This is a weekly compilation of bite-sized song & EP reviews from our music writers. Discover new favs, read nuanced criticism of the week’s hottest releases & more.
Camilo, El Alfa – "Bebé"
El Alfa, now “El Rey of December,” and Colombian Pop Star Camilo switched it up on us in their new single “Bebé.” El Alfa’s Dominican palabreo in combination with Camilo’s quirky mien presents a light-hearted bachatica for the romantics. From the mellow overtones of the guitar to the split complementary schemes seen in the aesthetics throughout the video, “Bebé” is a charming delicacy for those seeking placid vibes. –Katelina Eccleston
Bad Bunny ft. Abra - “Sorry Papi”
Riding the same wave that The Weeknd is currently on, “Sorry Papi” stands out as a track that is both retro and current. At the center of El Último Tour Del Mundo’s clash of dembow love songs and rock en español revivals, “Sorry Papi” taps into ‘80s pop thanks to the use of huge drum machines, Benito playing to his strengths, and an amazing hook courtesy of avant-R&B diva Abra. It’s all very cathartic but the low-key horns in the outro send some Sujan Stevens vibes we were not expecting. A true highlight on a modern classic. –Marcos Hassan
SNENiE – “Aunque no lo parezca”
The Dominican alternative scene is going through a much-needed refresh led by a new generation of musicians who are striving to capture the hearts of fans around the globe. “Aunque no lo parezca” is singer-songwriter SNENiE’s first major step towards making waves outside the island.
While locked inside her bedroom, she sees herself fighting off memories of a relationship that just ended, as a way of coping with pain. “Aunque no lo parezca” was produced by Solo Fernandez’s vocalist Gian Rojas and mixed by JV Olivier who has worked with Vicente García, Alex Ferreira and other well-established Dominican artists. –Joel Moya
Jennifer Lopez - “In The Morning”
Jennifer Lopez swims in a fog of lust and sadness on her new track “In The Morning.” In line with her previous Maluma-featuring singles, J.Lo uses a Caribbean-inspired rhythm to soundtrack her mournful lyrics, where she asks her lover to tell her he loves her in any other moment that isn’t when he wants her body. She wants the real deal, and she has no problem with letting you know. –Cheky
Sabrina Claudio & The Weeknd – “Christimas Blues”
Claudio’s holiday LP is for the (perhaps temporarily) weak of heart, which—let’s be real—is most folks right now. The titular track’s bare, breathy, sung-in-between-tears feel is perfect for the sadboi/girl who finds nd chooses love this holiday season and/or those of us who have had their yearly dose of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and want to switch it up. The pause before the “Blinding Light” singer’s verse is the perfect kind of dramatic tension these two R&B singers embody individually in their love songs. Together? A dreamy gift of a pairing. –Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo
On which the Argentina-via-Mexico City electronic producer branches beyond the usual dancefloor beats that have helped her make a name for herself in the Latin American electronic music scene. “Corazón Lleno de Mil Vacíos” is a track that is equal parts contemplative and groovy with plenty of left turns; Tayhana constantly subverts expectations with equal measures of melodicism and abstraction, even unleashing a cumbia rhythm that turns the cut into something seldom heard before. Tayhana remains at the top of the game. –Marcos Hassan
Reik, Chrisitian Nodal - “Poco”
The musical fates of Northern Mexico have willed it so that pop-rock legends Reik teamed up with meteoric música regional heartthrob Christian Nodal for a brand new single titled “Poco.” While diving into familiar themes of heartbreak, the song takes on a mariachi spirit that adds drama and melancholy atmosphere to the production; complete with horns, bass guitars and exquisite harmonies. The single is part of a forthcoming project by Reik, plunging the rockers into more traditional Mexican sounds like banda and mariachi, featuring a slew of guests and expected for release in 2021. –Richard Villegas
MC Caverinha ft. Djonga – "Meu Corre"
Caverinha is the Brazilian trap prince. In less than two years, the MC has grown from an internet phenomenon with just one single—the sneakerhead tune “Não Pisa no Meu Boot”—to become a true hope to Brazilian hip-hop with solid hits. The 12-year-old MC is still paving his way around the trap track, but “Meu Corre” shows that he can deliver more than auto-tuned rhymes. That’s why he’s sided by Djonga in this song; the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards nominee drops a few bars with his high-quality pen, no matter the beat on which the lines land. –Felipe Maia
ESDLCP - “Nuevas Normalidades”
After celebrating the 10th anniversary of his outstanding debut Historial de Caidas by giving it the remastered treatment, Chilean producer José Cerda recovers his ESDLCP moniker to bring us “Nuevas Normalidades,” a recurrent idea in these pandemic times. The drum-heavy track battles between feelings of calmness and exhilaration, weaving together slippery synths, mallet sounds, and samples from all kinds of sources, and it moves firmly without a concrete destination. It’s a sonic metaphor of everybody trying to think about the future right now. –Cheky
Bebe Rexha - “Baby, I’m Jealous” (ft. Doja Cat) (Natti Natasha Remix)
Bebe Rexha and Doja Cat’s Hot 100 hit “Baby, I’m Jealous” just got a whole lot more interesting thanks to a new remix featuring a fire verse from Natti Natasha. While the original version focuses on the negative impact of social media on women and the insecurities they experience, Natti comes in full no-nonsense mode, as she’s ready to dump any man she catches liking other ladies’ Insta photos. Plain and simple. –Cheky
Playa Gótica - “Anilina”
Back in 2019, when Playa Gótica was riding high as one of the most promising bands in Chile’s rejuvenated indie scene, the explosive foursome suddenly announced they were calling it quits. Now, over a year after disbanding, a new single titled “Anilina” has hit the airwaves. The song is one of Playa Gótica’s earliest compositions and a staple of their live shows, only ever recorded during one of their final studio sessions. The incandescent “Anilina” perfectly captures the violent guitars and unmistakeable wailing that made Fanny Leona and crew modern thrash-pop darlings. –Richard Villegas
Carlos do Complexo ft Grãomestre, "Nayarah"
Carlos is a skilled beatmaker who was bred in both the baile funk SoundCloud community and the street parties of Rio’s suburbs. His first album, shani, is an eloquent display of the artistic capabilities he has developed throughout the past years: from the cinematic soundtrack to complex beat-making. “Nayarah” is the closing track of his cyber-driven, afro-futuristic LP. The theme is a beautiful contemporary jazz oeuvre that features hazy textures and structured melodic and rhythmic lines by Grãomestre—a band made of talented musicians from Rio, something in between Brazilian jazz masters from Azymuth and the Canadian band Bad Bad Not Good. –Felipe Maia