Lost Hit: Shakira’s “Men In This Town” Should Have Been A Single
In this franchise, we highlight album tracks that should have been released as singles.
Electro-pop was taking over the world in 2009 and Shakira wholeheartedly embraced the genre on She Wolf. The title track is widely revered as one of the quirkiest pop-oddities of all time, but there are more gems where that came from. In fact, the album is a treasure trove of wacky bangers. “Why Wait” combines Middle Eastern sounds with club beats, “Mon Amour” is a jangly, sing-along bop about wishing the absolute worst for your ex and “Men In This Town” might just be Shakira’s best-ever non-single.
One of the few tracks on She Wolf not produced by The Neptunes, “Men In This Town” is sheer dance-pop bliss. The track finds our heroine single and ready to mingle, but the options are not exactly enticing. (Did I mention this is also one of the most relatable songs of all time?) “Is there a prince in this fable for a small town girl like me?” Shakira begins the song over John Hill’s dizzying synths. “The good ones are gone or not able, and Matt Damon’s not meant for me.” Unperturbed, she goes on a man hunt across Los Angeles.
“I went to look, from the Sky Bar to the Standard — nothing took,” Shakira laments. “These boys don’t care, got a handful with their projects and with their looks.” That leads us to the majestic chorus. “Where are all the men in this town? And what’s a girl supposed to do?” the Latin superstar ponders. “Did they all run off when they knew that I was coming ’round?” Catchy, relatable and very much on-trend, “Men In This Town” would have been a no-brainer hit at a time when Lady Gaga and Kesha were ruling the charts.
Instead, the label opted for the urban radio-skewered “Did It Again” and then doubled down with the Lil Wayne-assisted “Give It Up To Me.” Both underperformed and then even the lovely “Gypsy” couldn’t save the album in the US. (The project was, however, massively successful around the world). It’s doubly frustrating because “Men In This Town” was right there, just waiting to take over the charts. Revisit Shakira’s lost hit below.