There appears to be a delicate shift occurring in reggaetón as of late. Whereas 2022 and early 2023 noticed the style embrace a type of eclectic, cross-genre experimentation (most visibly championed on Unhealthy Bunny’s critically acclaimed album “Un Verano Sin Ti”), the tail finish of this yr has seen the pendulum shift towards simplicity and a spotlight that characterised reggaetón’s earlier years. Possibly it is as a result of rise of the alt-perreo style and experimentally inclined artists like RaiNao and Pink Pablo. Or possibly the current resurgence of old-school artists like Chencho, Maldy, Jowell & Randy, and Tego Calderón has added a wholesome dose of nostalgia to the zeitgeist. However whatever the particular catalyst, lots of at present’s hottest reggaetoneros are harkening again to the style’s roots. Together with her newest album, “Mañana Será Bonita (Bichota Season),” Karol G trades within the upbeat pop-reggaetón sound that characterised the unique “Mañana Será Bonita” for a harder-hitting method that sees her leaning into her “bichota” persona.
The Colombian famous person makes it clear that it is a very totally different album proper out of the gate. Whereas the unique “Mañana Será Bonita” opened with an upbeat monitor that sampled the well-known “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, “Bichota Season” kicks issues off with the snare-heavy, swaggy rap monitor “BichotaG.” The tune sees Karol G eschew her usually ethereal vocals and up the bravado with a laidback move that serves to raised emphasize braggadocious lyrics like “cada canción que tiro es un éxito que rompe.” The Colombian artist is clearly feeling herself right here. It is refreshing to see that, regardless of her mainstream success, she will be able to channel a extra uncooked aspect that honors the style’s hip-hop roots.
However what’s extra refreshing is that Karol G appears to know her picture as a pop star. As an artist, she has all the time been extra pop than road, extra amor y desamor than perreo and tiroteo. However Karol G does two issues to make sure that the road really feel of the album does not come throughout as an excessive amount of of a shift. First, it is a quick album, clocking in at solely 10 tracks. This retains the challenge tight, targeted, and danceable. However not each monitor is a banger. The one misstep comes early within the album with the cumbia-influenced “Mi Ex Tenía Razón.” Thematically, it seems like a holdover from the earlier album and does not match the vibe the remainder of the album serves up.
The second factor Karol G does proper is usher in a who’s who of urbano expertise to assist with the heavy lifting. From Peso Pluma to Younger Miko, “Bichota Season”‘s options present the type of sturdy lyrical content material one expects from an urbano album with out saddling Karol G with an excessive amount of of the burden. For instance, on “Gatita Gangster,” she channels her promiscuous aspect whereas Puerto Rican trapero Dei V delivers a verse full of references to tablets, punches, and Peter Parker (sure, that Peter Parker). On one other monitor, the songstress grabs Chilean reggaetonero Cris MJ’s “Una Noche En Medellín” and invitations fellow Colombian MC Ryan Castro alongside for the journey.
Songs like these exemplify the Colombian fashion of reggaetón, or un reggaetón “seco,” characterised by easy, melodic beats and lyrics that go laborious however not too laborious. That is most likely one of the simplest ways to explain “Bichota Season.” With a shorter run time, it dives deeper into the perreo and entice elements of the style however not deep sufficient to actually excel at that fashion. That is not to say that Karol G does not shine at instances. “Me Tengo Que Ir” is a trippy, downtempo duet with Kali Uchis that completely matches her ethereal falsetto with Uchi’s raspy, contralto. On “Dispo,” the singer hyperlinks up with Younger Miko and supplies followers with a basic membership banger that’s certain to be on heavy rotation in each Colombia and PR. These two tracks stand out together with the intro as essentially the most polished on the album and present simply what Karol G can do when she permits herself to completely swim within the style’s deep waters.
On the finish of the day, “Bichota Season” displays the current shift within the style whereas additionally serving to proceed Karol G’s journey of therapeutic that began on “Mañana Será Bonita.” If that album was a extra weak expression of a lady popping out of an emotionally tumultuous yr, her newest effort reestablishes her as a assured, empowered hit-maker and makes a becoming, if not distinctive, bridge that may maintain followers over till her subsequent full-fledged challenge.