Although the world hasn't seen a lot of Shakira lately, the Colombian dynamo hasn't exactly been resting comfortably on her laurels.
"Since my last tour ended, I have been literally sweating like a pig, working like a dog, and putting together this DVD documentary and live CD," Shakira said with the peculiar vernacular her fans have come to expect.
The result, Live & Off The Record, was released last week. The two-disc collection includes a 10-song live album; a 90-minute concert filmed at a Rotterdam, Netherlands, stop on her Tour Of The Mongoose; and a behind-the-scenes look at the platinum-haired singer, warts and all.
"When my fans watch this documentary, they are going to see that I'm a neurotic, that I'm an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist, and I don't know if they are going to like that," she explained, "but they for sure will understand me a little more. They'll get to know my causes in life, what I fight for, the things that inspire me, that move me. ... I just get the feeling that I'm going to get much closer to them than ever before."
The artist, too, has gained a little more knowledge about herself than what Laundry Service songs "Underneath Your Clothes," "Objection (Tango)" and "Whenever, Wherever" revealed. When Shakira wasn't working on the DVD, she was putting pen to paper for her next album. She has written about 60 tunes for the as-yet-untitled effort and is in the process of choosing the dozen or so that will make the album's final cut.
"This album is so personal," she explained. "It's very honest, and it's revealing so much of myself that it's also acting like a mirror. I can see my own reflection in each one of the songs. And through the lyrics, I am also learning to know a little bit more about myself. I guess that's an eternal process. You never end up really getting to know yourself, but art is definitively one useful tool to achieve that."