With pre-orders alone taking the top spot on several Latin charts, Farruko‘s Visionary (Sony Music Latin), his newest 14-track venture, explores not only the reggaetón sounds he’s built his name on, but also all of the derivative styles that have become seeded in the urbano soundscape.
Tracks like “Papi Champú” pull on the familiar, recalling the marimba-built beat from last year’s ubiquitous “Guaya Guaya” by Don Omar. Farruko’s visibility is reaching new levels across the U.S. and beyond, and he’s wise to cast a collaborative net that reaches beyond the island to reflect that ascension. On “HMB,” he calls on Bronx up-and-comer Messiah to share verses over a DJ Mustard-inspired beat, a close approximation of what worked so well on his Ya Era Tiempo, Vol. 2 album that borrowed heavily from underground hip-hop currents.
There’s some less savory moments on the album as well, seen most clearly in the complimentary Pitbull cameo moment on the English-hablante track “Never Let You Go.” The album quickly bounces back, with ballad-friendly moments like “Te Va A Doler” or the slowed down, reggae-paced offering “Chillax.”
Despite these reggaetón romántico moments, Farruko manages to fit in selections like title track “Visionary” and “Power,” a more traditional offering for the genre, serving up a barrio ode to show that he hasn’t lost his edge. Showing that the art of the narrative arc in album production is not lost, the tone quickly switch-hits to some of the more saccharine moments on the full-length, wrapping with “Sunset” – his preview of the album with Shaggy that dropped over the summer – and “Angels.”
Farruko rings in the new release with a string of dates, starting in Hollywood, FL (October 24 at Cafe Iguana Pines), NYC’s Madison Square Garden (October 28), and Queens (October 29 at La Boom NY).