Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Wisin + Carlos Vives ft. Daddy Yankee – Nota de Amor

And now, a song for all of us who are wearing yellow underwear.

Juana Giaimo: I recently saw on the news that an aggrupation in Colombia made a campaign against the extremely violent lyrics against women in reggaeton. Given that Daddy Yankee and Wisin are two of the most relevant and iconic figures of the scene, “Nota de Amor” kind of seems a defense from these criticisms. The lyrics are exactly the opposite of the themes that reggaeton often covers. The most sexual images are “I bet you don’t dare to do with me all the things that you say you shouldn’t do” (in which actually sex is just implicit and makes the woman look like a saint) and Wisin mentioning that the underwear of his beloved is yellow. But the rest of the lyrics could fit any melodramatic love ballad of the type so famous and stereotypical of Latin American culture. But they truly show that they aren’t experts in honest love songs; if they were, they would have noticed how pathetic a line like “cook the paella/open the bottle” sounds. And as a woman, I can only answer to him: Why don’t you do it yourself?

Iain Mew: It has chords and a framework that I was fed up with a decade ago, but Wisin and Daddy Yankee bring such energy to it that it just about works. One top decision is stuffing in the namechecks for whoever’s coming next into vanishingly small bits of space, giving a fun tag team carousel effect.

Thomas Inskeep: Wisin can rapid-fire spit lyrics, or sing them, with the same ease. Carlos Vives is a superb singer whose voice is full of joy. And, well, you should certainly know by now that Daddy Yankee essentially started this reggaeton game (or at least popularized it on a wide scale), and is a damned fine rapper. “Nota de Amor” gives them each something (or in Wisin’s case, things) to do in service of a great song that they wrote jointly. Vives, in particular, sounds like he’s having so much fun here, singing a chorus so drenched in emotion: “I live in the moon for you, I fly without wings for you/there is no one who can take this note [of love] away from me.” Who doesn’t want someone who sings that, in his/her life? One of my favorite singles of 2015. [In the interest of full disclosure, it’s what my boyfriend and I refer to as “our song,” so I’m admittedly a little biased.]

Jonathan Bogart: Loverman cliches mean a lot less when they’re delivered in what a hectoring tone; if you can’t rap without bellowing, maybe don’t rap a ballad? I was all set to be charmed by the cumbia scratch until the reggaeton came in and drowned it out.

Katherine St Asaph: The sort of unabashed romanticism I imagine people hear in “Trap Queen”; the sort of chords that are just unabashed.

Will Adams: By the song’s end, when it’s just honking like hot wind, it’s very easy to forget where it started: light percussion and reflective piano octaves. “Nota de Amor” doesn’t really reconcile its desire to be a soft ballad and an upbeat anthem simultaneously.

Scott Mildenhall: There’s a particularly subtle employment of Pachelbel’s Canon Or Something That Sounds Like It in here, and it’s apt of a song too serene to say or do anything new. A reminder that unrequited love isn’t all pain, all of the time.

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