Crying to ‘Monotonía’ Right Now? We Ranked Shakira’s Best Corta-Vena Breakup Songs of All Time
Shakira‘s new Ozuna-assisted single “Monotonía” is a breakup song to end all breakup songs — no doubt directed at her soccer player ex Gerard Piqué, all the while rumors of infidelity continue to swirl.
The music video for the bachata-tinged track, already at more than 12 million views in less than 24 hours, is a wild, slightly gory ride.
First, we get images of Shakira, 45, looking forlorn walking through a supermarket, wearing big sunglasses and a ponytail as she snacks on a bag of chips and puts them back on the shelf. Then, the kicker: the Barranquilla-born singer looks straight at the camera with tears in her eyes, singing the hook, “No fue culpa tuya, ni tampoco mía, fue culpa de la monotonía/ Nunca dije nada, pero me dolía, yo sabía que esto pasaría.” Uf.
The video then takes the metaphor of a broken heart and makes it real, showing the singer get shot right in the chest, leaving her still-beating heart lying on the supermarket’s floor. Special effects showing tons of blood and a hole in Shakira’s chest are a big departure from anything the singer has done before, but we’re digging her new direction — and it’s making us think of all her breakup songs that have gotten us through in the past.
Without further ado, we made a definitive ranking of Shakira’s best breakup songs of all time — meaning you can find us singing “¿Donde estás, corazón? Ayer te busqué” all day.
First up, a song from Shakira’s first “Pies Descalzos” album back in 1995, that gives us all the nostalgia in the world. The lyrics are deeply intellectual, bringing in references like the Roman emperor Tiberius, the Parthenon, and the Mona Lisa, and the rhythm has all the rock ‘n’ roll that defined this era in the singer’s life. Plus, it still manages to be catchy with a chorus that asks her lover to “come back” again and again.
14. Pienso En Ti
The Colombian singer has famously opened many of her more recent concerts with “Pienso En Ti,” even though she released it back in 1995 with her debut album. The song is stark with barely any instrumentation, almost like a prayer with tons of echo, telling her past lover: “Everyday, I think about you” and “I pray for you every night.”
13. Te Espero Sentada
“Te Espero Sentada” is yet another breakup song from Shakira’s “Pies Descalzos” era (what can we say? She must have been going through it at the time — and creating iconic songs to heal). As seen in this live performance from Chilean festival Viña del Mar back in 1997, this track has a soothing, chill rhythm that’s perfect to do homework to — or cry to if you hear the lyrics like “Living life without you is like dying, it’s walking without seeing.” We stan a true romantic!
12. Que Vuelvas
Okay, so now we’re at Shakira’s sophomore album “Dónde Están Los Ladrones,” with an iconic pink cover and dirty hands that bring us right back to childhood seeing the C.D. in our parents’ collection. The track “Que Vuelvas” is a breakup song, but it also has a fun rhythm that makes you want to dance — simply asking, “Tell me where you’re going now that I’m not there, tell me where I go now that you’re not here.” It also has the line “My hands hurt from not touching you,” because Shakira is a poet, after all.
11. Moscas En La Casa
Sometimes, Shakira hits us with a breakup song that starts off chill, melodic, tranquil — and then turns into something completely different. This is one of those songs. Sure, the lyrics are pretty sad from the beginning: “My days without you are so dark, so long, so gray,” but the light percussion still keeps you nodding along. Then, after the 2-minute mark, the entire song changes musically, with Shakira raising and deepening her voice as she sings, “Kicking rocks, I’m still waiting for you to come back to me… Biting my nails, drowning in tears, missing you so much.”
10. Te Necesito
Back to “Pies Descalzos” era because we wouldn’t have it any other way — we love Shakira throughout the entirety of her evolution, but can we all agree that old Shakira just has something special? “Te Necesito” is an honest, beautiful breakup song that gives us all the feels with acoustic guitar, and a deep nostalgia running through it. The singer tells her beloved, “I need you, I need you my love… I miss your warmth” and yup, we’ve all been there!
9. Te Dejo Madrid
Of course, as we know, after “Pies Descalzos” and “Dónde Están Los Ladrones” came a whole new side to Shakira— her “Anglo crossover” that cemented her as a worldwide icon. Still, so many songs in her game-changing 2001 album “Laundry Service” were absolute gems, including breakup song “Te Dejo Madrid.” Loud, brash, and rock ‘n’ roll in all the best ways, this song is all about having confidence and regaining power after heartbreak: “I know I’ll be okay, cats like me fall on their feet.”
