Thursday, October 29th, 2015

J. Balvin – Ginza

…how the J. flows…


Alfred Soto: The preset and the electronic affect on the voice keep things to a becoming simmer, ideal for dancing after dinner at a wedding. Reggaetón at its most pleasant and functional.

Jonathan Bogart: I like reggaetón best when it’s straight down the line like this, a simple plaintive seduction, all rhythm and vocal textures. Balvin doesn’t have the effortless authority of Daddy Yankee or the forceful personality of Wisin (con or sin Yandel), so he has to rely on a slippery charm that the low-key production (in the extended family of “Hotline Bling,” though “Ginza” was released earlier) only makes more effective. If reggaetón were made by Sarah Records, it might sound like this.

Patrick St. Michel: It’s very nice of J. Balvin to name this vaguely futuristic sounding track after a part of Tokyo that, at this point, is basically a museum to the Bubble Era (and where a Coors Light will cost you like $8). Video aside, “Ginza” is a nice bit of muted reggeatón that aims to be sleek and achieves that, even if the shiny exterior isn’t enough to take this to another level.

Micha Cavaseno: Buoyant and Coca-Cola splashes of a bubble-bath making it a playful sea beneath the typical reggaetón tidal stir. Here J. Balvin’s Auto-Tuned croon doesn’t occupy the dragged out mildewy feel of “Ay Vamos” but instead serves to navigate all this fizz with finesse.

Brad Shoup: A worthy entry to the canon of songs celebrating genres. It’s so chill, which is another way of saying it’s focused on what matters. The midrange synth figure patters pleasantly — it’s amazing how Balvin and company keep this from getting purely, dreadfully, existential.

Thomas Inskeep: The most painfully boilerplate, lowest common denominator reggaetón, with nothing to make it stand out.

Juana Giaimo: “Ginza” is all about lightness — especially when compared to the dull “Ay, Vamos.” The voice doesn’t add intensity, but playfully alters the melody in a continuous line. Considering that “Ginza” is about attraction in the dancefloor and its different steps to get the girl — “Love is now tourism/ saying no to the next one with romanticism” — the shallowness of the music seems to fit well. 

John Seroff: A sinuous beat, surprisingly sparse synth marimba, and heaping helpings of what he’d appreciate you calling the T-Pain Effect make “Ginza” a zipless crossover reggaetón track, more steeped in trap than salsa. Eminently remixable, which I presume is the point.

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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2 Responses to “J. Balvin – Ginza”

  1. Thomas might be on to something because I only like about 3 reggaeton songs I’ve heard in my life and this is one of them. I really like the synth effect, kind of reminds me of the Korg M1 organ but with a lower sustain.

  2. i missed this the first time around, thank you juana for referencing it!