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 Dangerous 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 because of the rise of the alt-perreo style and experimentally inclined artists like RaiNao and Pink Pablo. Or perhaps 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, a lot of in the present day’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 strategy that sees her leaning into her “bichota” persona.
The Colombian celebrity makes it clear that this can be a very completely 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 higher 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 channel a extra uncooked facet 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 at all times 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 brief album, clocking in at solely 10 tracks. This retains the mission 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 appears 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 herald 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 facet whereas Puerto Rican trapero Dei V delivers a verse full of references to capsules, 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 trip.
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 best ways to explain “Bichota Season.” With a shorter run time, it dives deeper into the perreo and entice facets of the style however not deep sufficient to essentially 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 gives followers with a traditional membership banger that’s positive to be on heavy rotation in each Colombia and PR. These two tracks stand out together with the intro as probably the most polished on the album and present simply what Karol G can do when she permits herself to totally 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 mission.