Story by Jayden Jones, Opinion Intern
Photo courtesy Pitchfork.com
If the curated Spotify playlist titled “J Balvin, Colores Experience” is any indicator, global reggaeton star J Balvin intended his concept album “Colores” to be a multisensory experience. With each song focusing on a specific color, “Colores” explores the power and mystery of every shade, from “Gris” to “Amarillo.”
Establishing his superstar status with “Mi Gente” in 2017, Balvin has proved himself more than capable of producing hit music. Appearances in Cardi B’s “I Like It” and Rosalía’s “Con Altura” have made him a recognizable figure in modern music with his signature shades and brightly colored jackets.
It’s clear that, for Balvin, “Colores” is about more than simply making more hits. Each track carries signature tones and emotions. “Negro” is proud and bold, “Morado” is self-possessive and smug, and “Blanco” is fast-paced and unforgettable. However, each track has a similar bounce and attitude, which causes the songs to blend together if you listen to the album on shuffle.
Artists such as J Balvin are responsible for the increasing popularity of Latin music in America. This has caused many Latin artists to worry that the genre will lose its nuances and songs will begin to become indistinguishable from one another. It’s a legitimate concern, especially considering how easy American pop music is becoming auto-tuned background noise.
However, with “Colores,” it’s clear that J Balvin is committed to creating music that is both experimental and authentic. “Colores” is a bright, powerful album. It is a dramatic and irresistible call to movement, self-expression, and passion. If each track doesn’t make you want to get up and dance, you’re doing something wrong.