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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Kali Uchis’ ‘Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞’ underwhelms listeners

The cover of Kali Uchis' album “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)” (2020) is pictured.

Ever since the release of her 2018 album “Isolation,”Kali Uchis has made a name for herself as a Colombian American singer with roots in an eclectic mix of genres. With themes of contemporary R&B, hip-hop, Latin trap and neo-soul, “Isolation” was an album saturated with personality and promise. Uchis was a piano student and jazz saxophonist in her youth, and it is this musical experience that shapes and gives life to most of her successful music.

I never considered myself to be a fan of Uchis, but I have come to love some of her songs and appreciate her style. The song “Killer” off of “Isolation,” as well as her popular collaboration with Tyler, The Creator and Bootsy Collins titled “After The Storm” (2018) are both my personal favorites and left me anticipating her next album with excitement and hope.

But on Nov. 18

That is not what I received at all. There are passable songs and moments throughout, but overall, “Sin Miedo” felt like a hastily prepared album lacking in the character and thematic language that made “Isolation” so noteworthy.

The album opens to a slow-moving “la luna enamorada” with ethereal choral effects, soft percussion and the rhythm of a traditional cumbiatrack. While I actually liked the short intro that is “la luna enamorada,” everything that came after was absent of personality, despite collaborations from some of the most charismatic musicians imaginable. Not even Rico Nasty

While I did enjoy “la luna enamorada” and “telepatía,” a later track on the album, it’s not worth listening to the rest of the album more than once unless you discover a particular song you find to be catchy. Though the album is more cohesive than “Isolation,” it is to such an alarming extent that it feels like each song is a boring continuation of the previous with hardly any variation. I can imagine that some Kali Uchis fans would enjoy the album regardless for her breathy voice and stable R&B rhythms, but I can’t imagine listening to this album as more than just background noise. 

Additionally, I was extremely underwhelmed by the music video for her collaboration with Jhay Cortez “la luz(Fín).” As she is openly bisexual, I anticipated that Uchis wouldn’t fall into the trap of fetishizing lesbian relationships, but the video for “la luz(Fín)” does just that. Focusing on Uchis’ physical encounter with another woman, the viewer witnesses Jhay Cortezspying through a peephole to watch the two women in bed as if it were a performance meant for him. This kind of male-centered attitude often characterizes portrayals of lesbian sexuality in popular culture, and I was deeply ashamed of Uchis for perpetuating this offensive fetishization. 

To summarize, “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞” was unimpressive and tedious. Much of Uchis’ flavor seems to have been lost in the rather plain track list, and I regret wasting the hours I spent listening to “Sin Miedo” over and over again as I scoured hopelessly for any hint of charm on this bone-dry album. Listen to “Isolation” instead.

Summary Kali Uchis' latest album falls short on most fronts that Kali typically thrives in.
1.5 Stars