“Un Vistazo a Quien es Bad Bunny” – Un Verano Sin Ti Album Review

By Ariana Cervantes

Bad Bunny — need I say more? He’s a showstopper; a Vogue model; a voice uniting the Latinx community. Being a year from its first release in May 2022, Un Verano Sin Ti is his most streamed album, and for a reason. In this, Bad Bunny gives us a glance of what the summer will look like — three months full of fun, parties, and doing everything to forget about the heartbreak of the past, while showing us the reality of society. 

The opening track, “Moscow Mule,” is the perfect song to start the summer. We are told the tale of Bad Bunny’s situationship. Are they together? Are they not? We uncover the truth of the confusion that exists between the two as we are greeted with a consistent, bell-like beat moving back and forth. Almost as if the two are arguing with each other, never quite getting on the same page. Eventually the music rises, and pauses, giving the two a moment to think about themselves. Should they really pursue this entanglement? It seems Bad Bunny says yes, as the track continues with synthesizers and layering of piano chords. The drum beat creates a dance-like feel —- reminding us of the importance of enjoying our youth as both Bad Bunny and his partner are. They are living. They are thriving. They are free. 

Fusing merengue with reggaeton, “Despues de la Playa,” is a unique mesh executed perfectly beginning with laser type sounds and a keyboard moving in a crescendo-like fashion as Bad Bunny discusses the fun he and his partner will have after the beach. Towards the middle, we are welcomed with a sudden stop as he sings, “¿Dime, vamo’ pa’l mambo o no vamo’ pa’l mambo?”

Responding to his question, striking trumpets and trombones begin playing, creating a vibrance to the piece. “Despues de la Playa” demonstrates his appreciation for other cultures by combining his Puerto Rican roots with Dominican music, celebrating both cultures in an exciting way. 

Bad Bunny sings confidently in “Titi Me Pregunto” saying “Titi me pregunto si tengo muchas novia.” And later, adds that he has many novias — no surprise to any fan. The piece opens with a soft sample from Anthony “El Mayimbe” Santos’ hit, “No Te Puedo Olvidar.” Here, Bad Bunny begins to sing his hook, and later we are greeted with loud drums and cymbals, bringing us to the climax, where he has a conversation with his Titi. She tells him to take his love life more seriously, and he responds with, “Yo quicera enamorar me, pero no puedo.” He wants to fall in love, but he can’t. Later, he gives a warning to his novias telling them to not fall in love with him. He just enjoys the fun too much. Perhaps this is a dig at his situationship.

Even with Bad Bunny’s player-like qualities, he is still a lover boy at heart. In “Ojitos Lindos,” Bomba Estereo’s angelic voice is heard, professing how much she misses her significant other. Distant trumpets supported with consistent drums, draw our attention to Estereo’s voice. Bad Bunny eventually begins singing, in a seemingly sad-like mood showing a sense of vulnerability that he’s been hiding. He continues to mention his situationship’s beautiful eyes, sus ojitos lindos, wanting her to look at him, but she doesn’t. Maybe she’s had enough? Maybe it’s their time to move on? But Bad Bunny doesn’t let this stop him. He continues this love ballad, with the chirps of birds in the background, saying how there is no one like her, she was fresh, like the ocean in the summer. She’s priceless, he says, as her gaze is a gift to him, un regalo. For him, this is truly, Un Verano Sin Ti

The artist’s activist side is evident in “El Apagon,” a reference to the blackouts in Puerto Rico, while also paying homage to his home. The soft patting of drums are heard throughout, as he discusses his love for his country and comments on gentrification, saying how now everyone suddenly wants to be Latino due to the rise in Latinx singers in the mainstream media. Club beats continue with a fast tempo, making one want to dance up until Bad Bunny and his friends scream “Puerto Rico esta bien cabron,” displaying Puerto Rican pride. The tempo gradually slows, with a background of soft drums, while his ex-partner, Gabriela Berlingeri, sings “Que se vayan ellos. Esta es mi playa. Esta es mi sol. Esta es mi tierra. Esta soy yo.” She offers her own remarks on gentrification, and the people who continue to buy land in Puerto Rico because of tax breaks that are, unfortunately, allowed in the state.  

“Andrea” featuring Buscabulla is a call to women, asserting that they deserve the respect they demand. Starting off with subtle drums, Bad Bunny emphasizes the experience women have felt in a world full of violence, making a statement that they don’t need to answer to men, including his situationship. They don’t need to answer to him, or to anyone. They are their own person, showing us Bad Bunny’s respect towards her. 

Towards the end, Buscabulla’s vocals are heard along with a scream, then moving again to calm beach-like sounds. This represents the screams for help heard from women because of the gender-based violence that exists, and how quickly the media moves on to the beat of its own drum, excusing the wrongdoings against women in the world. 

Un Verano Sin Ti is Bad Bunny’s best work, and reveals his true self in the best way: he is a man who loves to have fun and be an advocate for his community. And he is only getting started. 

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