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Bad Bunny
El Último Tour del Mundo Verónica A. Bastardo , December 4th, 2020 09:16

Blending trap, rock and punk Bad Bunny keeps his ‘lawbreaker’ label in a rather monotone reggaeton music scene

Since the success of ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee in 2017, it’s clear that reggaeton has its global audience. This is a beat we’ve heard outside the Latin field in songs like ‘Sorry’ by Justin Bieber or ‘Shape of You’ by Ed Sheeran, tracks that were included in so many playlists worldwide that I think they will haunt future generations for centuries. So it’s not surprising that one of the best known acts in 2020 is a reggaeton musician known as Bad Bunny.

El Último Tour del Mundo comes after hinting at a new project in ‘<3’, the outro to his album YHLQMDLG released earlier this year. Bad Bunny has played with his sound since he changed labels. Beginning like your typical Latin trap artist rapping about girls, drugs and hard sex over endless hit-hats and – if we are lucky – digital snares; he started to play with synths, experiment with flows and concepts to come up with a fresh music proposal in an otherwise worn out music genre.

This LP is another lo-fi production to add to the collection of music projects that decided to go with this style during quarantine. However, it makes for a nice surprise inside the mainstream Latin music scene. The main reggaeton artist of the moment decided to put the dembow rhythms and party vibes aside, to go with the mild mood of the lockdown year whilst experimenting with the fuzzed-up guitars and iconoclasm of punk rock.

For example, ‘Maldita Pobreza’. A funny approach to being broke while wanting to buy the world for your lover, the song feels like summer day on a beach, with the surfer-style guitar sound, trap beats, and a seamless flow between synths that could come directly from a Roland-D50.

Of course, depending on your personal taste, some songs are potential skips. But if you’re a music lover I would suggest you listen to it entirely in order since this is one of the best curated albums in the genre. Transitions like ‘La Noche de Anoche’, that ends with Rosalia’s ad-libs under an old cassette style filter, to the reverb-heavy solo guitar intro in ‘Te Deseo lo Mejor’, are just silkily pleasing to the ear.

Committed to his sad boy aesthetic, Bad Bunny delivers ‘Trellas’, a rock-pop track that could easily pass for a Gustavo Cerati song. An acoustic guitar, dreamlike synths, and wavy echoes give this floating sensation while singing about a lover so good that not even a space trip could make you forget.

Of course, there are dim party vibes in songs like ‘Dakiti’ and the classic I-am-better-than-you-peasants trap track with ‘Booker T’ but, loyal to his style, Bad Bunny makes it interesting. Can be a classic retro sample, an Ozzy Osbourne type scream, like in ‘La Droga’, or just a choice to sing about heartbreak and vulnerabilities in a male-dominated music genre where songs tend to be pent up inside the relentless party, sex, and money narratives.

While in lockdown, Bad Bunny decided to step out of the box and explore new music to mix with Latin trap, coming up with fresh sound narratives and reaffirming his ‘lawbreaker’ reputation in an otherwise rather boring reggaeton scene.