Shakira’s song for the 2014 World Cup

I’m not exactly a music critic, but this wouldn’t be a World Cup blog without an opinion on Shakira’s 2014 World Cup soundtrack. so here goes.

First, listen to Shakira’s soundtrack for the previous World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Remember it? Good. Now listen to her new World Cup soundtrack:

Do you hear the difference? I do.

In this track (I refuse to call it a song) someone is banging on a synthesizer, trying to produce a catchy melody and someone else is trying to produce a Brazilian drum-line on a drum-pad. To make the track a bit more Brazilian,  she hired a guy to say something in Portuguese as an intro and she added some genuine Brazilian drums to the background. But my absolute favorite part of the track is the chorus. The lyrics are truly inspiring and profound: La, la, la, la.

The verses of her new track do have great lyrics. Read with me:

Verse 1
Feel how the planet’s
Become one
Beats like a drum
To the same rhythm

Hear the whistle
Kick the ball
The entire world
Soars like an eagle

In Rio we play
Like we dance
Only today
There’s no tomorrow

Leave all behind
In this place
There’s no space
For fear or sorrow

Verse 2
You have arrived
It’s the place
No more doubts
The time is coming

Feel how the planet’s
Become one
Like a drum
Destiny’s calling

German, Colombians
Spanish and French
Off the bench
You gotta own it

Down here we play
Like we dance
It’s Brazil
And now you know it

That’s not bad at all, those are great lyrics. But why does she have to semi-rap them using the lower part of her vocal range. She has a great voice and she can really sing. And why are the chorus lyrics “La, la, la”. I mean, the chorus is the part that sells the track, that is what sticks and that is where you really get your message across. And the message is “La, la, la”.

Shakira said “It’s an upbeat, Brazilian track”. Well, the track is not really cheerful and upbeat. It’s just not. Something you might expect from a World Cup soundtrack, like her previous soundtrack. What happened to “Waka Waka, This time for Africa”? That song (yeah, a song) put a smile on your face. Her new track does not. At least not on my face.

Shakira’s La La La piece is not the official FIFA song for the 2014 World Cup. That one will be produced by Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte.

Joe Frederik

Author / Owner at
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Latest posts by Joe Frederik (see all)