Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

J Balvin & Zion & Lennox – No Es Justo

n.b. Actual song may not sound all that much like Black Sabbath…


Juana Giaimo: It makes sense that J. Balvin chose to collaborate again with Zion & Lennox after the success of “Otra Vez.” As their previous single together, “No Es Justo” is a sunny track with a catchy chorus and a predominant reggaeton beat. The acoustic guitar and the slower pace of the rhythm fuses the three voices. Even Lennox’s coarse vocals are more melodious — when he sings “Déjate lleevaaar!” it seems that he isn’t only singing to the girl, but also encouraging listeners to dance. Along with “Peligrosa,” this is the most traditional song in J. Balvin’s new album Vibras, but it works and I, personally, find him most seducing when he appeals to sweetness. 

Iain Mew: There’s a fine line between charmingly laidback and inconsequential, and this strangely drawn out and hookless song sits right on it. Only Lennox’s fun verse and the bookending strumming fall to either side.

Crystal Leww: “No Es Justo” is less compelling than the previous string of J Balvin singles, but it’s one of those Be Nice To Your Elders album cuts that has generational crossover appeal. An album cut that seemingly stumbled its way into single status from the reggaeton prince is still a pretty good song, and “No Es Justo” is just enough to not drag down the mood at the party, at least. 

Alfred Soto: The voices have an unpleasant robotic quality — it’s as if Balvin were himself a preset. 

Nicholas Donohoue: Sweet, but limp. The more lulling side of J. Balvin’s usual fare overstays its welcome, especially with the small, protracted closer. There’s still charm here and mostly shows its lack of shine by comparison to the other singles of J Balvin’s stellar Vibras

Jonathan Bogart: The divide between reggaeton’s first and second generation isn’t always easy to bridge. Colombian Balvin is the standard-bearer for an increasingly more domesticated and day-glo sound, while the Puerto Rican duo Zion & Lennox sound a bit old-fashioned and a little déclassé in these surroundings. Lennox’s gruff shouts are a street-level sound meant to be heard over blown-out speakers and clash with Balvin’s faintly twee production. It’s not a fatal mismatch: the reggaeton rhythm is capacious and can take a lot. But times are changing.

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