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La Familia by J Balvin
Released: Oct 2013
Label: Capitol Latin
Forget Pit, Royce, Romeo. This is the sound of the global urban pop revolution. J Balvin can rap with hip-hop bravado and reggaeton swagger, (Auto-)croon with sexy aloofness, sell the Spanish version of a hit (see: Ariana Grande, Robin Thicke). None of it spectacularly stands out, but that's the point. Balvin blends into sharp contemporary reggaeton and old-school dembow-driven cuts. He pulls off slurring West coast rap ("Tranquila") and sunny slow jams ("What a Creation"). He dominates slick club beats, champeta-cut grooves and dub-laced bangers. And he'll make you dance to all of them.
Rachel Devitt
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