A Date With Diva

With everyone on a budget, Advocate.com weeds through the onslaught of fall releases from divas including Whitney, Mariah, Shakira, and Christina to determine which ones are worth getting excited about.

BY Jamie Nicholes

August 12 2009 11:00 PM ET

DIVAS MARIAH CAREY X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Mariah kicked off an album that, based on the title, should be humble and personal with a diss track perpetuating the completely useless feud between her and Eminem. Go, M.C., go! Way to set the proper tone for your Memoirs .

Maybe with her next single, M.C. will croon about what it was like to breathe while ex-hubby and former Sony chairman Tommy Mottola was flopping on top of her like an inverted Nomi Malone in Showgirls . We'll see how this album goes down, but if E=MC2 and its lone hit followed by a stream of non-charting singles is any indication, there could be some serious similarities in the future between this angel's memoirs and those of a certain geisha.

And let's not even go into the stark juxtaposition on the cover art between the album's modest title and the triple step-and-repeat attack of Mrs. Nick Cannon framing her curves with a white T-shirt dress that looks homemade. Let's bring back the class, lady.

Shakira's website announced that her new album, She Wolf, would be out October 5 and would be "very electronic," as evidenced by the debut single of the same name. The album, Shakira says, is "dance-oriented. Club-oriented. I want people to have fun with it. Forget about the troubles. Forget about the crisis. Forget everything for a minute -- at least while they listen to the music."

Shakira seems to be following pop's recent trend of acknowledging, for a fun change, the electronic sound that dominates the music of Europe and much of the rest of the world, and for once deciding that despite the gays' obsession with it since, well, forever, maybe it is OK to go mainstream with it. And the result is decidedly steamy.

The title track features the kind of organic electronic production that made Basement Jaxx popular -- synth gurgles and a relentless beat blended with bare guitar strums and ecstatic violins -- with an arpeggio chorus similar to the trademark melodies of trance music. It took Shakira only 10 minutes to write the music and lyrics. "'She Wolf' came to me very mysteriously. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting."

Apparently that last part stuck, as you can hear her doing just that throughout the track.

The video for "She Wolf" shows the songstress sneaking out of bed, donning an asymmetrical leotard, and then emerging from what looks like a glitter-drenched birth canal into a club setting, while the cutaways have her dancing in an enormous cage in a flesh-colored one-piece.

The she wolf is out indeed.

Madonna's got a new album out September 29, and everyone's losing their mind over the prospect. But don't freak out yet -- it's just the fourth installment of her greatest hits series (with the previous installments The Immaculate Collection , Something to Remember , and GHV2 ), this time spanning the entirety of her career (plus two new tracks), and being proclaimed as "The Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection: 34 Songs That Changed the World."

Tags: Music

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