There are things I enjoy about Shakira's career, though subtlety of singing is not among them. She tends to be far too overwrought and pretentiously forced for my taste. But four years ago, when switching channels between the evening's Obama Inaugural coverage, I came upon her covering one of my favorite songs, Van Morrison's "The Bright Side of the Road" at the Neighborhood Ball. And I found it, if not perfect, engagingly charming, as she seemed to just be enjoying the occasion and having pure fun, down to bringing out a harmonica and playing along. Plus, I just love the song.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, and is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and the Writers Guild of America. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.