Once in a while, an artist comes along who can seemingly do no wrong. They just seem to have an X-factor that other artists do not have. No matter what they try to do artistically, they are able to make it work. In fact, not only do they make it work, they are somehow able to do it better than anyone else doing something similar. A few modern artists who have this trait are Bruno Mars, Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, and The Weeknd. Although he is significantly younger than these four and he hasn’t been around nearly as long, another artist I think belongs in this category is Bad Bunny. He only burst onto the scene about 5 years ago, but he has already become one of the most successful Latin artists ever. Among his list of many accomplishments are being the only non-English language act to lead Spotify in streaming for a whole year(2020 and 2021), the only Latin urban artist to grace the cover of Rolling Stone, and having the only non-English language album top the Billboard Hot 100. He has accomplished all of this by the age of 28. In May of 2022, he decided to do what other massive artists like him have done recently with much success(Drake being the most notable one to do this); he decided to release what he called a “summer playlist.” This is a collection of songs he’s made in the last couple of years that didn’t make it onto any other records but still deserved to be released. All of these songs seem to have a party theme to them, so he released them together as a massive mixtape right before summer. This collection of songs is called Un Verano Sin Ti. It is a playlist for the summer that is full of hits. Honestly, every song is very good, and they could all probably be picked for this list. I do have a few definite favorites, though, and I have written about them below. Please let me know in the comments if you love these tracks, and also let me know what other songs you love from Un Verano Sin Ti.
One thing that is very apparent from the beginning of this record is that for the most part, it doesn’t have a typical Reggaeton sound. Instead, a lot of it has an almost psychedelic influenced laid back Alternative R&B sound which is mixed with other genres such as Latin Pop, Latin Hip Hop, and other more traditional Latin styles of music. ‘Moscow Mule’ is a song that blends Alternative R&B and Latin Pop almost seamlessly. The melody has such a fun and seductive sound; it has the kind of feeling that makes you want to party the night away with your significant other. This melody is provided by a synthesized keyboard riff that just puts the listener in a good mood; it is complemented by oceanic-sounding synths sprinkled in the background which give the melody more depth. This melody is set over a traditional Latin Pop beat that just makes anyone want to dance when they hear it. The sound of this song goes with its message well. ‘Moscow Mule’ is literally about getting drunk and partying with a significant other and eventually hooking up with them.
ME PORTO BONITO FEAT. CHENCHO CORLEONE
‘Me Porto Bonito’ is probably one of the more unique-sounding songs on the record. This song has a huge Dominican influence on it. Both parts of the song’s instrumental are influenced by different types of Dominican music. The track has elements of Dominican Bachata music mixed with Latin Pop; there is also a section of the song that is Dominican Trap music. One of the best things about this song is the stark contrast in vocals between Bad Bunny and Chencho Corleone. Bad Bunny goes with his signature raspy singing voice, whereas Chencho Corleone sings(and raps) with a high-pitched nasally tone which stands out in a big way. Chencho Corleone brings so much life to this track with his performance. In ‘Me Porto Bonito,’ Chencho and Bad Bunny are telling a lady how attractive they think she is and trying to seduce her.
TITI ME PREGUNTÒ
Even though all of the music on this record is danceable, quite a few songs are pretty relaxed and laid back. This is not the case with ‘Titi Me Preguntò,’ though;’ this one is a total banger. If I could describe what I think Latin Trap should sound like, I would refer to this song. The song has a fast Party Trap beat with drums that sound Caribbean(as opposed to traditional Trap music Hi-Hats). Instead of singing or “sing-rapping like he normally does, Bad Bunny straight-up raps in Spanish. I like when he raps like this, as he is talented and has a nice flow, and it is a nice switch up from his usual deliveries. This is not the most sophisticated song on the album, but sometimes simplicity can be key because it’s still one of the album’s best. On ‘Titi Mi Pregunto,’ Bad Bunny is rapping about all of the girls he’s talking to. He can never pick just one because they are all beautiful.
