¿Dónde están los ladrones? is the second official Shakira album, released in 1998, still entirely in Spanish but after she had gained popularity across Latin America.
This album was marketed to be Shakira's break into the US music stage, obviously the Latin market, with her new manager Emilio Estefan (husband to Gloria Estefan). The title for the album translates to "Where are the thieves?", referring to an incident where a bag containing her lyrics (all handwritten originals because it was The '90s) were stolen at Colombia's national El Dorado airport. These songs were lost, as a 19-year-old Shakira experienced a mental block because of the trauma of being a victim of theft, and after some downtime she began anew on the album, reinvigorated and with a new theme.
After the album's success, it was exported to several countries in Europe, and Gloria Estefan encouraged Shakira to re-release it in English. Her lack of knowledge of English caused her to decline, however, though she did at least write English versions of a couple of the songs to see if bilingualism could be achieved lyrically. She proved this, though many fans throughout her career have said that her Spanish lyrics are more poetic — though this may be due to factors other than purely Shakira's Language Barrier.
The album has been certified 23 times platinum in North, Central, and South America, and Spain. In particular, it did extremely well in Argentina.
- "Ciega, sordomuda"
- "Si te vas"
- "Moscas en la casa"
- "No Ccreo"
- "Octavo día"
- "Que vuelvas"
- "¿Dónde están los ladrones?"
- "Sombra de ti"
- "Ojos así"
- All in the Eyes: The main reason for the song "Ojos así".
- Belly Dancer: In the music video for "Ojos así".
- Bilingual Bonus: "Ojos así" has two choruses: one in Spanish, one in Arabic.
- The lyrics of "Estoy aquí" ("I'm Here") from previous album Pies descalzos talk about wanting to fix a failed relationship. On ¿Dónde están los ladrones?, the song "Si te vas" has her telling her love that if he leaves her, she'll have moved on: "I won't (still) be here in the same place".note
- Similarly, the lyrics of "Moscas en la casa" are very evocative of the chorus of "Te espera sentada" from Pies descalzos, both using slightly oxymoron descriptions of life without the addressee and repeating "sin ti".
- The video for "Ciega, sordomuda" is framed by Shakira and friends getting arrested for dancing in the street, such an event is later mentioned in "Hips Don't Lie".
- Future song "Don't Bother" says "and [I'd] learn about football", referencing the "Inevitable" line "I don't understand football".
- Future album Oral Fixation Vol. 2 has the title track "How Do You Do?" which includes the repetitive lines "Do you ever cry?/ I sometimes cry", the latter of which is confessed — just like it was in "Inevitable" ('the truth is I cry once a month').
- Creation Story: "Octavo día"
- Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Used in the video for "Ciega, sordomuda".
- Hot Pursuit: In the video for "Ciega, sordomuda" Shakira and friends are arrested for dancing in the street, the police unafraid of being rough. She manages to get out with some guy and there is a chase scene, complete with smashing through cardboard boxes. The cops never quite catch them and in the end discover that they are robots and then the video ends, leaving the viewer with no knowledge whether Shakira and the this-videos-love-interest's dancing with hoops to a mariachi band in the street then leading the police through streets of blindfolded anybodies to discover they are robots in an abandoned disco crimes were ever punished. (The cops could well have been chasing them because first she was and then the pair were both blindfolded, though, and not because they broke out.) Not to mention that it blatantly lies about her height (According to the line-up it's 5'9"). It's a strange one.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Especially to an English ear. A lot of the songs sound upbeat or sweet, but they're mostly pretty sad.
- Meaningful Echo: Lines and ideas from "Inevitable" get this in a future song, "Don't Bother".
- Motor Mouth: Several, but particularly bad in "No creo".
- Raised Lighter Tribute: In the official video for "Inevitable".
- Inevitable starts, in short, with "If we're being honest, I'm useless".
- Ciega, sordomuda has "[Unkempt], blind, deaf-and-dumb,/ clumsy, [worried/ irrational], stubborn,/ it is all that I have been".