Keane Tzong: “Awoo!” – that sound you hear is the laziest, cheesiest, most uncommitted wolf howl ever committed to record. It doesn’t have to be anything more than it is, though; obviously Shakira knows just how much of a winner she’s got here.
Andrew Casillas: I’ve always contended the Shakira was the Latin music version of Prince. After hearing “Loba” on repeat for a few days, it’s apparent that she’s the Latin music version of Michael Jackson too. Notice the the thumping beat (foreign to other Shakira songs) that Shakira rides til the funk reaches its point of saturation. Then the knockout chorus, featuring a deliciously atypical vocal performance, that sounds light yet powerful in its execution. The words contain the typical Shakira “WTF-ness,” where an ostensibly simple message is crouched in terms that are grating/genius depending on your point of view (obviously I fall into the latter camp), with this song carrying enough deft-paranoia to leave you light-headed. And most importantly, this track has disco strings. DISCO STRINGS, people. Whoa.
Michaelangelo Matos: The tune is catchy but not annoying, the arrangement would pep up a Europop compilation despite the beat not being all that disco (though the string-sample bridge probably means that the song is), and not knowing Spanish the “she-wolf” of the title sounds a little coy but not too much so. Always expect to not like her stuff for some reason, always happy when I’m wrong, which is usually.
Iain Mew: To make a song that contains Shakira’s unique (and great) vocal tics but is not dominated by them is quite something.
Edward Okulicz: At no point did I ever expect, when writing about any pop single in 2009, to have to write the words “obvious Boney M influence”. It’s a pleasure to do so, and doubly so to welcome Shakira back after too long an absence with an absolute stormer, packed to the gills with ridiculous hooks, plus panting, howling and fantastic disco strings. What more could you want? A big thumbs up to the vocals – rather than singing the same way throughout, Shakira really varies her delivery to alternately ride the beat, rise above it and convey a slew of emotions, even if the exactness is (currently) lost on this non-Spanish speaker.
Alfred Soto: With Shakira’s voice ringing like Anita Ward instead of roaring like Alanis Morrissette in Dogma, this slightly fetching piece of disco sounds weirder than Kylie and Nelly Furtado (love the strings!). But the track feels incomplete. As much as Shakira annoyed me ten years ago, and as much as I prayed she found a producer who didn’t assume walking into the studio that her pipes were one of the wonders of the world, I wanted greater tension. She could be singing to a click track.
Matt Cibula: If it’s Shakira, I’m interested and more than willing to jump in. This happens to be not my cup of hot estrogen but I’m not going to hate on it for not being what I want it to be. Plus those orchestral disco touches are pretty adorable.
Martin Kavka: I don’t think there’s any woman in pop who is as direct in expressing her desires as Shakira is. Indeed, the closest parallel to her is a fictional character, Rita Hayworth’s Gilda, “inflaming men’s hearts with a kiss, or a song”, as the voiceover in the trailer for that film purrs. “Loba” is pretty close to being a manifesto for Shakira’s way of life. If knowing what she wants means that she’s unsuitable for monogamous relationships — she’s not going to stay at home trapped in an emotional closet, or as the 40s-style film trailer for this song might declare, her desire can be contained by no one man! — so be it. She knows that men, and culture in general, will eat all this up. “Who doesn’t want a werewolf goddess?”, indeed.
Alex Ostroff: Shakira is probably our best pop star of the past decade, even if the Anglophone world treats her like an ESL oddity. She has a keen sense of melody, Herculean ambition and some of the weirdest lyrics to be written in any language. Plus, those hips! Here, caged in Autotune and synthy discofunk, Shakira casts herself as a wolf in the wardrobe, whose voracious man-eating appetite cannot be satisfied by candy, and who hunts herds of bachelors down with radar and magnetic heels. Where does one sign up to join her pack, exactly?
Anthony Miccio: I don’t recall ever wishing Annie sounded like a cross between Dolores O’Riordan and a trumpet, so I won’t pretend this is stellar dance-pop just because it wears its eccentricity on its sleeve. Cute, but no challenger to “Hungry Like The Wolf” or “Werewolves Of London.”
Chuck Eddy: She’s lost me in the years since Laundry Service, which I loved. This mostly slides past me, too, though I like when she talks fast and breathes heavy, and the Silver Conventiony string part is neat. Too bad Warren Zevon and Wolfman Jack aren’t alive anymore; they could’ve schooled her in the lupine howl department.
Jonathan Bradley: It’s in the way Shakira’s vocal makes eyes at the bassline, playing coy as it bobs and weaves across the dancefloor; she even manages to make her panting sound cute rather than lascivious. I know giving a high score to a sly little Spanish-language disco number is the Jukebox playing to type to the point of self-parody, but trust me: this one is worth it.
Hillary Brown: Holy shit. It’s like the Residents doing the Grass Roots’ “Live for Today.” Awesomely.
Ian Mathers: 
Martin Skidmore: 
Richard Swales: