Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Album Review: Bad Bunny - YHLQMDLG

Bad Bunny
***and1/2 out of *****

The Reggaeton/Latin Trap star Bad Bunny's newest album is a loose relaxed record as YHLQMDLG finds the artist on top of his game and the genre.

This release is a mix of stripped down simplistic moody numbers and full on over the top produced dance floor fillers. It opens on more barren front as ""Si Veo a Tu Mama" takes a Casio keyboard version of "The Girl From Ipanema" and little else to set the mood, but things kick up as the instrumentation and vibe increases on tracks like "Pera Ya No" which uses vinyl sampling, twinkling pianos and distorted vocals and "La Santa" which increases the energy around a fun beat and a guest spot from Daddy Yankee

The yin/yang in energy and more sullen tracks continues as "Solia" uses grooving percussion, "La Zona" is a banging dance track and "Bichiyal" digs deep with the bass bumps while welcoming Yaviah for vocals; all are sweaty numbers. The more inner looking efforts like "Vete", "Ignorantes", "Puesto Per Guerrial" and "25/8" all flirt with minimalist modern hip hop/trap style, but manage to retain the bass, just not the upbeat energy.

The genre and Bad Bunny work best when he is layering sounds on top of samples on top of 808's, basically the more the merrier as the energy and sound drive the best efforts here like "Saferfa". The standout tune uses hip hop samples, thick/thin beats, digital distortion while moving through a variety of styles with the help of Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow.

The tune is a mashup of genres this is what Bad Bunny does best, "A Tu Merced" amps up the reggae vibe around huge beats, "P FKN R" uses horror movie soundtrack sounding beats (with Kendo Kaponi and Arcángel) and "Esta Cabron Ser Yo" (with Anuel AA) both manages to increase the gangster flow and the flamenco guitar quotients on the record. "Hablamos Manana" is a catchy hook with supporting rhymes from Duki and Pablo Chill-E as producers Tainy and Albert Hype overload the groove with laser blast as Bad Bunny brings the record to a close.   

While there isn't a mega cross over hit here, the quality level remains high throughout as the full album moves with a swagger and confidence progressing through Bad Bunny's filter. The Puerto Rican star will only rise higher on the back of YHLQMDLG
Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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