Clouds are simply water particles clinging to solid matter in the air. And yet they are so much more intriguing than just these basic ingredients.
Cumulonimbus are storm clouds, formed when hot and cold air collide under perfect conditions. The intense reaction to the opposing fronts create violent storms, with thunder and lightning. Some ancient peoples interpreted these strong storms as communications from the Gods.
Which is the album name of the brand new reguetón collaboration between Puerto Rican rappers Anuel AA and Ozuna.
In a previous article, I wrote about Anuel AA’s album Emmanuel, and how it exemplifies four main ingredients to reguetón: Risk, Flow, Bangers, and Sabor.
This week with the release of Los Dioses, we find that the reguetón recipe calls for a fifth ingredient: Balance.
Balance is demonstrated in a number of ways on the album, but overall, the pairing of Anuel AA and Ozuna is a match that revolves entirely around the concept of Balance.
One of Anuel’s signature traits is his powerful voice combined with iconic ad-libs (BRRRRR). Ozuna has an equally recognizable but polar opposite sounding voice – higher-pitched with a nasal timbre that flows at high velocity to balance out Anuel’s booming lyrics.
Ozuna has been marketed as an artist who is likeable, respectable, calculated, and not crass. Anuel on the other hand, is known for his bold (and frankly obnoxious) lyrics and statements, and whose lyrics are frequently quite explicit. His brash brand of shit-talk puts him up there with the best. As they meet on an album featuring lyrical content far from PG-13, both are in their element.
It is impossible to write about a good reguetón album focusing on balance without looking at the other ingredients: the risk this collaboration posed, the flow of their songs (where bangers and ballads are well-balanced) and the sabor on which it is all built. But the common theme, the thing that holds it all together, the piece from which all others would not exist without, is the balance of the project.
The sensation of floating on peaceful clouds on the ballads is balanced by the storm of the harder songs. The vocals, all aspects (pitch, rhythm, and timbre) are well-balanced. This collaboration is so much more than a sum of its parts.
Just as warm and cold fronts meet and create a storm, Anuel AA and Ozuna have collided to create one of the best reguetón collaboration projects in recent years. You can like or dislike either of the individual artists, but it would reflect poorly on your own appreciation of music to deny the talent and insight of this pairing.
Listen to the album, you will understand.