Nieuw, 2017 JUANES album Mis Planes Son Amarte, the album blends the sounds he grew up on (salsa, guasca, and a little disco) with futuristic twists; “Actitud” and “Fuego” are laced with slick electronic accents such as fizzing synths and syncopated guitars. Produced by Colombian hip-hop and reggaeton producers from Medellin: Mosty, Sky and Bull Nene.
1. Perro Viejo
12. Esto No Acaba
Juanes recorded and produced the album in Colombia. His co-producers are Sky & Mosty and Bull Nene Cano. The seamless sonics range stylistically from cumbia ("Fuego"), Latin funk ("Angel"), tropical pop ("Es Tarde"), reggaeton ("El Ratico" feat. Kali Uchis), and steamy dance rock ("Hermosa Ingrata") to 21st century bolero ("Alguna Vez" feat. Fonseca). The set`s production aesthetic is defined by opener "Perro Viejo" as ambient sounds create open space around guitars, vocals, synth, and percussion to create a dreamy, pillowy atmospheric backdrop for his singing. Juanes lets the listener know he`s primed for travel in outer and innerspace: "I have no concerns/My suitcase is light...." As his journey unfolds, he discovers love`s transformative power, how we fight it with petty attachments, and how its pure state juxtaposes our connected technological world: The latter passes away, the former is who we are. The title track is a jazz-inflected Steely Dan-kissed number shot in both a club and space; its lyric underscores our human dilemma: "I don`t know where to begin, the silence invades us/I want to love you, you want to go to the moon." He follows with its nadir, "Goodbye for Now," his first-ever song in English. A bouncy, Auto-Tuned radio pop number, it nonetheless carries a weighty message about love`s difficulties, its insistence on freedom, and its eternal return on its own terms. He closes/emerges with the dubby cumbia stepper "Esto No Acaba," with stinging guitar fills, a bumping bassline, and infectious hooks. Lyrically, it`s a reminder that neither Juanes the artist nor his character ever surrender. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- its sense-altering format and creative indulgence, Mis Planes Son Amarte not only breaks ground on every aesthetic frontier, but results in the finest outing in Juanes` career to date.