10 Crème De La Crème Latin Albums Released in 2021
While there were many singles to celebrate this year, many artists took the time to hit the studio and record bodies of work to show how creative they can be whether it is by imposing a theme in their albums, or creating fusions that have never been done before. From Rauw Alejandro’s Reggaeton-meets-Pop album “Vice Versa” to Bomba Esteréo’s ode to Mother Earth on “Deja,” here are our favorite albums released in 2021.
1. ‘Vice Versa’ by Rauw Alejandro
2021 was Rauw Alejandro’s year, there’s no question about it. Fresh off the release of his debut album “Afrodisíaco” in late 2020, Rauw wanted to show that he was ready for more in the music scene with “Vice Versa.” Released in June this year with chart-topping single “Todo De Ti” which took him to new heights, Rauw is firmly becoming one of Latin music’s go-to guys with his creativity to make a hit out of a Reggaeton, Trap, R&B or Pop record. On “Vice Versa” he dabbles from EDM-infused “Cosa Guapa” and “Desenfocao,” to the Bolero on “Aquel Nap ZzZz,” paying homage to his Reggaeton roots with “La Old Skul” and “¿Y Eso?” to the Latin R&B that put him on the radar for most of us with “2/Catorce.” Rauw recently announced that he’ll release his EP ‘Trap Cake Vol. 2’ in the next year, feeding the OG fans that knew El Zorro from his early Soundcloud Trap days. Read our full review from ‘Vice Versa’ here.
2. ‘El Madrileño’ by C. Tangana
“El Madrileño” is an ambitious record by all accounts: how can you mix so many different genres in one album and do them right? C. Tangana’s masterpiece is celebrated by many for achieving such feat. Pucho was able to celebrate the best of Latin and Spanish music on a record that ranges from Pop, Bossa Nova, Reggaeton, Corridos, Bachata, Flamenco and more. Stand-out tracks include “Los Tontos” with Flamenco legend Kiko Veneno, alternative-pop in “Nominao” with Jorge Drexler, Bachata-guitar-infused “Tú Me Dejaste de Querer” and last but not least, his take on Regional Mexican with “CAMBIA!” with Carin Leon and Adriel Favela, which is a delight from start to finish. Read our full review for “El Madrileño” here.
3. ‘KG0516’ by Karol G
La Bichota’s album “KG0516” perfectly encapsulated her versatility where she was able to explore different sounds like Bachata with heart-wrenching single “El Barco,” Mexican Corridos with “200 Copas,” but never forgetting her Reggaeton roots and paying respects to the icons before her with star-studded “Leyendas,” which includes none other than Ivy Queen, Wisin & Yandel, Nicky Jam, Zion and Alberto Stylee. “KG0516” is the best-selling female Latin album of the year for a reason, and Karol G cements her place as Reggaeton’s First Lady. Read our interview with Karol G here.
4. ‘Intershibuya: La Mafia’ by Feid
While the pandemic and social unrest in his native Colombia pushed the release back a couple months, “Intershibuya: La Mafia” remains one of the best releases of the year by a solo Reggaeton act. For someone that could still be considered a rising star, Feid didn’t need other artists featured on the record to let the world know about his Medellín-flavored brand of Reggaeton, where perreo and heartfelt lyrics coexist, and his verses are perfect for your next IG caption. Listen to “Si Tú Supieras” and “Chimbita” to get a taste. To say goodbye to 2021, Feid released a Deluxe version of the album with collabs with Karol G, Ryan Castro, Eladio Carrión and more, and the future seems as bright as ever for El Ferxxo. Watch our interview with Feid here.
5. ‘Felicilandia’ by Alvaro Diaz
When people ask for an alternative record in Latin music, point them to Alvaro Diaz’s “Felicilandia.” The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter gives a nod to the Reggaeton he grew up with on “OG Black,” the Latin R&B he’s been known for with tracks like “Problemón” and “18+1,” old school hip-hop with “Chinita Linda,” and a plethora of beat switches and genres that will take you to your happy place. Read our interview with Alvaro Diaz here.
6. ‘CINEMA’ by The Marías
The Marías’ debut album is inspired by film, and follows a color palette throughout the music videos that will transport you to a red-hued world where vocalist María Zardoya goes grunge-rock with “Hush,” but also pays homage to her Boricua roots on tracks like “Little by Little,” which sprinkles some Spanglish lyrics, and alternative pop-meets-Reggaeton with “Un Millón.” Watch The Marías break down each song from CINEMA in our interview here.
7. ‘Mis Manos’ by Camilo
The Latin Pop world is in Camilo’s hands, and his album “Mis Manos” is proof that the once X Factor contestant has definitely made it. The entire album was written, produced and recorded by Camilo, and songs like “Millones,” “KESI” and “Vida de Rico” have put him on the spotlight as one of Latin music’s leading voices. After 10 Latin GRAMMY nominations and taking home 4 awards, Camilo is slowly but surely becoming a force in the industry. Read our review for “Mis Manos” here.
8. ‘A Mis 20’ by Natanael Cano
Natanael Cano was only a teen when he became the pioneer of a movement, a genre called Corridos Tumbados, which he still leads to this day. At 20 years old, the Mexican superstar highlights his accomplishments at such a short age with tracks like “Porte Exhuberante” and “Diamantes,” Nata is aware of the price of fame and the fast life, but at the same time he embraces it and the consequences that come with it. Read our interview with Natanael Cano here.
9. ‘Lyke Mike’ by Myke Towers
With 23 songs, Myke Towers pays homage to Michael Jordan with his album “Lyke Mike.” The Puerto Rican superstar made a record for the streets, packed with bars for days and dedicated to those fans that knew Myke Towers the rapper from his early Soundcloud days, not the commercial Reggaetonero we know today. On “Lyke Mike,” he solidifies his stance as one of the best rappers today in Latin music, with Trap banger “BURBERRY” and “MIRENME AHORA,” as well as his take on the Salsa classic by Tommy Olivencia on “PIN PIN.” Myke has always been ready for global stardom, but with this album he wants the world to know that he’ll never forget his rap roots. Read our full review of ‘Lyke Mike’ here.
10. ‘Deja’ by Bomba Estéreo
Bomba Estéreo’s album “Deja” is an ode to Mother Earth, divided by the four elements of water, earth, fire and air, the Colombian alternative group wanted to bring us a grounding moment in music where we get to be present and connect to our planet with the music. With 13 songs, “Deja” explores different themes ranging from mental health, heartbreak, living in the moment, and highlighting the African diaspora, which inspires and influences the type of music Bomba Estéreo makes. Some standout tracks are “Agua,” “Ahora” and “Conexión Total.” Read our interview with Bomba Estéreo here.
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