Sunday, May 20, 2007

Music Video Interlude: Shakira

I know. I know. So what's a jazz head doing digging on either Shakira or old AC/DC tunes? Long story. Let's just say I'm eclectic. I can credit my five-year-old daughter for turning me on to Shakira. AC/DC was one of those bands I liked back in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

There are a number of songs in the rock cannon that are considered sacred - especially by purists. "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen is one. "Back in Black" by AC/DC is another. If you're going to cover one of these tunes, you damned well better do it right. I've seen one too many bad covers of "Bohemian Rhapsody" (the only good cover I ever saw was by a female vocalist who had incredible range as rockers go).

I'd never seen anyone cover "Back in Black" and this could have been a disaster, especially given that Shakira isn't exactly considered a hard rock vocalist. She and her touring band however prove to be up to the challenge, making the song theirs in the process. The intro is sultry - much different from AC/DC, but it works for Shakira. As the tune progresses, she and her band also prove quite capable of rocking out every bit as much as AC/DC while adding a few of their own touches (the percussion works well with this tune as it turns out, and the band has a guitarist who seems to hold his own when it comes time to solo).

It's cool to see recording artists go out of their comfort zones a bit. This won't please the purists (just check the comments to the Youtube video, which could make for a sociological or psychological study in their own right). It might satisfy open-mind fans of either Shakira or AC/DC, though.

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