When KAROL G’s debut album, Unstoppable, hit the airwaves in 2017, she became one of the first women to penetrate the hard-flexing boys club of Latin trap at a mainstream level with searing beats and even sharper bars. So for her highly anticipated follow-up, OCEAN, the rising Colombian dynamo switched up her sound with sinewy reggaetón, dancehall, and R&B, and harnessed a laidback vocal style that better accommodated earnest power ballads and smooth pop melodies. This shift cemented the relaxed, approachable aura that has since made KAROL G a Latin American powerhouse delivering constant crossover hits on the world stage.  OCEAN kicks off with the title track; a piano ballad dripping with longing between lovers separated by the merciless currents of life. KAROL G's newly embraced softness shines through periodically, notably on “Dices Que Te Vas,” her acoustic duet with trap star and then-partner Anuel AA, and the inspiring brega affirmations of “La Vida Continuó” alongside Brazilian pop duo Simone & Simaria. The album’s title also nods to a greater presence of Caribbean rhythms, like the faint champeta guitars on “Créeme” with Medellín pop king Maluma, and the rushing dancehall of her collaboration with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley on “Love With A Quality.” However, just because OCEAN showcased a more vulnerable side of KAROL G, that never meant she became a pushover. The icy synths and trap beats of “Sin Corazón” house an even colder heart, as she boasts about how a venomous romance made her immune to pain. There's also plenty of room for raunchy, waist-winding perreo, like on the cheekily titled “Punto G” and her team up with Puerto Rican reggaetón godfather Yandel on “La Ocasión Perfecta.” This latter cut is built on percolating, shape-shifting beats elegantly produced by Colombian studio wizard Ovy On The Drums, who helped cement KAROL G as a perennial dance-floor staple.

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