Shakira isn’t known for her ballads. She’s definitely not known for arena rock anthems either. She’s known for her hip gyrations and ethnic-pop infused tracks. Yet she seems to meld the two in something of a light pop confection.”Empire” is nothing like the kind of song we’ve come to expect from the Colombian. It is stripped down in the versus. Orchestral builds join the verses to the chorus. Once the chorus comes the singer’s vocals are backed by heavy percussion and strings. The song is similar to faux-rock tracks often heard in the early 2000s. Though this is touted by Idolator as a rock track, it’s definitely fit for top-40 radio.The genre has definitely had a big influence on the instrumentation and vocals. Shakira’s muffled notes and the heaviness of the music during the chorus makes it sound like a rock song but it’s still pop.
This track hasn’t quite entered the full-on rock genre. It should be interesting, though, to see what sounds Shakira offers on her upcoming self-titled album. Remember, this is the second single that offered the Rihanna collab, “Can’t Remember to Forget You.” From these two singles, Shakira is set to be a collection of the singer’s different influences. Her music has definitely evolved from her debut, “Whenever, Whatever” and she’s proved she’s more than a curly-haired belly dancer. Shakira has substance. The sound she’s going for with her second single says she’s not afraid to move away from trends. That’s a good thing.
Listen to “Empire” below.