Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

Sebastián Yatra, Daddy Yankee & Natti Natasha ft. Jonas Brothers – Runaway

It’s time for cooking metaphors…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: “Runaway” is the equivalent of a party hosted by one person who invites their friends, who invite their friends, who invite their friends, and so on, until everything is a little out of hand and you don’t even remember who decided to throw the party in the first place. It helps then, that Sebastián Yatra invites good guests: the Jonas Brothers show up briefly but in solid form, Natti Natasha exudes confidence and sensuality, and Daddy Yankee does the thing that’s been making him compelling for decades. By the time Sebastián Yatra roles around for his own verse after the two minute mark, it’s all but unnecessary: the fun has already started and isn’t like to stop. 

Julian Axelrod: Proof that pan-regional post-genre monopop doesn’t have to be a complete disaster, even if there’s an 80% chance Kevin Jonas didn’t know what reggaeton was before he got to the studio.

Kayla Beardslee: The ingredients are all there for “Runaway” to be a mess: there’s the lazy hook (surely a few new syllables besides “runa-runa-runa” wouldn’t have killed the writers?), the basic reggaeton-plus-“I’m the One” beat, and the crowded credits. What are the Jonas Brothers even doing here? (Logically, it’s probably a label thing, but I mean, like, on an existential level.) And yet I can’t find it in myself to dislike the track. The production, though standard for the genre, is bouncy and fun, and the singers’ airy voices mesh together well. Daddy Yankee also kills it in his verse — this might as well be his song.

Michael Hong: Daddy Yankee’s presence here is both a blessing and a curse. He performs one of the best verses of the year, one that’s bold, colourful, and dynamic, and that makes everyone else sound bland and tedious.

Ian Mathers: In singles, as in cooking, sometimes just adding more ingredients because you can or even because they’re individually tasty isn’t a good idea because the result becomes muddled, or gets away from the strength of what might have been a perfectly fine recipe to start with. And yes, in this metaphor Daddy Yankee is the cilantro.

Stephen Eisermann: This shouldn’t work. There are too many vocalists, the song is uneventful lyrically, and beat-wise it’s nothing new; and yet there’s something about the playfulness in everyone’s delivery that lets this song hop, skip, and jump along. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and anyone’s ego ruining it all is prevented by everyone’s understanding that this is meant to be just a fun little bop. Sometimes a good time, no matter how familiar, is just that. 

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