Kali Uchis offers a bright bouquet of sounds on her second Spanish-language album

Kali Uchis offers a bright bouquet of sounds on her second album

Review: Orquídeas plays with a variety of genres from across Latin America.

Kali Uchis performs at the Coachella Stage during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 16, 2023 in Indio, California.
Kali Uchis performs at the Coachella Stage during the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.

Kali Uchis, Colombian-American singer and songwriter, first opened doors for Latin-American music back in 2020 when she dropped her hit single “telepatía.” The song was released as a single after its abrupt popularity on TikTok, garnering mass success and becoming the singer’s first song to reach one billion streams on Spotify. 

The success of the song and corresponding album earned Uchis a Grammy nomination for Best Música Urbana Album. It also positioned itself high on multiple charts, from the Billboard Global 200 to hitting a number-one spot in Mexico. 

 More recently, she released a highly anticipated, second Spanish album titled Orquídeas, a 14-track lineup with features from some of Latin music’s biggest names.

Cómo Asi” and “Me Pongo Loca” open the album with banging dance club instrumentals coated in sugar, displaying Uchis’s confident yet cool demeanor. 

She sings, “Tratas de ocultar emociones, but that’s never been my thing. Con calma yo veo y observo hasta que me pongo insane,” translating to “You try to hide your feelings…Calmly I look and observe until I turn insane.”

Uchis is aware of how she acts when love is involved and “Me Pongo Loca” expresses how her stark actions have good intentions. Both tracks’ rhythm and lyrics provide a great opening that contributes to the lasting impression of the record. 

The next song, “Igual Como un Ángel,” is another viral track of Uchis and one of the strongest on the album. It is aided by Mexican singer Peso Pluma and has a smooth bassline driving the vibrant track.

Alongside the instrumentals and Uchis’ fitting melody, Pluma delivers some of the most impressive vocals of his career. He lightens his usual raspy voice giving the song an unexpectedly endearing feeling. 

Although an untraditional pairing, the two perfectly convey the message of admiring the heart of a woman hard to come by, shaping the track as one of the strongest on the record.

The most experimental track on the album, “Muñekita” brings together different realms of music. From Dominican rapper El Alfa and the other half of the American hip-hop duo City Girls, JT, this track demonstrates both artist’s strengths through varying tempos.

El Alfa’s onomatopoetic lyrics and JT’s tongue-in-cheek use of Spanish words compliment Uchis’s overall carefree cadence, giving the entire song an easy experimental aura. This track is inherently ear-catching and quickly became a favorite for fans – even as a lead single.

The second single off the album, “Labios Mordidos,” was quickly considered a “lesbian anthem” due to the track’s lyrical content. 

The track packs a punch from Uchis and renowned Colombian singer Karol G, who together melt the song into scalding hot reggaeton. The hook of the song “La nena está encendía’, se me pega como un tattoo” (Trans. The girl is lit, she sticks to me like a tattoo) echoes throughout the track, urging the audience to sway with the rhythm. Karol G and Kali Uchis bring their A-game, shouting out an array of names and Latin-American countries as an ode in admiration of the women living there. 

The album closes with “Dame Beso // Muévete,” a track that drives listeners to the dance floor with a nostalgic merengue sound. 

The genre of Merengue awakens nostalgia within many audiences, who may remember the late nights at a family party, dancing until the sunrise. The track starts tame with Dame Beso and transitions into a fast-paced, accordion-driven “Muévete” that provides feelings of getting dragged onto the dance floor to enjoy the vibrance of the night.

Within this album, Uchis demonstrates her true potential while serving up an array of different sounds popularized within Latin music. The singles themselves proved to be the strongest tracks, demonstrating Uchis’s musical prowess and realistic thinking. 

This album is a bright bouquet of sounds delivered to listeners by Uchis. The artist’s strength shines through her innate ability to create a masterpiece from anything, for anyone.