Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Nicky Jam x J Balvin – X

Will J Balvin continue his streak of being covered on Tuesday for a third consecutive week??? (Spoiler: no)


Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Yes, the whole track is a spiritual child of producers AFRO BROS’ previous smash “18 plus“, but that main synth line gives away another probable inspiration: Romanian manele music; the sound of the modern Romani people in the Balkans. Manele has borrowed extensively from reggaeton in recent years, especially from J. Balvin himself — although Balvin’s “Tranquila” already feels like a Mr. Juve production — so it feels really cool when it seems that he’s returning the favor, when two genres from such different regions and with no apparent relation (except perhaps the fact that both were created by historically marginalized communities) seem to be having a conversation. Either way, this track slaps, and you should definitely go listen to more manele.

Alfred Soto: The squirrelly synth line that goes up the scale is an X factor I wanna hear on the radio, J Balvin keeps his playboy verse taut, and the rudimentary beat gives up not an inch to danceability by hinting at sundry musics from around the Caribbean. Programmers hungry for another “Despacito” would do well to give “X” a spin if they keep their grubby little remixer fingers off it.

Juana Giaimo: “X” is song based on its drop: the rest is just some noise to make it last longer — J. Balvin passes completely unnoticed and he could be replaced by any other singer. The problem is that the drop is awful: just because it is an ear-piercing melody, it doesn’t mean it’s good for dancing.

Claire Biddles: Middling dancehall that’s at least leant some, um, interest by that increasingly pitched-up farty synth horn.

Stephen Eisermann: Huge fan of the synth horn and the sexy percussion, but everything else is disposable. Nicky and J have performed songs thematically similar to this before, but they’ve never sounded this sexy. The lyrics are objectification at its finest, but the beat is so good it’s almost worth looking past the misogyny. Almost… but not quite. 

Nortey Dowuona: Slight synth stabs, nasal synth whirring and slight, whirling drums boost Nicky Jam’s flat, anodyne singing with the help of flat, near-invisible bass and anonymous whispering by J Balvin. Shrug dance music.

Reader average: [1] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.