New Music Latin: Sofía Reyes, Juan Luis Guerra, Esteman & More

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New Music Latin is a compilation of the best new Latin songs and albums recommended by Billboard Latin and Billboard Español editors. Check out this week’s picks below.

Sofía Reyes, MILAMORES (Warner Music Latina)

From Mal de Amores (bad heartbreaks) to Milamores (a thousand loves), Sofia Reyes embraces her growth and life lessons on her third studio album. Home to 14 tracks, the set kicks off with the 20-second “Florecer,” where, over the sound of birds chirping in a garden, Reyes says: “Joy where are you? Come help me wake up. Heal me with your song, heal me with your joy.” 

The first official song is “La Batidora,” in collaboration with El Gran Silencio, where they lace Mexican cumbia sonidera with the Monterrey band’s fiery rap verses. “I put the bad vibes in a blender, pure happiness is trending now,” Reyes chants. On “Delirio,” a dreamy indie-pop track backed by synth melodies, Reyes takes listeners to a galaxy far away to remind us that we are bright as a star. Along those lines, MILAMORES is a feel-good album packed with inspirational lyrics about self-love and enjoying the simplicity of life. 

Musically, the album delivers all sorts of rhythms meshed with Reyes’ pop essence: “Cobarde” is a romantic bachata featuring Beéle; “Altitud” is a futuristic reggaeton track with Ingratax; the title track is a heartfelt mariachi-meets-hip-hop song with Gera MX; “Gaia” is a chill reggae song featuring Delian; and “Noche de Sirenas” is a hard-hitting perreo, in collab with Mariah Angeliq. Other collaborators on the set include Danna Paola and Caloncho. MILAMORES follows Reyes’ albums Louder (2017) and Mal de Amores (2022). — JESSICA ROIZ  

Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40, Radio Güira (Rimas Entertainment)

Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40 light up the party this week with Radio Güira, an EP of six songs presented, as its title indicates, in radio station style. “You are listening to Radio Güira, 4.40 FM,” Guerra narrates over a techno-beat at the beginning of “Mambo 23,” the first single and opener. “This EP has a different concept. Our purpose was to do something innovative,” Guerra explained in a press release. “We imagine a radio station playing 4.40 music in different parts of the world. We include calls, recipes, and IDs and the genres of mambo, bachata, and merengue. This was our dream for many months, and today we make it known!”

With six songs written and produced by the Dominican maestro, it is impossible not to move and smile to the rhythm of mambo, bachata (“DJ Bachata”), merengue (“La Noviecita” and “Como Me Enamora”), pambiche blues (“Te Invito a un Blues”) and even pop reggaeton (“Cositas de Amor”), all with elegant touches of genres such as jazz and rock, and the sweet, poetic lyrics for which the artist is known. It is, in short, a work that overflows with joy, humor and love. — SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS

Don Omar, Wisin & Yandel, “SANDUNGA” (Sugar Cream Music)

“Dale, dale, Don dale.” Don Omar is back with an irresistible reggaeton, which is a reunion of sorts: After over a decade, “SANDUNGA” brings together Don Omar with Wisin y Yandel and OG production duo Luny Tunes. Taking Don Omar back to his old-school reggaeton roots, reminiscent of the early 2000s, the song successfully blends the adrenaline-fueled formula that is rooted in reggaeton, resulting in an explosive sound that preserves the essence of música urbana. As for the meaning of the word, “sandunga” can mean many things, including describing someone’s spark or charisma. The historic reunion is part of the upcoming Don Omar Presenta: Back to Reggaeton EP. The song drops along with an epic four-minute music video, visually reflecting the track’s underworld vibe, which was shot in Miami and directed by Carlos Perez from Elastic People. — INGRID FAJARDO

Arthur Hanlon, Legados Pop (Sony Music Latin)

An American pianist with a Latin heart, Arthur Hanlon presents the second volume of his Legados album series, which began with Legados Bachata and, on this occasion, pays an emotional tribute to pop classics from the 2000s. Composed of six songs, Legados Pop includes a notable collaboration with emerging Mexican-American artist Mariangela (of the popular trio Camila) on the single “Todo Cambió.” The beautiful collaboration transports you to a golden era, both in the blues-tinged musical arrangements and in the accompanying video, that evokes those classic romantic scenes from the movies of yesteryear.

