Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Bad Bunny – Moscow Mule

Scores seven…


Andrew Karpan: A kind of bleak summertime sadness is what keeps me returning to “Moscow Mule.” The drum fills, self-consciously minimal for even Bad Bunny’s occasionally icy take on reggaeton, fill the record with melancholy spots of silence that give his voice an elegance I haven’t quite felt on his earlier hits. By the time he hits the name of the titular drink, the sound is practically a croon, evoking a 4am landscape of empty bars around the world.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Running out of reasons to give Bad Bunny the same score over and over. Un Verano Sin Ti has more adventurous, exciting, and heartfelt tracks than “Moscow Mule,” but the single encapsulates all the energy, melody and emotionality we’ve come to adore. 

Ian Mathers: I listen to little enough of this stuff outside the Jukebox that, combined with not understanding the words unless I look them up, I couldn’t pick any Bad Bunny song I’ve heard out of a lineup. As far as I can tell it’s always the same song (you know, the way some people are with techno or heavy metal). However, it’s pretty much all a song I enjoy hearing, and when I do some A/B testing of “Moscow Mule” against some of the other ones we’ve covered I think I like this one the best.

Thomas Inskeep: Bad Bunny’s voice is so flexible and he knows how to utilize it in a myriad of ways, singing, rapping, and issuing sounds like “ay!”: he’s endlessly listenable, and just gets more so. The joy of “Moscow Mule” isn’t in the music, which is just-fine mostly-reggaeton; it’s in hearing Bunny soar all over it. He’s the essence of compelling.

Nortey Dowuona: The loose, slow, methodical flow Bad Bunny uses on La Paciencia, MAG, Mick Coogan and Scotty Dittrich’s beatwork is expressive and pointed, making sure to directly raise and burnish certain words into your brain, where they keep circling. It’s only on the bridge — where the drums fall away and the low bass and synths combine into a supposedly ominous morass that really awkwardly lingers behind Bad Bunny — that the whole thing drags. Once the drums arrive after the first synth drop, he is able to hop and skip along the chintzy piano riff at the back of the mix. He tries to sing the bridge at the same methodical pace, but it just sinks, feeling static and limp, and ends on two bum notes that nearly kill the song. But the drums return, allowing Bunny to methodically burrow beside the snares, the energy regained.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: There’s a restraint to the way percussion is used here that allows Bad Bunny’s plaintive, back-of-the-mouth flow to fill the space. We rely on him for the rhythm, not the instrumentation, and he sets it. I find myself wanting more, another minute or two of this, which will never be delivered, much like the longing for more than sex that seems to haunt the decidedly horny lyrics. I also deeply enjoyed the synth bells, their reverb precisely as long as required.

Reader average: [7.33] (3 votes)

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