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The Current

The student newspaper of Ossining High School

The Current

The student newspaper of Ossining High School

The Current

Kali Uchis ‘Orquídeas’ Review – Feminine Power and Dreaming

Photo Credit: Amaury Nessaibia, Variety

Karly-Marina Loaiza, better known as Kali Uchis, is like many US-born Latinos. She embraces her father’s Colombian roots in addition to the culture that surrounded her growing up in Virginia. Her discography has covered the expanse of pop, R&B, and Latin genres like reggaeton. Her dual identities have blended together on albums like Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) whose title was inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 1994 novel, Del Amor y Otros Demonios. 


She broke out with her 2018 album Isolation, bringing on impressive collaborators such as Tyler the Creator and Steve Lacy to create a fusion pop album that brings together funk, R&B, soul, and psychedelic dreaminess. Since then, she has released the acclaimed Sin Miedo, and 2023’s Red Moon in Venus


Now she has come back with Orquideas, flowing back and forth between Spanish and English the same way she exists between genres, effortlessly. This title is inspired by the orchid, Colombia’s national flower. The album and lyrical imagery are dramatic, bold as Uchis herself, who has opened albums with telenovela-like scenes. 


This time around, she opens with “¿Cómo Así?” a bouncy but subdued pop track influenced by house music. She reaches higher registers than ever before, and asserts her pull and power. 


Some of the album’s highlights include the ever-dramatic and triumphant “Te Mata” or in English, “It Kills You”. On “Muñekita” she brings El Alfa for Caribbean energy and JT from the City Girls for confident playfulness. It’s a tempo-switching dembow track, easy to listen to and twisting at every turn. “Dame Beso // Muévete” brings a new Caribbean rhythm with a delightful merengue track reminiscent of 90’s merengue classics, accordion included, that is sure to become a classic with the likes of Bad Bunny’s “Después de la Playa” . On “Igual Que Un Ángel” she croons and declares she must be God’s favorite if she was given such a wonderful partner. Peso Pluma jumps in on the second verse, softening the gritty edge he often adds to his reggaeton collaborations or corrido tracks. It’s perfectly floating and dreamy, and has the makings of a viral hit.


Other tracks are more luxurious, with “Diosa” issuing a challenge and “Perdiste” issuing a relaxed but regretful goodbye. Of these luxurious tracks, “Young Rich & In Love” is a slow-motion movie in one song. “Heladito” gives nods to her earlier pop music, her voice in the spotlight as opposed to the more relaxed role her vocals take in other songs. Uchis adds her personal flair to 2022’s “No Hay Ley” alongside Rauw Alejandro in “No Hay Ley Parte 2” that teases future endeavors and potential that isn’t quite there yet on this track.


While the laidback and luscious feel of the album is its appeal, “Pensamientos Intrusivos” and “Tu Corazón Es Mío” get a bit lost in the album. Although this album couldn’t exactly be considered “cohesive” and the idea of this track is great in theory, “Labios Mordidos” with fellow Colombiana Karol G feels a bit hollow and cliche. The reggaeton beat required creative lyricism and dynamic between the two stars, but it fell flat. Catchy at first or second listen, it may not have any lasting appeal. 


Orquideas is a product of the now, and an indicator of tomorrow. As genres continue to fuse, the Latin music market continues to grow, and artists proudly bring their identities into their works, fluidity is key. Language becomes less important when universal themes like love, strength, joy, and drama are so obvious. Orquideas doesn’t fit into any boxes, and for any child of the diaspora, maybe that is a comfort. 

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Shania Flores
Shania Flores, Editor-In-Chief
Some may say that Shania Flores is the best Editor-in-Chief The Current has ever had. Shae Shandroff certainly thinks so. When she is not confidently leading the newspaper and its ragtag team of reporters, Shania can be found geeking out over plants and reading Jane Austen. 

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