The Guardian

On music: The She Wolf bites

Jul 17--Shakira's howling alter ego is properly, wonderfully strange, going back to the old rules of pop star alternate personas.

17 de julio de 2009

This year marks the attempted summer conquest of the charts by Shakira, Colombia's very own pop-belting colossus. In the summer of 2001, she informed us her breasts were small and humble, so we didn't confuse them with mountains in Whenever, Wherever. In 2006, she told us her Hips Don't Lie. This year, however, she bares her teeth, with her most powerful song yet: the mammoth Balearic-flavoured pop song She Wolf, in which she tells us she is the student of the moon, a lupine being trapped in the closet, before howling - yes, howling - in the fabulous chorus.

This howl isn't just unbridled sexuality. It shows us how pop stars gain so much of their power over our imaginations by persuading us they are actually more than human.

We think of pop stars as very different animals, anyway: at worst as monsters created by svengali Frankensteins, at best as a much luckier species than us plebeians. Still, pop stars are flesh and bone, too. They have mums and dads they argue with, bills to pay, and toilet habits to attend to - and not just the ones involving white powder on the cistern lid. Admittedly, suitors and stylists may pamper their egos as well as their bodies, but they still need fancy videos and stage shows to make them look - and, crucially, feel - larger than life.
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