Sin Ti EXCLUSIVE
Un Verano Sin Ti is not Bad Bunny's first heartbreak album, but it is his most grounded. On his latest release, Bad Bunny anchors his most in-depth exploration of lost love in the Caribbean, with the sound of its unceasing movement, the gravel of its Spanish, its dembow, its thick rain. And while Un Verano Sin Ti is ostensibly about a person and their absence in Benito's life, its joy and yearning is always rooted in the ground beneath him.
Bad Bunny has always put Puerto Rico front and center in his work since his breakthrough in 2016. His full-length projects have told a distinctly Boricua story in theme and sound, remaining grounded in his personal authenticity, his flow and his community while attempting bigger, more daring experiments. His debut X 100PRE was his first showcase of his genre agility; YHLQMDLG squared in a scholastic reverence to the canon and legends of old-school Puerto Rican reggaeton; El Último Tour del Mundo was the introspective alt album, nu-metal riffs and all. But rather than sell audiences another big, genre-bending experiment, on Un Verano Sin Ti Benito opts for personal intimacy and cultural specificity, which the music cultivates at every turn.
Recorded partly in Puerto Rico and partly in the Dominican Republic, Un Verano Sin Ti's most notable moments come when it infuses Benito's extraordinary flow and pop sensibility with hyperlocal touchpoints. Benito is adept at delivering a surprise and he's constantly one-upping himself on this album. Following "Moscow Mule," the first single and summer hit opener analysts might have forecasted well enough, comes the left-field "Después de la Playa." After Benito warms up the chorus over a few, spacey opening synths, he taps the mic and transforms into a mambero, his "Zumba!" detonating a volcanic merengue concocted by Dominican merengue architect Dahian el Apechao. It's a living, breathing track that evokes the intimacy of great live albums past, reverberating with the acoustic warmth of a room and the bodies moving in it.
His production team closes the deal, with Marco "MAG" Borrero's string riffs, Tainy's auteur experimentation and original crewmember La Paciencia creating a cross-genre soundscape that creates room for innovation on even the album's more formulaic tracks. "Tití Me Preguntó," a tongue-in-cheek dembow turn of phrase on the natural law of pestering metida aunts, features a wistful acoustic riff threaded throughout a warped Kiko el Crazy sample and a melancholy synth bridge. His collaborations are meticulously curated, opting this time to center not just reggaeton heavyweights but indie innovators alike. The stunning "Ojitos Lindos" makes the idea of falling in love after heartbreak feel brand new with a duet with Colombia's Bomba Estéreo, whose silvery guitars, bright distant horns and refrains from Li Saumet are an encyclopedic entry in what modern Caribbean music is becoming. And following YHLQMDLG's precedent of featuring reggaeton forefathers, the album spotlights Plan B's Chencho Corleone and Tony Dize in tracks that sound lifted from 2005.
Unlike a lot of the Latin pop industry project, Bad Bunny's subjects and musical references are precisely focused. In April, Puerto Rico experienced an island-wide blackout, the latest in a series of outages after its electrical grid was damaged by Hurricane Maria. In 2021, the power grid was privatized, a move met with public protest over soaring costs, continued outages and concerns regarding transparency.
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Bad Bunny had the top album of 2022, with 4.2 billion on-demand audio streams and 3.4 million total album equivalent consumptions (a combined unit compiling sales and streams), and the Encanto soundtrack earned the No. 6 spot, with 1.9 billion on-demand audio streams and 1.84 million TAE consumptions.
In its first week, Un Verano Sin Ti garnered 273,000 equivalents solely from digital streams and sales, and not getting the benefit of physical formats that helped Beyonce and Taylor Swift earn massive first release weeks later in the year.
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Bad Bunny is the first Latin American artist to win an IFPI Global Chart Award. Un Verano Sin Ti, the hugely celebrated fifth album from the Puerto Rican rapper and singer, was released in May 2022. The 23-track album, which is an all-Spanish language record, went on to spend 13 weeks atop the Billboard 200 album chart, and later that year became the first Spanish-language album to be nominated for Album of the Year at the GRAMMY Awards.
The Global Albums Chart takes into account all consumption formats, spanning physical sales, digital downloads, and streaming platforms across a calendar year. It is weighted based on the relative value of each method of consumption.
IFPI is the voice of the recording industry worldwide, representing over 8,000 record company members across the globe. We work to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music around the world.
Bianca Betancourt is the culture editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com, where she covers all things film, TV, music, and more. When she's not writing, she loves impulsively baking a batch of cookies, re-listening to the same early-2000s pop playlist, and stalking Mariah Carey's Twitter feed.
To say Bad dropped "Un Verano Sin Ti" on a Friday in May doesn't do the release justice. Even before the album's release date was officially announced, music heads everywhere were salivating at the prospect of a handful of new warm-weather anthems to bump to. Bad had been teasing the disc across social media as "something to play on the beach." So, with the prospect of what felt like the first real post-pandemic summer on the horizon, fans already had their antennae up, waiting for any word.
"With 'Un Verano Sin Ti,' [Bad] was saying, 'I want you to have this.' We were coming out of quarantine, coming out of this global crisis. 'I want you to remember the good times, to create your own good times with this album.' I think that's really what it is," Triviño adds.
Indeed, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown sucked the air out of the world. In cities around the globe, quarantine and social-distancing protocols had us all functioning in an existential vacuum. But after two years of vaccines, boosters, and false starts, the prospect of the first real summer since 2019 had people from Puerto Rico to Poland ready to let loose. And "Un Verano Sin Ti" was the perfect album for it. Over 23 tracks, Bad navigates a range of genres from merengue ("Después de la Playa") to Bossa Nova ("Yo No Soy Celoso") to classic reggaeton ("Efecto") to Soca ("Enseñame a Bailar") and more. It's an album made for the beach, for the barbecue, for those velvet summer nights, and the magic of 3 a.m. But more than anything, it's an album made for the Caribbean and for Caribbean people, which makes its international success even more astonishing. 041b061a72