TAROT FEAT. JHAY CORTEZ
I feel like because of how massively popular some of the other songs from this record are, ‘Tarot’ with Jhay Cortez is overlooked a bit. Similar to many other tracks on this record, this song combines elements of Latin Pop, R&B, and Reggaeton. One thing I enjoy about this one is the pace of the song. The beat is a lot faster than a lot of the other ones on this record. It is infectious to listen to and almost forces the listener to dance. Bad Bunny flexes his vocals on this track in an awesome way. You can hear how wide his range is on ‘Tarot.’ Vocally, Jhay Cortez kills it on this song as well. He is very good at playing off of Bad Bunny and adds a certain level of energy to the song that it needs. The harmonies from these two on the chorus are nice to listen to as well. This isn’t the most special or complicated song, but it’s super fun and put together well. On ‘Tarot,’ Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez are trying to seduce a girl in the club, calling her a “work of art.”
As I have mentioned in this piece, this record doesn’t have a ton of traditional Reggaeton on it. ‘Efecto’ is one of the songs that does go with a more traditional Reggaeton sound. Everything about the track, from the melody to the beat, has such a traditional Reggaeton and Latin Pop feeling in the very best way. Paired with Bad Bunny’s vocals, the beat and melody for ‘Efecto’ are so fun and infectious to listen to. This is the kind of song that makes me want to dance the night away in the club when I hear it. ‘Efecto’ has such a Miami club music feeling to it. On ‘Efecto,’ Bad Bunny is comparing his significant other to a drug he is addicted to. He can not get enough of this person, and every time he spends time with this them he seems to need to be with them more and more.
PARTY FEAT. RAUW ALEXANDER
As soon as I saw this collaboration in this album’s track list, I knew this would be one of the album’s biggest hits. I mean there’s no way you could go wrong with a collaboration of Bad Bunny and Rauw Alexander. They are two artists who understand how to blend genres super well and they are both so great at creating extremely catchy music. ‘Party’ is another song with an Alternative R&B base that blends in elements of Latin Pop seamlessly. The overall feeling of this track does remind me of ‘Moscow Mule.’ These two songs even have a melody with a similar tone. I have to say, though, I like ‘Party’ better than ‘Moscow Mule.’ This track is a little faster; it has the kind of beat that makes me want to immediately start dancing whenever I hear it. Another thing I love about this song is the contrast between Bad Bunny’s and Rauw Alexander’s vocals. The huskiness of Bad Bunny’s voice works well with the cleaner tone of Rauw Alexander. The best thing about this song in my opinion, though, is the hook. It just consists of Bad Bunny saying ‘Party’ over and over again with effects on his vocals. These sound effects are so cool and fun sounding, though, and they just add to the dance-ability of the track. Lyrically, ‘Party’ is pretty straightforward. This one is about Bad Bunny and Rauw wanting to party the night away.
OJITOS LINDOS FEAT. BOMBA ESTÈREO
As much as I enjoy all of the other songs on this list, I think we may have honestly saved the best for last. Although ‘Ojitos Lindos’ may not be high energy and it doesn’t make me want to party like most of this record, it is still such a good song. After the excitement of the rest of these tracks, it is an excellent song to relax and cool down to. This song has such a warm and soft feeling to it; listening to ‘Ojitos Lindos’ makes me think of a warm summer breeze at the beach. ‘Ojitos Lindos’ features the Colombian band Bomba Estèreo, who provide vocals as well as contribute to the instrumental. Bomba Estèreo had a heavy influence on the sound of this track, as it takes on major elements of the “psychedelic Cumbia” music they are known for making. The stand out moments in this song come from Bomba Estèreo’s Li Saumet. Her vocal range on this song is awesome and it provides so much texture to the song. As great as this record is as a whole, ‘Ojitos Lindos’ is a highlight. I would love to see Bad Bunny go this direction again with his music in the future.