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Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti Music Album Reviews

Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti Music Album Reviews
Much more than a Caribbean summer playlist, Bad Bunny’s latest album is a melodic discourse that questions the powers that be and a call to action that encourages diasporic joy, perreo, and rest.

Bad Bunny moves with intention. Quickly after releasing Un Verano Sin Ti, he made stops that reflect two major themes of the album. The first was a cute, intimate celebration at the last Puerto Rican social club remaining in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: the Caribbean Social Club (also known as “Toñita’s” after one of its owners, Maria Antonia Cay). As one of the most regarded Latinx-owned bars to survive the area’s gentrification while also preserving Boricua history, its existence symbolizes resistance. The day after, he appeared in the Bronx to record a music video for one of the album’s highlights, the upbeat hip-hop dembow fusion “Tití Me Preguntó.” Sporting a T-shirt honoring bachata legend Anthony Santos—whose “No Te Puedo Olvidar” is sampled at the beginning of the track—he was seen turning up with Dominican youth, taking part in the street revelery known simply as teteo. This release-week schedule reflects two of Un Verano Sin Ti’s animating forces: Benito’s bori pride and appreciation of Dominican culture.

Recorded in his native island of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Un Verano Sin Ti is a cohesively packaged voyage through the various sounds synonymous with the Caribbean region—reggaetón, reggae, bomba, Dominican dembow, Dominican mambo, and bachata, among others. The album’s 23 tracks are conceptualized through an A side and B side scheme that separates high-energy party and fun sonidos from tranquility and conscious thinking. Its enticing musical patchwork further lures listeners into El Conejo’s universe of experimental arrangements, sharp and nostalgic synths, and unexpected genre fusions. It’s a loving ode to Caribbean culture that embraces marginalized scenes within Latin America, from the ostracization of Black-rooted genres like bachata, dembow, and mambo to the criminalization of reggaeton.

Since his early Latin-trap beginnings (which he nods to here on “Dos Mil 16”), Bad Bunny’s adventurous tastes have catapulted him to become one of the most prolific global tastemakers. That versatility, paired with impeccable delivery, wordplay, and lyricism, has permitted him to exist creatively in a way no one else in Latin music, specifically within El Movimiento—to push the boundaries of gender conformity and fashion, for example, while simultaneously branching out to wrestling and acting. His range is represented throughout his discography, which spans pop-punk-meets-trap tracks like “Tenemos Que Hablar” (from 2019’s X 100PRE), “Hablamos Mañana” (2020’s YHLQMDLG), and “Yo Visto Así” (El Último Tour Del Mundo, his second album of 2020 and the first all Spanish-language album to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200). As he’s gone on to become Spotify’s most-streamed artist two years in a row, Bad Bunny has set records never before seen in the industry. Yet, despite all the accolades and fame, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio can still be found in a narrow, Puerto Rican-owned bar in Brooklyn.

In this tiny, symbolic bar in New York City, he celebrated another muse for the project: the vacations he spent on the west coast of Puerto Rico as a kid. The album’s gratifying transitions illustrate a summer in el caribe—what it feels like to be on those beaches, the colloquial phrases and dialects of the Spanish-language Caribbean. The sound of seagulls in the track-to-track transition between “Agosto” and “Callaita” perfectly evokes the texture and atmosphere of the beach. With dazzling eclecticism, Bad Bunny touches on nu-disco, psychedelia, electro-pop, and house on reggaetón-based songs like “Party” with Rauw Alejandro, “Tarot” featuring Jhay Cortez, and one of its most political tracks, “El Apagón.” The second half brings a wealth of unexpected collaborations: On “Ojitos Lindos” and “Otro Atardecer,” respectively, Colombian cumbia-electro group Bomba Estéreo and indie-pop band the Marías adapt seamlessly into the project’s world.

The B-side also serves as a melodic discourse on Puerto Rican livelihood. Puerto Rican duo Buscabulla joins for “Andrea,” an indie-pop song that touches on femicide and gender violence. “El Apagón” (“The Blackout”) is a middle finger to those privatizing the island’s electrical grid and beaches, furthering the displacement and gentrification of communities in Puerto Rico, the world’s oldest colony. “Que se vayan ellos/Lo que me pertenece a mí/Se lo quedan ellos” (Let them go/What belongs to me/They’ll keep it for themselves), sings Bad Bunny’s girlfriend, Gabriela Berlingeri, in the outro. “Esta es mi tierra” (This is my land). 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.

The truth is: perreo, whining the waist, and shaking ass are all forms of protest and expression, and activated equally throughout the album. While the B-side feels designed for whining down and deep thinking, the A-side sets the tone for teteos, cookouts, and beach parties, keeping reggaetón culture at the forefront with appearances from native legends like Tony Dize on “La Corriente” and Plan B’s Chencho Corleone on “Me Porto Bonito.” A major part of the production influences belong to the Dominican Republic, though actual Dominican artists are conspicuously absent. “Después de la Playa,” which opens with synths that transition to a Dominican mambo a little over a minute in, is one of the only songs to credit a Dominican artist by name: Against a foundation of guira, tambora, and piano, you hear, “I’m here with el Apechao”—a reference to Dahian el Apechao, an instrumentalist, singer, and composer with an impressive history of collaboration with mambo and reggaetón artists alike. ​The lack of visible representation for more Black Dominican artists on an album so indebted to their influence feels like a missed opportunity.

What it means to properly appreciate culture runs deep, especially when you’re a global phenomenon with omnivorous tastes and a vast audience, and Bad Bunny has space to continue learning. Since the mid-2010s, he’s introduced and defined trends for El Movimiento in both music and fashion. Every album rollout brings a fresh aesthetic: From intricate hair designs and brightly colored short-shorts to skirts and punk leathers to the beach-ready boonie hats of Un Verano Sin Ti, he’s constantly evolving. As he did with ’80s synths, romantiqueo (pop reggaetón centered on heartache and love), and emo lyricism, this album sets the blueprint for what’s next and the message is clear: The Caribbean deserves its flowers and will continue to claim space. Bad Bunny’s diasporic summer playlist is the sound of a world preparing for positive healing and joy.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti Music Album Reviews Bad Bunny - Un Verano Sin Ti Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, May 21, 2022 Rating: 5

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