A vibrant return, fired by reggaeton energy...

'Colores' is the seventh studio album by the Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin, ten tracks long. With his vibrant energy, unique take on the reggaeton genre and raw talent, anticipation was high for this record.

Each track on 'Colores' is based on the colour that J Balvin and his team envisioned whilst listening to the final version of said tracks.

J Balvin sets the pace by jumping straight into 'Colores' with a dynamic track 'Amarillo'. Yellow is the colour that is given to the intro track, depicting the vibe given when listening to the song, as yellow is the colour that portrays happiness and youth. With voice-altered trumpets blaring throughout the track, a playful,bouncy flow when rapping, and an energetic, rooted reggaeton anthem that pushes the narrative of dance, setting the tone for the rest of the album.

'Rojo' is the third entry into the tracklist and the breakout, based on the colour red. Red is a very emotionally intense colour, which is transpired into the creative vision set with this song.

With a punchy bass that is a must in a reggaeton track 'Rojo' stays true to the roots of the genre,however a slowed-tempo manages to set this track apart from the sound we are used to. An added effect, creates an unearthly aura to the listening experience, generating the sense of being stuck between the world of the living and death. All of this to narrate a tale depicting a tragic death of a soon to be father, caused by the distraction of phones when driving. J Balvin described his vision in an interview with Rapetón saying:

“....I wanted to go beyond the music, connections, emotions, feeling that we are vulnerable, that it is reality, that we can lose a loved one, that we can leave at any time. And it is a song that makes you reflect...”

The message being sent across is one that needed to be said, J Balvin did so by evolving the sound of reggaeton, which is welcomed.

'Negro' offers a more brutal flavour of reggaeton “malianteo”,the track given the shade of black as it’s title. A pitched snake charmer’s flute is heard, creating a chaotic atmosphere that J Balvin capitalises on with his delivery.

Throwing punches through his hard-hitting lyricism, each punchline landing candidly with the timing of the kick. During his verses the instrumental fades away, allowing more creative space for J Balvin to exhibit his ability. 'Negro' being a more traditional reggaeton song, this will be a favourite track from the project, being reminiscent of Hector El Father, a star in the reggaeston scene.

Mr Eazi, is one of the only collaborations on 'Colores', he is very prominent here in the UK, as his genre of choice “Afrobeat” is incredibly emotional yet energetic is set in the hearts of many, pushing the listener to want to move their body. This energy is prevalent in 'Arcoíris' the song titled rainbow, which best describes the song, as it’s a mix of two differentiating sounds that have the same focus, energy and dance.

The sample used is a Cuban song by Company Segundo, that resembles an African sound, which Mr.Eazi and J Balvin are easily able to flow on, creating a unique blend of reggaeton and afrobeats. With a heavy and prominent kick, which is staple in both genres, paired with a range of vocal versatility, each artist bringing their flavour to the mix, creating a delicacy for our ears.

'Colores' stays true to the reggaeton roots that J Balvin has built upon during the years of his influence on the Latino music scene. An energetic and vibrant project, that is exactly what the music scene needed in such an uncertain time. One of J Balvin’s strongest projects to date.

8/10

Words: Ramy Abou-Setta

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