Shakira’s “Empire” Video: Preview The Clip

Christina Lee | March 23, 2014 8:05 am

Shakira reappears as a bride in a brief clip of her “Empire” video, out soon. Instead of posing for behind-the-scenes photos, though, she appears in a series of pencil storyboard sketches that hint at drama ahead – appearing alarmed, running away and standing in flames.

Critics had immediately noticed the ’90s piano rock influences in “Empire,” the second single off her self-titled album (out March 25). They heard the fragility in her voice, paired with the slow-burning intensity lingering in the background, and they compared her to the likes of (wildly different) Tori Amos, Alanis Morrisette and Jewel.

But, whether intentional or not, Shakira’s video preview recalls a pop classic from an earlier era.

This a-ha video, actually its second for “Take On Me,” won six times at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Concept Video, Most Experimental Video and Viewer’s Choice. Throughout, lead singer Morton Hacket appears as an animated comic-strip hero while inviting a reader (Bunty Bailey) into his pencil-sketch world.

Likely, Shakira was just sharing sketches from an actual “Empire” storyboard and will appear in full photographic glory in the video. Given the actually interesting lyric video that featured starscapes, blooming flowers and snakes, though, who knows? Watch the preview below, then sound off in the comments.