Capitalising on that success, the Barranquilla belter has recruited a team of top collaborators, including The Neptunes, Wyclef Jean and Amanda Ghost, for She Wolf, a genre-hopping carnival that's her most broadly commercial record to date. At just over 30 minutes in length, this is a bantamweight boxer of a pop album – a bit on the slight side, but there's barely an ounce of fat on it.
With its vampish beats, infectious "awhoo!"s and '70s disco guitars, lead single 'She Wolf' sets the pace, positioning Shakira at the quirky end of the dance-pop spectrum. Just as impressive are future single 'Did It Again', which boasts an infectious hook and marching band rhythms, and 'Why Wait', whose grinding synths and snappy couplets are almost as sexy as Shakira's hip-wiggling dance moves.
Elsewhere, she chucks in everything from country guitars on 'Gypsy' to Middle Eastern flourishes on 'Good Stuff' to a Michael Jackson-aping bassline on 'Spy'. However, it's not just Shakira's willingness to experiment that sets her apart, but her rather - how shall we put it? - unique lyrics. While nothing here matches "Lucky that my breasts are small and humble" for instant "WTF?!" value, it's certainly not for want of trying.
On 'Men In This Town', a song about living the single life in LA, she muses, "Matt Damon's not meant for me", before ominously predicting that "it's a suicide waiting, so decide..." Later, on the rocky 'Mon Amour', she shoots this zinger at an ex-boyfriend holidaying in Paris with his new squeeze: "I hope your room smells and your toilet doesn't flush." You'd never catch Kylie singing a line like that.
The one caveat? Some fans may be disappointed that She Wolf downplays Shakira's Latin-pop routes in favour of a sound that will appeal to radio playlisters the world over. However, her ability to mix this album's eclectic range of influences into a listenable, cohesive collection of songs should be ample compensation. Holding it all together, of course, is that distinctive voice. Who knew sounding a bit like a goat could be a good thing?