Bad Bunny’s newest album sets the mood for the year which finally sees the world open its borders again. It’s all about holidaying, relaxing by a Puerto Rican beach and being a proud Latinx.
Bad Bunny delivers a banger with the album’s first song, “Moscow Mule” – setting the tone for the whole LP.
The title is the lead singer’s summer drink of choice and the sound of seagulls transports us to a tropical holiday. If “Moscow Mule” and its chill beat makes you want to lounge by the beach with a cocktail in hand, the album’s second song “Después de la Playa” transports you to a late-night Latinx party.
New Creative Choices
Although Bad Bunny has been exploring and expanding away from his reggaeton/trap origins for some years – “Después de la Playa” kicks off a new side of him as an artist as it unexpectedly changes its well-known reggaeton beat to a fast-paced Merengue rhythm.
It makes you want to stand up and dance as Benito; not so much sings as he is MC’ing a crowd of partygoers. One of the album’s biggest hits is “Titi Me Preguntó”, a global top charter for more than 27 weeks.
It honours Latin legend Anthony Santos by starting with a sample of his classic Bachata song “No Te Puedo Olvidar”.
The album’s eighth and eleventh tracks are “Neverita” and “Party” featuring Rauw Alejandro. They further help Benito move away from a stereotypical reggaeton beat by incorporating electro-pop and house.
This is one of the most inspiring aspects of “Un Verano Sin Ti” – Bad Bunny’s creative choice of incorporating different rhythms like merengue, bachata, dembow, bomba, mambo, and house pushes the boundaries of what a reggaeton artist and album can be.
Speaking out for Puerto Rico
On top of summer hits galore, the album is filled with more relaxing and meditative songs. “El Apagón” (“The Blackout”) is the LP’s most politically charged song. It discusses the blackouts in Puerto Rico and the privatisation and gentrification of El Conejo’s home country. “The song’s beginning rhythm is the pulse of bomba, a genre birthed by enslaved Africans to preserve tradition that today symbolizes resistance and liberation.” says Jennifer Mota of Pitchfork. Perreo, or shaking the ass, is another form of protest that Bad Bunny encourages throughout his whole album.
“Un Verano Sin Ti” currently holds a Grammy nomination for Best Album of The Year. And its the first full Spanish album to do so. It is a well-deserved nod that serves as recognition for making Latin rhythms and situations be heard all around the globe. And making so many people proud of being Latinx (especially in these difficult post-pandemic times). In an era where the whole world is trying to reconnect, and diversity and inclusion are heavily praised: Bad Bunny should take the music industry’s biggest award home.
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