We’ve seen quite a few albums by some of the best producers in the world of hip-hop over the years, so why not the reigning king of reggaeton? Puerto Rico’s Tainy has racked up collaborations with nearly all the biggest names in the genre, and while he launched a joint project with Yandel in 2021, DATA it represents his first solo album and features guests from Daddy Yankee and Myke Towers to The Marias and Skrillex. While this particular listener wondered how a genre often touted for its instrumental uniformity would fare when it comes to a producer-focused project, Tainy shows why boundary-pushing artists like Bad Bunny come to him to work on the course of an hour. commodity value. Keeping the spirit of the genre alive and at the same time tweaking the familiar whenever he gets the chance, elements of synthpop and experimental electronica also find their way into the work. This is someone who shows why he is on top of his game.
Over ghostly background vocals and a non-percussion backdrop, Myke Towers’ introductory verse on “obstacle” makes for an appropriately grand and drama-laden way to kick off such a wide-ranging project. As he raps about defying the odds and coming out on top, the tempo progressively picks up as he prepares to transition into the odyssey that is “ALWAYS.” Clocking in at 6 minutes and featuring 7 artists on the track, including Towers, Jhayco, Bad Bunny and innovative producer Arca, the larger-than-life energy of the latest track continues with an instrumental with violin backing and a strong beat. trap. Everyone gets a chance to drop a verse, but Tainy is the kind of producer who can create a groove that elevates all kinds of artists, from Towers’ straight bars to Jhayco’s more melodic structure and Arcángel’s softer vocal tone. . Alternating between the powerful beats and ethereal, futuristic landscapes that must have come from Arca, Bad Bunny closes out the back-end with the kind of presence only he can provide. “Todavía” is the first reggaeton beat we’ve heard, but it’s mixed to hit much harder than almost any you’ll ever hear and comes equipped with a catchy chorus from one of the genre’s greatest statesmen in Yandel, who brings his partner Wisin. for the ride down a rap verse that gets the party started. The strong opening streak continues with “GHOST | AVC,” where Jhayco gets a 5-minute two-part duel to mourn a sudden ghost after a lovely night. The reggaeton beat is now joined by an effervescent synth line that elevates the sound even higher before a big transition to a rubbery synth bass and down-tuned vocal sample.
One thing that really makes Tainy stand out is that he inserts quite a few quieter and rather sudden parts into his work, but where most couldn’t sustain the energy, he often creates such a compelling synth world that you won’t. Instead, the tracks are given room to breathe and let the drama settle. While there aren’t as many of those moments on “MOJABI GHOST,” you won’t find much better synth work, as Tainy essentially creates an ’80s synthpop tune with Bad Bunny. Juxtaposing his identifiably deep voice with a memorable falsetto hook where he longs to see the girl from the club in his dreams is another reminder that he can do it all. It’s the track that feels most in line with the anime album cover, as I envision an animated cityscape running past. “11 Y ELEVEN” is another song where Tainy ups the experimentation, as a wall of vocal layers and electric guitars hits as soon as Sech tells us that the clock strikes everyone’s favorite time when wishes can come true, though this time, it seems that one has gone wrong while recounting a breakup. The tangible emotion and amazing instrumental twists really make this one stand out, and Kany Garcia even has a minute-long interlude where he explains each side of the story afterwards. “Tomorrow” brings The Marias on board, and Tainy really lets frontwoman Maria Zardoya’s breathy, angelic voice shine through in some almost a cappella moments before Young Miko delivers some more standard reggaeton. It stands as the beginning of a later half where some of the wild ideas aren’t as prevalent, but Tainy still knows how to turn heads with some of his own tunes.
After another shorter song, “BUENOS AIRES,” which features a melodic verse with some fun rhythmic moments from Mora as the reggaeton beat continues to shift and shift behind him, Daddy Yankee comes out of retirement with a guest spot on ” THE BABY”. along with Feid and Sech. All three artists get a chance to sing the chorus and add a verse as the aggressiveness of the beat comes and goes, and Tainy understands once again why he shouldn’t let things get too bogged down. “Me jodi…” changes the sound once more with a beat that borders on old school hip-hop, Arcángel maintains the fun-loving spirit that persists throughout the entire project with some cheeky conversational bars that explain why is he the only guy for every. Two of the recently formed Pangbourne House Mafia, Skrillex and Four Tet, launch into “BACK”, as the DJs combine their recent penchant for earthier tones and more contemplative worlds with those of Tainy, Rauw Alejandro convincingly wandering his jungle and throwing some melancholic bars. hoping for an elusive callback. “EN VISTO” featuring Ozuna is a mostly straightforward reggaeton track that ends a bit abruptly and feels like the least essential here, but “Lo Siento BB :/” still holds up as a single as Bad Bunny makes his presence felt. one more time.
Tainy saves a couple more gems for last as he continues to cement himself on top of the mountain. “If You Ask About Me” sees him bring back the layered kicks that make even the most standard beats hit harder, and the beat shift into trap territory heralds another Kris Floyd-designed “oh yeah, oh yeah” hook. to infiltrate your brain. The track “Sci-Fi” proves to be an excellent solo option with an appropriate title, as we get some classic sounding gunshots and laser shots along with another cavalcade of synths, Rauw Alejandro rises to the task. “PARANORMAL” has actually been drawing the most critical acclaim online despite featuring a lesser-known Puerto Rican native in Álvaro Díaz, and for good reason, it offers a final injection of energy with some synths that feel Simultaneously retro and futuristic, behind a dedicated performance the performance veers towards some psychedelia and another big change of pace. “SACRIFICE” closes things out in the same key it started, with a piano rap verse from Xantos.
Is it fair to dub Metro Boomin from Tainy reggaeton? With a similar knack for reinventing his own sound but somehow keeping things undeniably recognizable in his personal style, Tainy presents an impressive, star-studded collection in a solo debut that should easily have a couple of follow-ups.
Favorite Songs: MOJABI GHOST, 11 AND ELEVEN, GHOST | AVC, PASIEMPR, I screwed up…
Least Favorite Track: ON SEEN