Shakira and Blake Shelton, ‘Medicine’ [Listen]
The Colombian singer has called it a country song from the beginning, but believes it’s actually not too far out of character from her earlier records.
“I think I have real folk roots in my previous albums,” Shakira explains. “The acoustic guitars, that type of narrative, songs that have a traditional structure. And I said to [Shelton], ‘I want to do that type of song.’ When I wrote the song I didn’t know what direction to go in and I did like eight versions. Dance, pop … but I said no, this is a country song.”
The song begins with pedal steel, electric guitar and piano. The two singers trade off lyrics, and it really does sound like a country-pop song in the earliest part. As it transitions to the chorus, there are strong elements of Shakira’s style infiltrated throughout.
‘Medicine’ captures Shelton’s signature country style with Shakira’s more pop-influenced songs. There’s a nod to more traditional country songs with lyrics about whiskey, but the most surprising (and hilarious) part of the track is when Shelton sings “pop, pop, pop, popping the pills.”
Overall, ‘Medicine’ is not meant to be a country radio hit, but Shelton believes it’s still a hit song, and he told the songstress so.
“I think she did a hell of a job,” he says. “One thing is for someone like her to say she’s going to do something and another is to do it. And I’ll be damned, a month and a half ago she wrote me and said, ‘I wrote the song, and I want you to tell me what you think.’ And I said, ‘Gosh dang, you did exactly what you said you’d do. It sounds like a hit song.’
Listen to Blake Shelton and Shakira, ‘Medicine’: