Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Rosalía & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – Con Altura

Maximum Velocity Rosalía Collboration Year starts here (spoilers: more to come)…


Alfred Soto: “Spare” doesn’t equal “uninhabited,” and Rosalía inhabits this insinuating example of 2003-era hip-hop, despite this pop move not quite suiting her talents.

Stephen Eisermann: A true mark of an artist is when they can hop on an otherwise pretty generic track and make it sound distinct. Rosalía manages to turn this standard reggaeton beat into something more with her phrasing, vocal tricks, and confidence (points for her dancing in the video, too!). It works so well that the J Balvin feature doesn’t feel familiar — as it should by this point — and instead feels brand new.

Iris Xie: Rosalía’s output exhibits a bravura that has been exciting to witness. The rhythms of “Con Altura” feel icy but on the pulse to the three collaborators here, and highlight the little flamenco flourishes that Rosalía provides with her small “uh”s and sound effects. Combined with the sturdy beats from El Guincho, all three of them share the space, like they’re on a merry-go-round and rise up and down at their easy but determined paces. Their lack of overt posturing and dominance results in a dance song that sounds surprisingly quiet and understated, with a nimble confidence.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The trap-style backing is far more J Balvin and El Guincho’s territory than Rosalía’s, and yet she is clearly the master of this track, dancing over it with improbable melodies that worm into your head like the virus from Snow Crash (I’ve had the prechorus embedded in my brain since the first day this came out.) Her two companions don’t nearly try to go 1-on-1 with her in the melodic game, but their more rhythmic contributions are a necessary balancing force, anchoring “Con Altura” and making sure its high altitudes reach the dancefloor properly.

Leah Isobel: The song has an eerie emptiness; the drums bounce on the low end, while the looped sample and Rosalía’s voice echo around the top, leaving an abyss in the middle. The effect is surreal and slightly airsick, like having a head cold at the club. It’s fun and appealing enough to overcome the lack of any real dynamic shifts. A vibe is a vibe, y’know?

Julian Axelrod: This brand of tense, unrelenting party music can be overwhelming when it forgets to be fun. Luckily, the principal players find pockets of personality in El Guincho’s bottle rocket beat. If Rosalía and Balvin’s previous collab “Brillo” was a slow seduction, “Con Altura” is a quickie on a bullet train. But you could throw these two on any beat and walk away with a banger. Balvin tries to cram their names into the margins, but he shouldn’t waste his breath. Who else could do it this well?

Reader average: [7.23] (13 votes)

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6 Responses to “Rosalía & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – Con Altura”

  1. perfectly balanced, as all things should be

  2. I love how much we love Rosalía

  3. Bit of a bop, but I think this song is being overrated just because of Rosalia’s come up being at a critical point at the moment.

    I honestly think this song is a bit below her talent level.

  4. i actually enjoy this much more than any of her solo tracks.

  5. yeah this is great, and i’ve already heard it blasting out of one car during the week we had spring in chicago

  6. Came back here to say that I didn’t get to make this connection in time for the blurb, but I realized that Rosalía’s melodies at 0:46 remind me a lot of one of my favorite Bollywood sequences of all time, Dil Se’s “Chaiyya Chaiyya, ” in the section between 2:50 and 3:25 here: