It's a gift for anybody who loves the word "eponymous" as much as I do :) Seriously though, as I'm playing the album for the 5th time, here are my first impressions:
Having followed Shakira's output for nearly 15 years now, I expect nothing less than brilliance from her releases in Spanish but anticipate the English ones with some trepidation. Conflicts between the artist's vision and the label's views on commercial viability have obviously damaged past English releases. Considering this, the self-titled album is surprisingly good. All the eccentricities we've come to expect from her are firmly in place. The only obvious input from the sales guys is the duet with Rihanna, but as I like both the collaborator and the track, I'm fine with that. (I'm even ok with the football anthem.) Prick up your ears for the slower, more sensitive numbers, including cut me deep, 23, and broken record.