What do you get when you mix together one of Latin music's biggest female stars with R&B's reigning singing queen? The answer is: the Shakira/Rihanna collaboration "Can't Remember To Forget You." After only a week of officially waiting, the genre-bending song finally debuted online today (Jan. 13) in all its glory.
As one could expect with a Shakira song featuring Rihanna, "Can't Remember To Forget You" blends together Shakira's Latin pop roots with Rihanna's signature reggae-induced R&B sound. The result, logically, is an explosion of horns and bopping beats that begin from the very first second of the song.
The uptempo song is driven not only by the hoppy horns but is also lead by an arrangement of guitars and quirky percussion, further pushing the reggae/Latin fusion this song pulls together.
Aside from the instrumentation, the vocal turns from Shakira and Rihanna are solid. Over top of the music (which is the true star of this song), the two pop divas sing lightly in the verses, floating above the clunky trumpets and trombones. The chorus, however, is when they truly shine. Shakira sings like her life is depending on it, and Rihanna plays off her with a sense of happiness.
Lyrically, "Can't Remember To Forget You" is what one could expect from the lengthy title. A woman knows she should leave her troubling man but continues to fall back into his arms after forgetting to forget him.
When one considers Rihanna's past with certain men (ahem... Chris Brown), the lyrics seem slightly troubling, but it's unlikely this song was intended to go that deep. Instead, it's just meant to be a fun pop anthem about that irresistible bad boy.
While "Can't Remember To Forget You" doesn't hold a candle to Shakira's last well known collaboration with an R&B songstress (2007's "Beautiful Liar" with Beyoncé), it manages to accomplish what it was set out to do: announce that Shakira is back with a bang.
Listen to "Can't Remember To Forget You," the lead single from Shakira's untitled 2014 English language album, below (via Just Jared):