Kali Uchis_Orquídeas

REVIEW: Kali Uchis Colors Outside Genre Lines on New Album ‘Orquídeas’

Photo by Geffen.

Kali Uchis is finally owning her sound, dancing effortlessly across the musical spectrum. With her newest Spanglish album, Orquídeas (out Jan. 12), she proves that her “sound” doesn’t settle in one lane; instead, it wanders through genres like dream pop, dembow, reggaeton, bolero, merengue, and more.

Orquídeas embodies today’s musical state of genre-less projects that many artists, from Bad Bunny to Prince Royce, are experimenting with. Nowadays, we are seeing genre lines get blurrier as our favorite artists continue to fully immerse themselves in new out-of-the-box sounds that were once carefully separated by music categories. The newly-revealed mother-to-be’s album is no exception.

“¿Cómo Así?” opens her highly-anticipated fourth album with an upbeat track, enthralling the listener with her signature vocals, leaving you feeling as if you’re the main character in a Skins episode looking for your next lover at an underground rave. “Me Pongo Loca” continues the bilingual LP with a pulsing beat and electronic sounds to make the way to one of the standout collaborations: “Igual Que Un Ángel” featuring Peso Pluma. 

In “Igual Que Un Ángel,” Kali not only demonstrates herself as a musical chameleon – highlighting the ease with which her voice adapts comfortably to any given genre – but she also pushes her song’s hit collaborator to new, groovy, and uncharted sonic horizons. Usually a corrido tumbado crooner, La Doble P’s vocals shine on a glittery, dream-pop song that’s a smart move to continue expanding (in the Colombian singer’s case, further cementing) both artists’ musical mainstream radio reach.

Throughout Orquídeas, the Colombian hitmaker oozes sensuality, femininity, and lustful lulls to captivate her listeners. Other songs like “Diosa” serve as a healing mantra. With tender-hearted lyrics like, “La reina, la diva, la diosa / Me respalda el universo / Me da to’ lo que necesito,” the singer-songwriter created a safe space for her listeners to dwell in. In a world where men continue to minimize women’s storytelling to a punchline, she offers positive reinforcement for those who need to hear it.

Another highlight is “Te Mata,” which pulls away from the album’s electro-pop theme and jolts forward Kalis’ ever-transmuting artistry, reminding her fans that she’s far more than just your mainstream “telepatía” pop singer; she’s capable of lending her vocals to a traditional bolero, about redemption and finally letting go of someone toxic.

Besides “Te Mata,” another track that continues to solidify the songstress’ efforts in demonstrating her versatility is the album’s closing number. “Dame Beso // Muévete” plays with upbeat tempos and traditional Latine sounds, the perfect soundtrack to start our tía eras. The tonality reminds us of Los Hermanos Rosarios’ “La Reina del Swing,” further vouching for it as a potential quinceañera banger.

Moreover, songs like “Muñekita” with El Alfa & JT, “Labios Mordidos” with Karol G, and a new version of the popular “No Hay Ley Parte 2” with Rauw Alejandro bring us back to one of Kali Uchis widely-known expertise: sexy songs backed by a throbbing beat, made for the dancefloor.

On Orquídeas, the Colombian shapeshifter sounds at ease and confident about finally releasing music she’s been betting on for years. Long gone are the days when she stayed coloring inside the lines of one genre. Instead, she’s provoking her fans to follow her musical ear’s curiosity and showing them how far her music reaches – both in English and Spanish alike. The result so far? A new, multi-faceted, and timeless Kali Uchis that sounds as authentic and diverse as ever.

Orquídeas is out tomorrow, Jan. 12.