Sin Miedo is an album that pays reverence to Latin music’s recent past while also thrillingly anticipating its future.
Kali Uchis’s debut Isolation was described as a group effort, with major contributions from Tyler, the Creator, Gorillaz, and others. Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞ is best described as a solo effort, with fewer features that are also used much more sparingly on the tracks they’re present on. She also chooses to sing primarily in Spanish on this record, a deeply personal choice for the Colombian-American artist. Uchis’ assured, classical voice is on full display, swinging sultrily over smooth Latin soul beats in a way that sounds completely natural for her. An immediately standout track is “telepatia,” a cut featuring an infectious bass line that grooves under the singer’s voice, like a wave drifting from line to line. Other notable highlights include “aquí yo mando!” and “la luz(Fin),” both of which utilize their sampled artists (Rico Nasty on the former, Jhay Cortez on the latter) as a light accent rather than adding to any busyness (as was often the case on Isolation). It’s an important distinction, as Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞ sounds measurably more mature than the still-excellent Isolation. The album bridges the gap between the gone-away days of ‘90s and 2000s Latin soul and more contemporaneous iterations of reggaeton, which has largely dominated the Latin music scene over the past decade; it’s a sound that’s at once respectful of the past and already firmly rooted in the future. Not only is this blend brilliant from a business standpoint, but the fusion of sound is simply spectacular as well. Uchis makes music that appeals to fans from a broad swath of genres, succeeding in a way that some reggaeton artists have not yet managed. Her innovative work is pure fun to vibe to and a worthy addition to her still-growing catalog, but it’s more than that — Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞ feels predictive of an entire genre’s future.
Published as part of Album Roundup: Oct. – Dec. 2020 | Part 4.