Shakira is one of the more interesting characters in pop music today.

Musically, she’s been all over the place. She started off on a sort of Alanis Morissette vibe, and then once she started singing in English, her music became more dance/pop oriented, but not really any more mainstream. “Hips Don’t Lie”, her song with Wyclef, was a huge hit, but it was still a bit odd compared to the majority of pop music out these days.

Her new single “Give it Up to Me” represents her most obvious dalliance with mainstream pop so far. Featuring the production of Timbaland and the rapping talent (I say that unironically) of Lil Wayne, the song is focus-grouped to hit #1 on the charts. Which it probably won’t, because, frankly? It’s not that good a song. Wayne’s verse is credible, and the song is catchy enough, but there’s barely 2 verses in it and ultimately it just sounds lazy. The video is suitably odd, with Shakira dressed up as Lady Liberty and some bodacious choreography, but…I dunno. Something about the song leaves me a little unimpressed. It’s similar to the transformation Nelly Furtado made when she started working with Timbaland, only nowhere near as good.

Sounds to me like her record company heard the album, didn’t hear anything they would consider a hit and had Shakira go back into the studio with the most obvious people they could find. Sigh. Some people never learn.