Even before the rhythm of reggaetón became a truly global pop phenomenon, Maluma proved himself especially skilled at massaging música urbana for the masses. A hit on multiple continents, the Colombian singer’s risqué “Felices los 4” made a strong case for his potential to bring Latin pop worldwide. Released almost one year to the date after his F.A.M.E. LP, the colossal sonics of 11:11 continue that work with a cross-cultural and intergenerational selection of guests, including seminal veteran Ricky Martin and Medellín urbano great Farina.
With Nicky Jam along for the ride, they drop references to other big Spanish-language singles of this moment on the similarly ambitious “No Puedo Olvidarte.” All but named in that particular song, like-minded boundary pusher Ozuna duets with grace on the dembow ballad “Dispuesto.” Leaving the door graciously open for apprehensive English-speaking listeners, he again matches wits with Madonna on the booming and bilingual “Soltera” and echoes romantic anxiety alongside the coincidentally concerned rap lothario Ty Dolla $ign on “Tu Vecina.” Even without the high-profile features, Maluma justifies his top billing among these players with virtuosic flair as persuasive reggaetonero on “Déjale Saber” and surprise salsero on “Te Quiero.”