New Music Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs and albums recommended by Billboard Latin and Billboard Español editors. Check out this week’s picks below.
Chayanne, Bailemos Otra Vez (Sony Music Latin)
Chayanne, a.k.a. “Latin America’s eternal boyfriend,” presents his highly anticipated 20th studio album, Bailemos Otra Vez, marking his first set in nine years. In the diverse nine-track journey — home to previously released tracks “Bailando Bachata” and “Te Amo y Punto” — the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter reinvents his sound while keeping his essence intact.
If the former, his first-ever bachata, was an indication, he isn’t afraid to navigate from ranchera music in “Necesito Un Segundo” to the rhythmic cumbia in “Como Tú y Yo,” a song that celebrates true love amidst an ocean of disposable relationships (and even samples his own 1998 hit “Dejaría Todo”). “De Tanto,” on the other hand, is a classic Chayanne ballad. Recorded in Miami and penned by the artist, Bailemos Otra Vez boasts a wave of Latin hitmakers adding their magical beats and penmanship, including Andrés Torres, Édgar Barrera, Elena Rose, Florentino Rivera, Julio Reyes, Maffio, Mauricio Rengifo and Rafa Pabón. — INGRID FAJARDO
Laura Pausini, Almas Paralelas (Warner Music Italy/Gente Edizioni Musicali)
Five years after her last studio album — the 2018 Latin Grammy winner for best traditional pop vocal album, Hazte Sentir — Laura Pausini returns like a typhoon with Almas Paralelas, a 16-track set inspired by real stories, of her own and others, which displays an artistic and personal evolution, both vocally and lyrically. Featuring a more guttural interpretation, but without losing her essence, Pausini opens the album with “Cero,” a dance-pop number full of energy and empowering lyrics like “From now on I will not settle for less/ Give me only emotions different from zero.” She closes it with “Frente a Nosotros,” a sensitive piano ballad — which the Italian pop superstar walked down the aisle to when she married producer Paolo Carta last March, after 18 years together. In between, she takes us on a passionate and compelling journey addressing topics as basic as love, forgiveness, motherhood, and family.
“It is a truly conceptual album that… celebrates diversity and the right to individuality, which in my opinion should be respected more being citizens of the same streets but with different souls, different dreams, different desires,” Pausini tells Billboard Español weeks before being honored as the Latin Recording Academy’s 2023 Person of the Year. “In this world represented [on the album cover] by the street and its zebra crossing, I’d like there to always be respect and love between the individuals who inhabit it, and I would like for the listener to fall in love with the human beings who live like souls on a parallel path.”
Available in Italian as Anime Parallele, Almas Paralelas also includes the previously-released singles “Un Buen Comienzo,” dedicated to those who’ve had people in their lives trying to bring them down; “Durar,” about the love and daily commitment of a couple who decides to build a life together; and “Hogar Natural,” an emotional piece that marks her first duet with her daughter Paola. It is, overall, a pop gem that will make you dance and laugh, reflect and heal. — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS
Jay Wheeler, TRAPPii (Linked Music/Dynamic Records/EMPIRE)
In a striking divergence from his more romantic repertoire, as evinced by albums like Platónicos (2020) or last year’s R&B-infused El Amor y Yo, Jay Wheeler embraces a grittier, more provocative allure on this week’s TRAPPii. In typical trap fashion, which revels in the pleasures of excess, the Puerto Rican trap star manages to maneuver the juxtaposition of raunch, vulnerability and desire across a dozen tracks. “TRAPPii,” featuring Arcángel, serves as the album’s high-impact introductory track. Exuding a raw, hard-hitting beat with a pulsating bassline that demands attention, Jay Wheeler and Arcángel make a powerful statement about wealth, materialism and the true value of knowledge and integrity over material possessions.
Infused with subtle drill undertones, courtesy of Botlok, Yeziell, Dimelo Suru and DJ Nelson, “Repeat” sees the singer yearning to reconnect with a special someone who’s moved on to a new partner. On “Jumping Out the Window,” equipped with melodic guitar arpeggios, the Puerto Rican artist swaps to English, a risqué track that hints at the emo rap style popularized by SoundCloud rappers. Then there’s the earlier single “Gangsta Luv,” featuring newcomer Anubiis, where the protagonists allude to the perilous lifestyle of their chosen subculture. While Wheeler maintains his distinctive fusion of irresistible sensuality throughout the LP, he injects unabashed intensity. In other words, TRAPPii glitters in the dark. — ISABELA RAYGOZA
Lenny Tavárez feat. Sergio George, “El Yate” (Warner Music Latina/Kristoman)
Lenny Tavárez has brought a fan-favorite track to life with “El Yate.” The Puerto Rican artist first teased the unreleased song a couple of years ago, when he shared a home video on social media performing the song with his acoustic guitar. After much praise from his followers, the urban star teamed up with renowned award-winning producer Sergio George for a flavorful salsa version. Though the beat will keep you on your feet with its live piano, percussion, cello and trumpet melodies, “El Yate” is backed by some sad, heartfelt lyrics. “Everyone knows that it’s the law of life/ That a story without heartbreak/ Is a boring adventure/ That you can moor a yacht/ But never two hearts/ Unless God decides,” Tavárez’s sweet vocals chant — also marking a new musical era that’s not too shabby for Lenny. — JESSICA ROIZ
María José Llergo, ULTRABELLEZA (Sony Music España)
Spanish singer-songwriter María José Llergo hits the ground running with her debut album ULTRABELLEZA (Ultra Beautiful) while honoring her family heritage. Through the 13-track set, the Andalusian artist experiments beyond of the conventional boundaries of flamenco, delivering a contemporary gypsy masterpiece that pushes the boundaries of her artistry. Her deep, soul-stirring vocals and poignant lyrics about love, empowerment and life’s trials are skillfully complemented by electronic elements such as synthesizers and potent bass lines.
Standout tracks like “Superpoder,” where she pens the poignant line, “I learned to cry by singing, I learned to sing by crying,” and others like “Rueda, Rueda,” narrate her inspiring journey from humble beginnings to burgeoning stardom. About the latter, Llergo expressed in a press release, “This song is a sincere thanks and celebration of being able to dedicate myself to what truly fills me.” ULTRABELLEZA is a mesmerizing, autochthonous project infused with a contemporary flair that not only defines her as an artist but also signifies the evolution of flamenco into the modern era. It is a commendable effort to break the genre free from cultural confines, paving the way for a wider audience to embrace its beauty. — LUISA CALLE
Listen to more new Latin music recommendations in the playlists below:
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