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Akon is back. Yes, you heard me right, the man behind early 2000s hit songs like “Right Now (Na Na Na)” and “I Wanna Love You” (and for those of you that listen to Bollywood music, the singer behind “Chammak Challo”) has released a new album. This time, however, he is back and attempting to roll his “R”s in Spanish, with the release of “El Negreeto.” With a running time of 27 minutes and eight subpar songs, Akon struggles to stay relevant in a world that moved past him years ago.
What sets this album apart from Akon’s previous works is his choice to sing almost the entire album in Spanish. Despite the vast collection of good existing Latin music to choose from, Akon decided to make his take on the genre with this album. Full of autotune and English words thrown in between Spanish lyrics, the songs attempt to capture the vibe of modern-day Latin hits but fall short in many ways.
The songs are simply not interesting or catchy enough to resonate with listeners. To prove this point, at the time of writing this review, of all the songs on the album only “Como No” has reached two million streams. The other songs in the album are still struggling to break one million. Clearly, Akon is no longer as relevant as he once was. Experimenting with a style that is not his own, Akon’s newest production is a ghost of his former work.
Akon was never known as a masterclass lyricist or a great composer. He was always good at producing songs that managed to become crowd-pleasing earworms. “El Negreeto” fails to do this and is, in short, an average pop album. Full of collaborations that never hit earworm status, Akon’s latest effort fails to capture my attention as a listener.
Photo courtesy of https://www.akon.com/