Shakira, "She Wolf"
With plenty of moans, guitars, doumbek, disco, clarinet and synth, Shakira's newest album, "She Wolf," is a grab bag of influences, ranging from pop rock to world music to '80s R&B. The result is certainly more adventurous than anything from her peers, if a little forced. Highlights include an ingenious mix of mandolin, banjo, sitar and tabla on "Gypsy," the closest thing to an acoustic song on the album, and "Why Wait," with its relentless synth punctuated by a badass Middle Eastern string section straight from Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." The bonus tracks, for which the album's U.S. version was previously delayed, don't add much. The Timbaland-produced "Give It Up to Me" has Shakira telling Lil Wayne, "Put me in a cage and lock me away and I'll play the games that you want me to play." Just as you'd say to a friend with an unworthy partner, you want to tell Shakira: You can do better.-Ayala Ben-Yehuda