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J Balvin’s newest album, Vibras, includes more amazing Latin Pop music, with a twist

J Balvin's latest album puts a new twist on his classic style.

Courtesy of Universal Music Latino

J Balvin's latest album puts a new twist on his classic style.

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J Cascading on the recent Latin Pop and Latin dance phase, Mi Gente singer, J Balvin released his highly anticipated album, Vibras, on May 25.  J Balvin a 33-year-old Colombian singer emerged as a reggaetón singer in 2004. His most notable hit in the United States would be Mi Gente that topped charts in the Global Top 50 on Spotify. Prior to Mi Gente, Balvin was fairly popular in the Latin music industry with singles like Ay Vamos and Ginza that have over a billion views on YouTube. In the recent year, Balvin has immersed himself into the American music industry, including features with Cardi B, Nicky Jam, and French Montana.

In April of 2018, Balvin published a statement that his album will be released in May and that it would include a different mixture of tastes and styles. Commenting on the new album, J Balvin said, “I wanted to surprise people. I want to bring something new and refreshing.”

The fourteen song track list of reggaetón music includes dance hall beats with mixes of salsa, bachata, and Afro-beat. Even though these songs are titled under “Vibras” (vibes in Spanish) and are supposed to be “global music” the sounds are similar to the foundations of “Americanized music”. Balvin exposes and builds on current music trends or beats.

The track set starts off with Vibras, a short interlude to the Mi Gente. Vibras has a slow beat with an electronic spin, but as the song advances the beat picks up to the familiar tune of Mi Gente, creating a clear transition into Mi Gente. Not only is this clever, but the way that the two songs mesh together creates a sense of hype for the following song.

The album takes the listener through a transition of reggaetón with Machika in the lead. A fast paced song with fellow artists, Jeon and Anitta, that can be played when either working out or needing a sense of rocking out. Brillo opens up the audience to Balvin’s efforts in creating a slower tempo song that works perfectly with singer Rosalía. Her voice and his voice harmonize and propel the song to be one of the most original on this album.

Most of the tracks are high beat, high intensity dance songs that follow the same pattern as Mi Gente. For example, Ambiente and Ahora are easier on the ears than the extreme beat of Machika. Keeping the flare, Balvin still incorporates the Latin sound into Ambiente and Ahora.

Mentioning before, the track list has a variety of sounds from slow to wild, and the most “salsa” feeling would be No Es Justo, which is arguable the best song of the album. The use of artists Zion and Lennox; Balvin formulates a vibrant song that places listeners in South America. The rhythm is not only catchy but the use of electronic and real instruments in different parts of the song exalts it to be one of the best.

Despite the language barrier with the album, Balvin’s new album is diverse with colorful music that everyone can listen to; however, the majority of the album is electronic beats so if one prefers real instruments this album may not be for them. The album expressed feels that are endemic to the region and follows the pattern of other Latin artists. For example, artists like Maluma or Shakira, have individualities on their albums as they express concerns, desires, and include melancholy songs. Balvin not only changes his style with this album, but in a sense it is more mature as the assorted rhythms express influences, and styles of music that are common in South America. Transitioning from Ahora to Brillo, Balvin is taking the music industry by storm, bringing along the dancing and culture with him.

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Defne Alpdogan, Eastside News Editor

On first glance, the name Defne looks like it is pronounced differently but it is the same as Daphne from Scooby-Doo. Besides writing for Eastside, you...

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J Balvin’s newest album, Vibras, includes more amazing Latin Pop music, with a twist