Among the many reasons why Rauw Alejandro has become one of the most sought-after singers in the Latin music world, his restless creativity certainly ranks highly. There were undeniable glimmers of that on his full-length debut Afrodisíaco, with more than its fair share of high-profile guests. His disinterest in being pigeonholed or limited to any one lane, as alluded to on that album’s delightful dance-floor outlier “Algo Mágico,” led to some exciting moments of risk-taking on his follow-up VICE VERSA. The radical pop pivot of “Todo De Ti” proved a transformational moment in his ascent to stardom, its epic clubby funk and irresistible chorus hook translating to a smash hit throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
While he opts not to repeat this specific formula too many times, he shows that single was no fluke with the Tainy-produced “Desenfocao'” and its hedonistic haze. Elsewhere, he showcases both his range and a willingness to keep evolving via the sentimental R&B of “Aquel Nap ZzZz,” the bilingual tech-house revelations of “Cosa Guapa,” and the surprise junglism of “¿Cuándo Fue?” Of course, those seeking the steamy loverman perreo vibes of his prior album will find plenty of that on offer, from the throbbing online come-ons of “Sexo Virtual” to the duro throwback thrills of “La Old Skul.” But above all, VICE VERSA truly succeeds by reframing Rauw as an artist operating on a whole other level than the R&B new jacks he came up with.