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Rosalia-Motomami ALBUM REVIEW


Written Before Listen


Rosalia is one of the most known Latin musicians of our modern times and that is due to her ability to make catchy Latin music that is also breaking boundaries in music. I personally never listened to her music, but I know she’s more than your usual Spanish pop artist. I also know that she collaborates with other artists from America as well such as Travis Scott and The Weeknd so that might be a part of it, but we’ll just have to see. Without further ado, let’s get into it.


Production


Rosalia seems to take a lot from the electronic side of Hispanic music on this one, The reggaeton rhythms, and melodic instrumentation. From the opening track, we get bouncy rhythms, and up and down chord progression over aggressive rapping from Rosalia. Even on some of the ballads like “Hentai” and “Como Un G” where a typical Rosalia ballad turns into something more electronic-influenced. It’s an album that isn’t afraid to take risks.


Features


There are only a couple of features but there are two that I would like to focus on. On “Diablo” we have an extremely surprising James Blake feature out of anyone and his blissful vocals and melancholic approach surprisingly work over the reggaeton instrumental. Let’s now talk about one of the most surprising features of 2022, The Weeknd on “La Fama''. The Weeknd starts talking Spanish….literally. He brings a fully Spanish chorus and hooks which is something we never heard. Look, I don’t know if he knows Spanish or not, but I enjoy hearing it nonetheless.


Influences


Rosalia is from Spain, but her influences are from all over the place. Let’s first off say that Rosalia took a lot of influence from the recent Arca projects that came out in December as well as SOPHIE. With songs like “Cuuuuuuuuuute”, there is obvious Death Grips influence, and I’m not saying that ironically, like listen to it. With the more ambient tracks like “Hentai” and “g3 n15”, Rosalia channels her inner James Blake with melancholic instrumentation and singing that just would be right up James Blake’s alley. There are also the usual modern Latin sounds that Bad Bunny brings to the table and the bravado that Shakira brought as well but I think one of Rosalia’s biggest influences is someone who mixes world music, industrial music with pop accessibilities, rap-like flows, and bravado like no other….MIA. I heard MIA on nearly every banger on here. With the attitude, the flow, and the variety she brings to the table. Overall, I think the MIA influence is necessary for an album like this. I think if you were trying to go for something noisy, eclectic but accessible, artists like SOPHIE, MIA and Arca are good influences to take and that’s exactly what she did.


Genre-Bending


One thing that everyone is saying, including me, is that this album is all over the place. With tracks like “Saoko”, “Diablo” and “La Combi Versace”, Rosalia goes off on a modern reggaeton sound and I think one of those tracks is good, one is solid and one is passable. On “Candy”, Rosalia does an R&B style track that interpolates Burial out of anyone and that song happens to be one of my favorites. On “La Fama” Rosalia digs deeper into her Spanish roots doing bachata music and bringing The Weeknd along with her which I think is hilarious. The track on the other hand is enjoyable but I wouldn’t consider it a favorite of mine on this album. She goes even deeper into her Spanish roots with songs like “Bulerias” and “Sakura” that are modern approaches to Flamenco music and the latter is one of my favorites on the album. The songs “Chicken Teriyaki” and “Bizcochito” on the other hand are two of the messiest and most unfinished reggaeton songs I’ve ever heard. “Hentai”, “G3 N15:” and “Como un G” are three great singer/songwriter songs that need to be highlighted because I think this is where Rosalia is strongest, with songs like these. Overall, this album is all over the place, but in a good way.


Cons


With this album being all over the place, this album has instances of unfinished songs or failed ideas and that does happen and happen frequently. I will also say that there aren’t that many songs that are lovable in my opinion. I think this album opens strong and then we get instances of great tracks. So yeah, This album is all over the place, but it luckily comes with its highlights.


Verdict


I think as an introduction to Rosalia, I like what I hear, but I think I heard everything she’s had to offer, and what I like, and what I don’t like I don’t. Maybe her previous works are more melancholic or they lean in more of an energetic direction, or maybe even they lean toward a completely different direction but for now, I like what I like and I’ll take that and leave the rest behind.


6/10


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