Shakira letting out a long howl and proceeding to dance with two female back-up dancers.[82] The performance marked the first time back-up dancers were featured in the show.[83] Dave Simpson from The Guardian commented that Shakira was "howling like a banshee" during the performance.[84]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Italy (FIMI)[126] Platinum 30,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[47] Platinum 60,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[40] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[127] Gold 15,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[128] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[129] Platinum 1,812,000[57]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]