Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Lali ft. A. Chal – 100 Grados

I misread the feature credit as “A-Chan,” which admittedly would have resulted in a much different song…


Juana Giaimo: If Lali seemed to be trying too hard on her previous singles, she couldn’t sound more comfortable on her new ones — either on the sweet “Una na” or in the more aggressive synthpop of “Tu novia.” In “100 Grados” she embraces a sensual R&B that soon is pumped up by a subtle reggaeton beat. That beginning feels so special: “Hear me” are her first words, and indeed, it all turns quiet and the listener has no other option but to her. Her vocals are slightly echoed as if she is singing in a big room only to her lover. I think a good collaboration happens when you can’t imagine any other artist joining in the song. This is the case of A. Chal here: his flow is casual and goes well with the rhythm while being tender at the same time. In the chorus, Lali shows off her strong voice, but it still feels intimate and deeply personal — even when the main words are as generic as a simple wish: “kiss me.” 

Stephen Eisermann: “100 Grados” is a fun R&B/reggaeton/dance hybrid mid-tempo, the kind you lose yourself to on the dance floor with your partner. Lali’s voice is warm and longing and A. Chal is just engaging enough to sell the on again, off again nature of their relationship. It’ll certainly feel great against the hot summer nights, but like a summer fling it doesn’t leave much of a lasting impression.

Katherine St Asaph: As celestial and ethereal as trap or reggaeton get; shame they couldn’t find any way to get there but a half-minute of ’90s ballad swill.

Iain Mew: I like the indirect course that “100 Grados” takes. The distinctive low key opening gets pushed out for A. Chal’s bit which seeps into half the song without ever seeming to have the confidence to be more than an interlude. Then just as it meanders back to something more straightforward, it’s over. I don’t like that much else about it, but at least it keeps on surprising and doing something different.

Alfred Soto: The synthesized wobbles and winsome vocals recall Grimes’s “REALiTi” until the reggaeton cliches kick in with inexorable care. 

Joshua Minsoo Kim: That kick drum hits hard but the reggaeton beat and general atmosphere here capture the feeling of finding intimacy with someone in the midst of a crowd of people. You know that everyone else is around you, but they all recede to the outer edges of the frame. A shame that A. Chal is the guy you’ve ended up with.

Rebecca A. Gowns: Fully on board within the first three seconds — and once you’re on board, it’s easy to get swept away. Lali is seductive, and not at all vague about it: her cadence is urgent, her words rhyming in all the right places. A. Chal meets her there, answering her in plain English and a more laidback flow. They float effortlessly together through the synthy clouds billowing around a minimal beat, a dreamy soundscape that was crafted by a full roster of hot Latin American producers. Accolades for each and every one of them for this gem of a pop song. I never want to stop listening to this.

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