wed 21/02/2024

Album: Kali Uchis - Orquídeas | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Kali Uchis - Orquídeas

Album: Kali Uchis - Orquídeas

Fourth album from US star is peppy, sensual and seasoned with musical spice

Bathtime at the Uchis pad

Colombian-American singer Kali Uchis hasn’t made large waves this side of the Atlantic. Perhaps this is because her appeal has partly been rooted in Latin communities across the US and, indeed, Central and South America. Last year her third album, Red Moon in Venus, reached the Top 5 of the US album charts. At the time she said she already had her next album ready, a Spanish language affair. This is it and it’s a slightly feistier creature than its woozily narcotic predecessor.

Uchis’s current default setting remains sexy-stoned. Her voice is a seductive instrument. She silkily rolls language around in a manner that combines purity of tone with a kitten-ish, pouty, come-to-bed edge. Orquídeas (meaning “Orchids”) opens with a bunch of songs built around a housey 4/4 chug along, but these aren’t bangers. They’re syrupy, dreamy, smooth, emanating slink rather than bounce, the dancefloor treacly with fudgy MDMA gloopiness. The lyrical content is mainly about being young, in love and enjoying life to the full.

As ever, Uchis has an easy listening side, as on the likes of “Heladito”, and comparisons with Lana del Rey remain occasionally pertinent. But the most engaging material is when she switches up a gear. The highlights of Orquídeas showcase her as very much a peer of the liveliest female pop stars of the 2020s. These include the string-laced, cinematic, impassioned flamenco whopper “Te Mata”, a pure joy, the driving merengue strut of “Dame Beso/Muévete”, the sultry slo-mo salsa of "Labios Mordidos", featuring Colombian singer Karol G, and the multi-speed, Afro-electro of “Muñekita” (the style, Dominican-Jamaican in origin, is known as “dembow”), featuring the playful, nasal tones of Dominican rapper El Alfa.

There are a couple of other Latin guest stars on board, Peso Pluma and Rauw Alejandro, but Orquídeas is very much about Kali Uchis rather than the collaborations. It may not be the album that blows her up in Europe, but the US will love and it and there’s plenty here for her fans to enjoy.

Below: Watch the video for "Labios Mordidos" by Kali Uchis & Karol G

 

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