Monday, February 07, 2011

Double Take

What do international superstar Shakira (far left) and obscure but acclaimed indie band The XX (left) have in common? I don't usually feature superstars on Song of the Week, but Shakira's had the excellent taste to cover The XX's soulful, rocking, but unusually structured 'Islands,' to my great delight. Shakira has brightened up the spare original and made it more accessible while respecting its essence. All I can say is 'hats off'!

And Shakira, aka Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, is a Colombian singer-songwriter-producer of Lebanese, Catalan, and Italian descent who appeals to my internationalist and feminist instincts as well as my musical taste buds....(Shakira just turned 34 on Wednesday, making her exactly two days younger than my friend Sunil and exactly one day older than my friend David). The XX (pronounced 'the ex ex") are a London trio who met at Elliot School and whose debut album won the coveted 2010 Mercury Prize and spawned four stunning singles, of which 'Islands' is the strongest.

For your viewing and listening pleasure, we have for you both Shakira's cover of 'Islands' and the original by The XX. First up, Shakira rocking it live at the Glastonbury Festival last June

And, The XX's lovely clip of the original...

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