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Shakira shakes it up with new album

By Shanon Cook, CNN
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Shakira's 'She Wolf'
  • Shakira's new album, "She Wolf," is out Monday
  • This is the third English-language album from the Colombian native
  • Shakira recently enrolled in a summer course about the history of Western civilization
  • Shakira
  • Music
  • Colombia
  • Wyclef Jean

New York (CNN) -- Her hips may not lie, but Shakira's fingernails sure know how to do some damage. The pop singer has gone all wolflike for her new album, out Monday.

It's called "She Wolf" -- awoooooooooooh! -- and the pop singer wants everybody to know it's OK to get in touch with your animal side. Just listen to the album's title track:

"Sitting across the bar, staring right at her prey. It's going well so far, she's gonna get her way."

Look out, boys!

This is the third English-language album from the Colombian native, and it turns the volume up on thumping dance floor beats.

"I did want an album where the kick hit really hard," Shakira says. "And I wanted to explore synthesizers but still keep the fusion of different elements and influences that come from different cultures. So you're going to find a lot of Indian, Middle Eastern, Colombian and Jamaican influences, but all within this electronic context."

We crashed Shakira's dressing room recently at a New York theatre where she was readying for a performance. Dressed in the same sexy black peep-toe boots she wears in the "She Wolf" video ("I can't take them off!"), she was polite and soft-spoken during the interview.

Mind you, the moon hadn't yet come out...

Shakira's peeps

Shakira's pal Wyclef Jean, who helped make her 2006 "Hips Don't Lie" a Grammy-nominated hit, joins her again on this album on the track "Spy." And she finds a new friend in Lil Wayne ("One of my favorite rappers out there") who lends his signature drawl to Shakira's new single, "Give It Up To Me."

Turn that off!

Dancing is as big a passion as singing for this pint-sized performer (she's 5 feet 2 inches tall), and you can bet she's heavily involved in the editing process of her dance-tastic music videos.

But once they're finished, Shakira says she has a hard time watching herself bend, flex and gyrate on screen: "Most of the time I don't look at what I do, or listen too much to my own music. I try to stay away from 'me' as much as I can. I work really hard on a creative idea, on a creative project. ... I put a lot of thought and detail into everything, almost as an artisan I think would do with his own work, but once it's done, I don't want to know about it!"

Back to school

Shakira says she's been very interested in history since she was a teen. So when her schedule opened up after her world tour wrapped in 2007, the 32-year-old took the opportunity to do something her busy career hadn't yet allowed: She went to school.

Shakira enrolled in a summer course at UCLA about the history of Western civilization. "I tried to do it as inconspicuously as possible. I was in disguise, wearing a cap and baggy pants and sneakers. I almost looked like a boy! I was able to get a little bit of a taste of the student life. And if I could, I would do it again, of course, but I don't know if life's ever going to give me another chance to so."