Y: Ozuna, Aura—In preparation for his tour this fall, Puerto Rican singer Ozuna has released his long-awaited sophomore album. It features a few songs we’ve heard and replayed over the last few months, including “La Modelo” featuring Cardi B and “Unica,” and also has a few new collaborations with popular artists like Wisin, Yandel, Nicky Jam, and Romeo Santos. Although he mostly sticks to his suave, recognizable take on the classic reggaeton beat, he moves away from that and slows things down with songs like “Aura” and “Monotonia.” My personal favorite so far is “Coméntale,” in which Akon drops a few lines in Spanish.
I love that Ozuna challenges and motivates artists to do things outside their comfort zone, like encouraging Cardi to sing in Spanish when it’s not her usual or preferred flavor. Any club that isn’t playing Ozuna this weekend and the next one—and the 20 after that—is doing something wrong. The vid above is his latest, which premiered today in conjunction with the album. — Ecleen Caraballo
Y: Colleen Green, “I Wanna Be Ignored”— It’s the freakin’ weekend, and Los Angeles musician Colleen Green’s new venture in simple synth-pop will certainly soundtrack mine. “I Wanna Be Ignored” channels the Ramones only in name—it’s a sweet, reverb-heavy, introvert anthem. Here’s to staying in more, but dancing all the same. —Maria Sherman
I’m sorry to say the answer is no: Cher, “SOS” - When Cher teased Dancing Queen, her upcoming album of ABBA covers, on Today in July, she said, “It’s not what you think of when you think ABBA, ‘cause I did it in a different way.” So far, the two tracks she’s released from it, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight,” and this week’s “SOS,” are Cher doing ABBA in pretty much the same way with just minor technological updates to the original sound design. When I think ABBA “in a different way” about “SOS” in particular, Erasure and Portishead immediately come to mind. Anyway, Cher’s still Cher so who could truly be mad at her? I love her upcoming album’s cover art, because the expression on her face reads: “I’m Cher! Isn’t that ridiculous?”
So at least there’s that. —Rich Juzwiak
Y: Disclosure, “Love Can Be So Hard” - The once-buzzy UK duo Disclosure dropped a bunch of new tracks this week; most are great, but the one above, a choppy, filtered, and pumped-up re-edit of Princess’s 1985 hit “Say I’m Your Number One” is the best. The quality of the sound here strobes like that of a warped cassette and the Jam & Lewis sizzle that Stock Aitken Waterman copied in their production of the Princess track still carries over, regardless of Disclosure’s tinkering. Perfect dog-days vibe. —RJ
Y: Marquis Hawkes & Ursula Rucker, “Don’t U” - This was released as a single a few months ago, but appears an an even-more-extended version on the latest full-length, The Marquis Of Hawkes, from Berlin’s Hawkes. Rucker’s spoken word is a beacon through Hawkes’s crashing cymbals, stomping bass drums, and overcast deep-house keyboards. The setup will be familiar as a security blanket to old-school house heads and everyone else can gawk at how this kind of sonic scheme remains. The wheel needs no reinvention! —RJ