The EP also includes five instrumental pieces, where the piano’s versatility is the protagonist. Among them, “Noviembre Sin Ti” from Reik is cleverly fused with a piece of the melody from “Christmas Canon” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It also includes gems such as “Un Siglo Sin Ti” from Chayanne, “Mientes Tan Bien” from Sin Bandera, a bossa nova version of “Corazón Partío” by Alejandro Sanz with backing vocals in Portuguese, and “Vente Pa’ Ca” by Ricky Martin. Legados Pop includes classic songs that have conquered the hearts of a generation, with soft choruses to accompany you on that nostalgic journey. Hanlon will be on tour in early 2024 with Un Viaje Mágico De Piano: Arthur Hanlon and Friends. Presented by Loud and Live in collaboration with SBS, the tour will visit cities such as Miami, New York and Los Angeles. — LUISA CALLE

Silvestre Dangond, ‘Ta Malo (Sony Music Latin)

After dabbling with pop and tropical music, Silvestre Dangond returns firmly to his vallenato roots with an album that has contemporary edges, but is still traditional vallenato in its musical arrangements (and more importantly in its spirit). ‘Ta Malo includes tracks by 13 composers, a true nod to the notion that vallenato is a troubadour genre where the singer tells stories of the people. Among the writers is Dangond himself, who lends his personal life and love story to “La Vallenata.” Indeed, many tracks in ‘Ta Malo are romantic, but ultimately this is an album to party to, as highlighted by focus track “Bacano,” a feel-good romp. While Dangond’s music is impeccably executed, this is a celebration of vallenato as music to cry, drink and dance to. — LEILA COBO

Esteman, “PORNOSTALGIA” (Universal Music Group México)

The play-on-words title of Esteman’s new song is intriguing enough to want to listen to it, yet the Colombian singer-songwriter manages to stay away from the raunchiness and place all bets on his usual romantic style, as he sings about the chemistry and passion between two people that keeps them coming back for more. “PORNOSTALGIA” is a delicate yet captivating bachata, which allows Esteman to step out of his electro-pop comfort zone his fans are now accustomed to hearing. “This song talks about a forbidden love that breaks with traditions and what is established, where desire, eroticism and nostalgia are present all the time,” he said about the track in a statement. — GRISELDA FLORES

Espectro Caudillo, La Liturgia del Tigre Blanco (Nacional Records)

In a climate where prominent Latin artists such as Peso Pluma and Fuerza Regida have been forced to cancel their Tijuana performances in response to menacing narco-banner threats, and where the grim specter of violence continues to cast a shadow over the nation, La Liturgia del Tigre Blanco emerges as a work of ever-increasing significance. This concept album by Tijuana/San Diego-bred producer Espectro Caudillo speaks to the pressing issues facing not only the music industry but also the freedom of journalists in Mexico. Fusing traditional northern Mexican sounds like brass-blaring banda and cumbia with dark electronica, Caudillo (real name: Reuben Torres) encapsulates the essence of the border city’s hybrid electronic styles, like Nortec and Ruidosón — the latter of which he helped pioneer as one-third of Los Macuanos in the early 2010s.

La Liturgia takes its creative spark from Daniel Salinas Basave’s 2013 book of the same name, which delves into the captivating narrative of Jorge Hank Rhon, a former Tijuana mayor with an enduring influence on the region. The 16 songs pay homage to a wide spectrum of events, spanning from the hedonism surrounding Rhon’s immersion into Tijuana’s social scene in the mid-1980s (“La Siniestra Extravagancia”) to the drug cartel conflicts and the murder of a journalist Hector “El Gato” Felix in 1988 (“04’20″88”) that still lingers as a haunting presence in Tijuana even now.

Then there’s “El Temible Grupo Jaguar”, with a music video that depicts a lone aspiring hitman in his apartment that undergoes a transformation from an ordinary man into an Aztec warrior jaguar. In an era where Latin artists grapple with threats and violence, Cadullo’s La Liturgia stands as a profound musical testament, blending traditional Mexican sounds with electronica to encapsulate the rich, often complex tapestry of Tijuana’s history. — ISABELA RAYGOZA

Listen to the New Music Latin playlist below:

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