The year 2021 has been a rewarding one for Latin music listeners, with practically every big Spanish-language artist entering the full-length fray. Now, Natti Natasha steps forward with an album that raises the already high stakes for everyone else. Though the Dominican star made her name with reggaetón hits like “Criminal” with Ozuna and “Sin Pijama” with Becky G., her discography also contains plenty of creative risks and gratifying collaborations that helped transform her into the forceful presence she remains in music today. After challenging expectations on 2019’s thrilling and eclectic ilumiNATTI, she follows up on that album’s promise with this arguably more potent outing. NATTIVIDAD speaks to her expanding pop prowess as much as it plays to her established strengths. Over the roughly hour-long course of these 16 tracks, Natasha shows off her longevity in reggaetón with knowing references and sly nods while still rightfully insisting on playing in different sonic spaces. From the modern R&B-meets-dance grooves of “Noches En Miami” to the breathtaking bachata surprise of “Cuento Breve,” the album encapsulates so much of what has kept her in the conversation over the years. What sets it apart from lesser artists’ attempts at diversity is in the execution. The tropical textures of “Qué Lío” sit comfortably alongside the rapturous trap fusions of “Hablando De Mí,” the latter referencing a 50 Cent classic. Coincidentally timed with the Fugees’ 2021 reunion announcement, the “Ready or Not”-sampling “No Quiero Saber” keeps her love for hip-hop out in the open, spinning the song into a somewhat subtle homage to that group’s greatness. And of course, she didn’t forget about her perreo fanatics, guaranteeing sweat-drenched nights out via tracks like “Philliecito” and the stacked all-female posse cut “Las Nenas.” She reunites with Becky G. for “Ram Pam Pam” and makes “Imposible Amor” with Maluma, both standout singles on an album with a veritable surplus of exciting moments.

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