Since his beginnings as a sad boy latin trapper, Bad Bunny has completely changed the current sound of reggaeton. From collaborating with J Balvin on tropical beats to now dropping his sophomore album YHLQMDLG, he has risen to meteoric fame.
YHLQMDLG (Yo hago lo que me dé la gana), starts off easing the listener with “Si Veo a Tu Mama.” Bad Bunny demonstrates his incredible vocal range over a warm loop of piano keys that will have you swaying your shoulders and remembering fond memories of home or a past love. A soft greeting into the dynamic and captivating sounds the listener will soon experience.
The following song “La Dificil” is where the album begins to truly move. “La Dificil”has the standard 808 drums reggaeton is known for, along with creative production that prevents the song from staling any way through. The album has a couple of radio hit cuts, but this was easily the winner.
On YHLQMDLG (which means “I do what I want”), Bad Bunny makes constant nods to his predecessors and the sound of 00’s reggaeton. He brings the talent of OG’s such as Daddy Yankee, Yaviah, and Ñengo Flow to recreate hits from the “Gasolina” era.
Prime example of this being, “Yo Perreo Sola.” A grimy perreo anthem that pushes the boundaries of what the current sound of reggaeton encompasses. Hypnotizing loops in the production paired 808’s and Nesi’s seductive delivery create a club/party track that is bound to change any atmosphere or mood. Bad Bunny oozes confidence, dropping constant one-liners and mixing his cadences effortlessly. This right here, is what primo reggaeton sounds like.
Bad Bunny doesn’t miss a beat transitioning into “Bichiyal”as the next track. A bombastic perreo anthem meant to fit in a plethora of DJ playlists this year.
The true centerpiece of this project is found in the midst of the album. After “Bichiyal”, YHLQMDLG goes into a handful of fun and moody radio cuts until we reach the true gem of the project, “Safaera.” “Safaera”is not a song, it’s an auditory Odyssey. Dynamic beat switches about every minute throughout this 5 minute journey, with stellar performances from Jowell & Randy, Ñengo Flow, and Bad Bunny. Constant use of samples and references to decades worth of music are bound to evoke moments of nostalgia within this epic megamix. Easily the best reggaeton track of this decade.
Bad Bunny at the beginning of 2020 was a latin artist that was seeping into different cultures beyond latin america. Bad Bunny now is a global superstar. Sigue con el sonido Benito!
In a current Latin American music climate dominated by Reggaeton beats, Alejandro Fernandez has made his return to Ranchera music. It has been 20 years since El Potrillo created an album dedicated to the genre he made his debut from.
Hecho en México consists of 11 songs with a variety of Mariachi flavors. Songs dedicated to love, heartbreak and cantina-styled ballads rule this album in stylish Charro fashion. It’s also important to note the duet “Menti,” on this album features the king of Rancheras, his father Vicente Fernandez.
“Menti” is the second song that Alejandro and Vicente Fernanzed have recorded throughout their careers. The song centers around regret and heartache, the sentiment s being elevated through the expert delivery of the father-son duo. At the age of 80, Chente still sounds like the King.
There are a couple of songs on Hecho en Mexico that have clear sonic and topical influences from Alejandro’s predecessors and peers. The most noticeable of these influences being his father Vicente. Alejandro’s “Caballero,” visits similar topics and pulls on similar emotions as his father’s “Lastima que seas Ajena.” They both perform ballads on their inability to pursue a love interest because of her relationship status. Sentiments of longing and frustrated passion ring through these songs like few others.
Another noticeable inspiration in this album was Alejandro’s peer, Pepe Aguilar. “Hasta en mis Huesos” has strong similarities in themes and song structure to Pepe’s “Por Mujeres Como Tu.” Both songs begin softly with trumpets and violins as the vocalists make their entrance. Soft and passionate crooning build slowly toward powerful choruses that are addicting to listen to. Thematically these songs also focus on heartbreak, wistfully singing for their significant other to return to them.
“Por Tu Adios” was a slower song in the track list of Hecho en Mexico. Softer instrumentals that lead the listener to focus more on El Potrillo’s voice and the emotion it carries. It sounds reminiscent of Cuco Sanchez’s “Fallaste Corazon,” with how much space the song has, and how vulnerable Alejandro sounds on it.
Alejandro Fernandez does justice to the Ranchera sound in this return to the genre. The album was loyal to classic sound, yet inspired. Hecho en Mexico is an album that is the perfect length, uninhibited by filler songs that are common in the era of streaming. Every song has its purpose and is well placed. I’m excited to hear more of this type of sonido.
Written by: Damian Orozco
KCR College Radio: The Sound of State
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