8. Estoy Aquí
Okay, okay, “Laundry Service” era is great — but why does “Pies Descalzos” have so many good breakup bops? 1995’s “Estoy Aquí” is legendary, fully catapulting Shakira into stardom as the album’s single, starting with the goosebump-inducing lyrics: “I know you won’t come back/ Everything that was, time left it behind/ I know you won’t return, what happened to us will never repeat itself.” Still, even with deep, cortavena lyricism, Shakira still manages to make us all dance and choose it for karaoke every. single. time.
7. Dónde Estás Corazón
Yep, as we slowly inch towards the end of this ranking, of course we’re getting to the songs that pretty much sum up the soundtrack to our childhood. “Dónde Estás Corazón” was another early single, with a 1995-era music video that shows Shakira with black hair, playing guitar, dancing flames and water (really), and playing the harmonica (she will always be the coolest — facts). The video will always be iconic, as well as the lightning-fast, slightly-rapped bridge we always tried to follow along to: “I looked for you in the wardrobe, in the alphabet, under the car…”
Sure, we love a great, forlorn, depressing breakup song just as much as the next person (and yes, we playback the sad parts in case we didn’t cry enough the first time… just us? Okay), but, there’s just something about powerful Shakira after heartbreak. “Objection (Tango)” is the kind of song we want to karaoke to and dedicate to our ex (porque no los dos?), featuring lyrics like “I love you for free and I’m not your mother, But you don’t even bother.” Preach. Side note, who else remembered the animated drawing part in the music video?
5. La Tortura
In our minds, Shakira’s groundbreaking hit single “Tortura” alongside Alejandro Sanz might just be one of the best songs of all time, and is arguably the song that put the Colombian star on the worldwide map at record speed (even if most music historians will point to “Whenever, Wherever”— whatever). The music video is truly iconic, showing Shakira strolling around town, cutting onions at home, and dancing in sweatpants and black paint. Both stars partner up to create a song that’s all about it being “torture” to lose each other— but you can’t “ask elm trees to grow pears,” so what’s done is done.
Back in her “Dónde Están Los Ladrones” era, Shakira was a rock-imbued powerhouse with insane vocals, tons of loud guitars and drums, the coolest outfits, and gut-wrenching lyrics (plus, that hair!). In this song, the singer gets real about who she really is, and we’ve never related to lyrics so much: “If it’s time to confess, I don’t know how to make coffee, and I don’t understand soccer” (was that a sign? Oh God). As the song goes on, Shakira sings-slash-yells in the best way: “I can’t find a way to forget you, because to keep loving you is inevitable.”
3. Si Te Vas
If there was ever a fantastic song about dealing with infidelity from a partner, then “Si Te Vas” might just be it. The track shows just how the singer shines the most, taking insurmountable heartbreak and turning it into powerful gold that proves she will be okay no matter what (almost making it a prelude to “Monotonía”). “Si Te Vas” assures an ex, “If you leave and you trade me for that witch… Don’t ever come back, because I won’t be here.” It also says “every new broom always cleans well,” which we couldn’t forget even if we tried.
This song is like a hug for your soul, bringing in the sweetest, most romantic lyrics in a breakup song that might make you cry no matter how many times you listen to it (by now, we’ve probably clocked at thousands of plays over the years— and we’re not stopping… ever). “Antología” brings in the Barranquilla star singing, “I learned how to take seconds off of time, you made me see the sky deeper, with you I gained three kilos from all of your sweet kisses,” but also tells the listener that time is now long gone, even if the lover left their “thread” sewed inside her.
1. Ciega, Sordomuda
Last but certainly not least, topping our list is “Ciega, Sordomuda,” a song that screams legendary right down to the music video’s pink and purple braids we still want to copy (Halloween maybe?). The song is fantastic because just as much as it is a breakup song, it’s almost like a situationship song (Shakira, always ahead of her time), sharing how her love for the person “doesn’t understand advice, nor reason” and if the person comes back, “nothing is useful” because she is “useless” around them. Talking about how she doesn’t know how to just “forget them” it seems like that gray area is making her blind to the truth, and shows Shakira truly has a perfect song for every situation.
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