Featherweight, 24, a singer and rapper originally from Mexico, easily took up the mantle as the breakout star of 2023 as it currently stands, and thought it smart to capitalize on the hype and release his third studio album after achieving commercial success. . A master of collaboration who found several of his chart-topping (and rising) appearances simultaneously, most of the songs that made Pluma’s name known to the world are actually absent from the charts. GRAMENESIS. Inspired by regional Mexican music and a style known as corridos tumbados, which blends traditional with aspects of trap and reggaeton, Pluma’s album feels a bit one-dimensional compared to the other mega-popular release in the genre this listener is into. rookie. , Armed Link’s SLEEPLESS. Running for nearly an hour, most of Pluma’s work tones down the energy with slower tempos, many very similar instruments that draw from the rhythmic patterns of the traditional horn section, and performances that would likely find many lumping it with the “sadboi” crowd if your work crossed the language barrier. While it’s still very refreshing to hear this unique music culture having its time in the mainstream, it’s hard not to get a little bored when it reaches its conclusion.
The opening track, “PINK PASTEL,” begins with an expanded instrumental intro as the dramatic midtempo guitar part and horn section begin to arrive. offer a bit of flourish that is different from the norm. As Pluma begins to dive lyrically into some billboard narratives, a major theme throughout his work, some of the instrumental moments that pop ad nauseam are here, but something that stands out over some of the tracks in the early going is how much it almost feels Like Pluma uses the triplet patterns in the horn section to do trap hi-hat work, which is certainly groundbreaking in a genre that needs it. However, you start to know what you’re getting into GENESIS when the next track “LUNA” slows down the tempo, Pluma starts singing with a little more passion and you read that it’s a romantic ballad, but the instrumental behind it essentially serves exactly the same purpose, from the slowly plucked guitar chords to the same trumpet patterns. and the instrumental cuts where the artists start talking to each other. If there’s anything to be said for Feather’s delivery, though, it’s that it really helps set the scene despite the language barrier: you picture a perfect late-night date. “77” actually proves that trying something different might not work with a sudden and awkward transition into the deeper, more rap-oriented side of Eladio Carrion. Basically the beats get completely off track because the instruments keep on the same boring loops. “RUBICON” contains another sleepy melody, this time interrupted by some extended instrumental interludes where the guitar and trumpets solo a bit more uniquely.
The song “CARNAL” finds Pluma and Natanael Cano talking about a wild party, but the same mid-tempo instrumental vibe makes it sound like it’s all coming to an end for the night, though Cano’s vocals provide a nice vocal contrast. with the more nasal tone of Pluma. something that Blessd does equally well on the next track “LAS MORRAS”. It’s great to see that most of the time two artists on a track go back and forth, swap lines, and even though the track ends abruptly, it would be great to see more moments like when the music cuts out and Blessd takes center stage with some faster passages here. Speaking of collaborations, Tito Double P, who I hope is really Pluma’s uncle, is something of an album MVP. He must be an accordionist, bringing the instrument to both tracks he appears on, and really breaking the monotony with a new instrument and one you rarely hear in the mainstream. Pluma also changes up his vocal style on this track, sounding like two different singers at times as he elevates the drama and storytelling, bringing seriousness to this story from the battlefield. “VVS” keeps that energy alive and brings Edgardo Núñez, a 50-year-old guitarist who has worked with some icons, throughout the track with some of the most interesting instrumental variations – the bass line blends way up front. while the brass section goes wild in the back in response to a faster tempo.
After that series of tracks, the back half of the album could start to drive you really crazy. “SU CASA” is a really short track with nothing new to offer, while “LADY GAGA,” named for an opening line in which they reveal they’re drinking her brand of champagne, falls into the same camp with the same techniques. that we and already heard. You would never be able to tell these tracks apart from some of the ones near the beginning of the album. The same triplet trumpet patterns appear once more on “ZAPATA”. It’s strange that “Ella Baila Sola,” the worldwide smash Pluma appears on, is clearly destined to be a hit, but you could hardly pick a track like big single “PRC” from a lineup outside of a fun trumpet hook. which evokes the drama of the billboard riding into town that breaks through the standard instrumental and melody. Tito Double P returns to entertain “LA PEOPLE”, with virtuoso accordion solos that have to be heard to be believed. The vocalists really step up their game here, seemingly trying to capture the same frenetic energy as the solos behind them.
As the project slowly fades out, it’s kind of fun to hear the same techniques played essentially at halftime on the tracks “NUEVA VIDA” and “LAGUNAS,” though the latter has that sort of dreamy, “LUNA”-esque quality. that you could hear easily get lost in. In truth, Pluma needs a little more of that Bad Bunny innovative spirit. Speaking of Bad Bunny, his recent collaborators Grupo Frontera appear on the track “TULUM”, and they elevate things as always. The larger group brings out a fuller sound each time and the warm baritone of Payo Solís, who is taking the game by storm at 19, are always excellent – they have an ear for a happy, holiday-ready tune. Pluma finally takes the reins to close things out with “BYE,” a final breakup tune.
While I wish I had a bit more insight into the parts of the world where Pluma’s music was heard every time you went out, it almost feels like it’s the most successful of the recent young crop of regional Mexican acts because it nailed an easy formula and hits the points your audience wants to hear every time. For now, however, it only highlights a select few tracks.
Favorite songs: TULUM, GAVILÁN II, VVS, ROSA PASTEL
Least Favorite Track: 77