J Balvin - “JOSE” Album Review

Story posted September 15, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Camila Rodríguez.

The Colombian singer J Balvin released his new album “JOSE” on Sept. 10. The album featured 24 tracks that combined a variety of music styles, from traditional reggaeton and EDM to latin trap.

J Balvin is one of the top reggaeton artists of the moment.  For over 10 years, J Balvin has consistently ranked as one of the best artists in the industry.  He has won over 100 awards and has had multiple record-breaking songs such as “Mi Gente.”

His sixth studio album, “JOSE”, is one of the most diverse albums in Balvin’s career.  It consisted of more tracks than what J Balvin has included in any of his previous albums. 

Moreover, “JOSE” included multiple collaborations featuring artists such as Sech, Yandel, Myke Towers, Jhay Cortez, Ozuna, Jay Wheeler, Zion & Lennox, Nicky Jam and others. 

The album starts with the song “F40”, which is a blend of Balvin’s classic reggaeton beat integrated with a slower dembow.  Additionally, this track included voiceovers of the legendary urban artist, Arcangel.

The album was off to an interesting start when the songs “Una Nota” featuring Sech and “Te Acuerdas De Mi” featuring Yandel seemed to blend.  For the listener, the transition from one song to the other is seamless as both songs have the same chorus and beat.

Diversifying the album was the track “Billetes de 100” with Myke Towers.  This song was a shift from Balvin’s traditional pop-reggaeton style to a classic latin-trap beat.  Both the genre and lyrics are a step outside Balvin’s comfort zone.

Conversely, the solo tracks at the core of the album were true to J Balvin’s traditional style.  Blending romantic lyrics with an upbeat reggaeton rhythm, the tracks “Vestido”, “Que Locura” and “Lo Que Dios Quiera” are true to the Colombian singer’s essence.

A highlight in “JOSE” was the song “7 de mayo.”  Titled after his birthday, J Balvin pours his heart out in this song.  For the first time in his career, J Balvin released a song where he was touchingly transparent and vulnerable about his path to fame.  He opens up about his aspirations as a child, as well as the hardships and successes he has had in his career.

Another rather vulnerable track in “JOSE” is “La Familia.”  Even though it was not nearly as deep as “7 de mayo”, it is a shift from Balvin’s traditional lyrics.

In addition, the album included some tracks that had been previously released as singles such as “Que mas pues?”, “UN DIA (ONE DAY)” and “In Da Getto.”

Compared to Balvin’s most recent album “Colores,” “JOSE” does not include as much symbolism in the song titles, with the exception of “7 de mayo.” However, “JOSE” offers a wider variety of styles that can help him appeal to broader audiences.

Overall, “JOSE” is one of J Balvin’s most well rounded albums.  He stayed true to his traditional beats and lyrics, but also explored other genres and new collaborations.  Hopefully J Balvin will continue to create diverse tracks that continue to rank him amongst the top in the industry.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “F40” and “La Venganza”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Vestido”

Camila Rodríguez is a second-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email car6323@psu.edu​.