Monday, February 26, 2024

Kali Uchis: Orquídeas Album Evaluation


When she dives into Latin American idioms, Uchis is unstoppable; Latina mode is totally on. For “Te Mata,” the Colombian American returns to bolero after first exploring the fashion through her La Lupe and Los Zafiros covers from Sin Miedo. Girls bolero singers have been entrenched in cultural reminiscence as hysterical, abject divas, however with “Te Mata,” Uchis joins a rising wave of younger artists reinterpreting the shape as an expression of energy. Over a delicate Spanish guitar and jagged string preparations, Uchis sings of being forged because the “diabla” in a egocentric lover’s story, solely to understand she’s a lot better off with out him (the kicker: he finds her newfound autonomy so painful it’d kill him). Although she’s not as a lot of a vocal powerhouse as La Lupe, Uchis’ smoldering efficiency continues to be attractive, channeling the wounded desperation and hard-earned freedom of the ladies who got here earlier than her.

After sad-girl hour, although, it’s time for Uchis to scorch the earth in an old-school reggaeton blaze. Constructed on an up to date instrumental of Andy Boy and DJ Blass’ “Dem Bow,” “Muñekita” recruits El Alfa and Metropolis Women’ JT for 3 and a half minutes of knee-injuring perreo magic, fueled by Kali’s feline purrs, El Alfa’s twittering breakdown, and JT’s staggering ranges of shade. It’s received a scrumptious assortment of one-liners; I extremely suggest including “sana, sana, colita de rana, bitch” to your arsenal of slander. “Labios Mordidos,” which options fellow paisa Karol G, is a sapphic ode to a dancefloor diosa who’s as candy as arepas de choclo; its kicks are harsh, its moans are orgasmic, and its lyrics are devilishly coy.

The ventures into new genres are thrilling, too. “No Hay Ley Parte 2,” a refresh of the 2022 single, provides a smutty dembow riddim to the unique ’90s home manufacturing, courtesy of superstars Tainy, El Guincho, Jam Metropolis, Ovy on the Drums, and Geeneus. The brand new rendition additionally features a verse of come-ons from Puerto Rican playboy Rauw Alejandro. His soiled discuss is a becoming accompaniment to Uchis’ breezy hook; together with the added reggaeton percussion, it elevates “No Hay Ley” to a blissful crest.

On nearer “Dame Beso // Muévete,” Uchis indulges in ’90s merengue. True to kind, she places her personal pleasure on the thematic heart of the music, and you’ll virtually image a frosty Presidente in your hand, the sweat dripping down your again as Los Toros Band and Toño Rosario hits blast from a speaker. Midway by, the band picks up the tempo right into a full-on perico ripiao; it’s an sudden social gathering trick and exuberant send-off engineered for Saturday-morning cleansing effectivity.

Uchis has constructed her complete repertoire on tales of seduction and anguish, fantasies the place ladies and femmes might be as unhealthy as they’re tender. On “Me Pongo Loca,” she spells out this bare reality: “Digo que a mí me vale cero/Pero tampoco soy hecha de hielo” (“I say that I don’t care in any respect/However I’m not product of ice both”). On Orquídeas, the Kali Uchis Doctrine of Reina Ideology—during which drop-dead goddesses by no means must textual content again—is stronger than ever. Most significantly, the sound of Orquídeas represents the fluidity of being a diaspora child—even when the fits won’t ever get it.

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