Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Shakira – Don’t Wait Up

I’m suddenly craving peanuts and Cracker Jacks…


Joshua Lu: This will probably out me as being way too online, but I think this song is so bad that I literally had a nightmare that this scored a [7.50], and I woke up partly annoyed and mostly terrified. The problems are obvious in “Don’t Wait Up” — the lyrics are pedestrian, and Shakira’s signature tone uncomfortably overwhelms that sparse ArK Music Factory beat. There is a specter of a good song to be found here, mostly in that first verse that promises ethereal mystery and coyness, but any hope is lost when that hideous chorus smacks you back to reality. I can only pray that my dream does not become reality.

Will Adams: Disappointing! Five years from her last English-language single, I expected a return with more punch, whether via memorable, over-the-top lyrics or a massive arrangement. Instead, “Don’t Wait Up” is frustratingly toned-down EDM-pop. Per the genre’s convention, the chorus isn’t really a chorus and more a simple hook — fine. But where the drop would in turn pick up the slack, that baseball organ is hung out to dry, with no delay or reverb to signal that this A Moment. As it is, it feels inert.

Madi Ballista: I was excited for a new Shakira track, but its bare-bones instrumentation, tepid lyrics, and vocals that lack Shakira’s usual oomph… it feels a little phoned-in. Shakira’s singing is dynamic is usual, but it just doesn’t give me the chills in the way I was expecting. I get the feeling that the muted instruments are supposed to create a moody nighttime feel, but overall it comes off sounding rather dull. Maybe if they’d spiced up the music with a few more instruments and leaned into the rhythm a little harder, I’d have something to chair dance to.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: My first several listens, I was adamant about hating Ian Kirkpatrick’s ridiculous, guileless production. But burdened with repeat listens, the robotic synth melodies burrowed and bulldozed their way into every microscopic gay cell of my body. “Don’t Wait Up” is the sound of Shakira embracing mindless carnality, and sounding better for it. 

Juana Giaimo: It’s quite amazing how Shakira brings so much personality to an anonymous song. This could easily be one of the many DJ singles we often call generic, but it has a few details that I enjoy, like the the deep bass synths in the prechorus suddenly turning high-pitched in the chorus. Her voice is instantly recognizable and she has a good control of it, but maybe she is controlling it too much. I was hoping that in the last chorus, the vocal melody would do something — there is a lot of space in between each “Don’t wait up!” that it seems the song was just asking for something to happen. 

Dorian Sinclair: “Don’t Wait Up”‘s verses are absolutely gorgeous — I love their echoey plaintiveness, and how the synth chords are just syncopated enough to knock you slightly off-balance. And the build of the prechorus is good as well, with the slightly brassier keys part joining as the vocal builds intensity. The chorus is a letdown though, with a somewhat plain melody paired with a frankly disappointing accompaniment. I like a fairground organ, but the particular one used feels really flat compared to the other parts of the piece — the staccato, along with the complete lack of any reverb, is a jarring contrast compared to the moody echoes present elsewhere. Throughout the song, though, Shakira is in fine voice; she has such a distinctive instrument, and she gets to show off a few sides of it here. It’s a good song, let down by one baffling instrument choice.

Claire Biddles: It’s disheartening to hear distinctive pop voices dampened in the name of (already sort of dated!) trends. The verse of “Don’t Wait Up” had me worried that Shakira — one of our weirdest! — had recorded a single that could easily be by any EDM-adjacent singer. The chorus just about turns it around, though, with its percussive stabs of odd, tinny noise, something like a field recording of a haunted waltzer. Also Shakira asking if her beau remembers “how you felt before you met all my different moods?”… pretty relatable amirite ladies! 

Ian Mathers: Shakira’s always a winning presence and she remains so here, but I feel like I need to buy whoever came up with the idea for and/or executed the production here (are those just sampled/properly fucked up organ sounds, or something else?). Some parts of “Don’t Wait Up” feel practically tactile to me, this is the first time in a while I’ve kept going back to the middle eight of a song just because the sounds are too good. I would like some more please?

Edward Okulicz: The treated organ is supposed to be ear-catching and a bit of a WTF-bomb the first time you hear it, but it’s actually disappointingly subdued, like whoever produced this didn’t have the courage to go the whole way at the last second. That and the chorus itself is kind of weak. Shakira’s seldom bad, but this feels like a real swing and a miss.

Reader average: [6.75] (12 votes)

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2 Responses to “Shakira – Don’t Wait Up”

  1. the sole organ stan has entered the chat

  2. Justice 4 organs

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