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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The angelic and luxurious feeling of Kali Uchis’ ‘Orquídeas’

Alex Kendall

The transition to adulthood in college has been a work in progress for me. I am learning how to balance my personal life and my academic life, while maintaining my own well-being. As someone who is half-way done with their bachelor’s degree, it can get intense at times.

However, music is my safe space. It allows me to escape stress and makes me feel happy and relaxed. One release I found to keep me feeling this way is Kali Uchis’ second fully Spanish album, “Orquídeas,” which translates to “Orchids.” The album was released on Jan. 12, the perfect time for me to go into the new year with new beginnings and aspirations.

Uchis released her first English album, “Isolation” in 2017, which featured her first Spanish song, “Nuestro Planeta” (translating to “our planet”), but did not chart well. And after releasing her first Spanish album, “Sin Miedo (del Amor Otros Demonios) ∞,” Uchis told Vulture that her label was not supportive of her decision to drop an album in Spanish.

Regardless of her label’s thoughts, “Sin Miedo” — which translates to “Without Fear” — managed to chart No. 1 on Billboard albums and returned to the chart a year later. Currently, “Orquídeas” was No.1 on Billboard Latin pop album charts for two weeks.

Although Uchis is new to the Spanish market and not as popular as Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee or Shakira, she proudly embodies her Colombian roots in her music.

“When I created this album I wanted to bring a fresh energy in how people see Latinas in the music space,” Uchis said in a Spotify video.

The album starts off with “¿Como Asi?.” The song begins with a ‘90s house beat, which caught me off guard since Uchis is known for having a soft, angelic voice. However, the song was well produced and showed her versatility as an artist.

The next song, “Igual Que Un Ángel” is one of my favorites. The artist teased a 15-second snippet on TikTok and I was thrilled to find out that Mexican urban artist Peso Pluma was featured on the song. Though their musical styles are different, they sure made up for it as their voices complemented each other.

The song is about a heartbroken woman who realizes she is worth more than she thought and gains an angel to protect her from harm.

Uchis sings, “They just can’t reach her / princesita inalcanzable / Le rompieron el cora, pero nunca se la perdió, oh” which translates to “They just can’t reach her / unattainable princess / They broke her heart, but she never lost it, oh.”

Since I was young, building friendships has never been easy for me. Oftentimes, I would give my all, only to receive nothing in return. This struggle continued into college, where it seems like everyone is searching for their place and the people they fit in with. It’s important to remember who you are, what you are worth and to never conform to someone else’s expectations.

The next two songs “Te Mata” and “Labios Mordidos” are both the best directed music videos Uchis has ever done. I anxiously waited for the release of these two songs as I heard them teased at her Red Moon in Venus tour last May.

The “Te Mata” music video Uchis is abused in a toxic relationship and breaks, representing how she is breaking free from this relationship and wants to find herself. She starts off singing sad, but then proceeds to increase her vocals, showing her confidence.

This was my favorite song of the album by far as I can relate to the experience of toxic relationships and the courage it takes to stand up for yourself and not look back.

During the Atlanta show of the RMIV tour, Uchis expressed how the song is inspired by her own life and how she learned to develop thicker skin, while dealing with people’s perceptions of her.

At the end of the video, she is seen looking for a gun angrily, emphasizing how she is now the “toxic” one.

“Labios Mordidos” is a reggaeton song that promotes liberation within yourself and your sexuality. Uchis collaborated with reggaeton artist Karol G. This is their second collaboration, the first being on Karol G’s second mixtape, “Mañana Será Bonito (Bichota Season).”

The last song on the album “Dame Beso//Muevete” surprised me the most. Uchis is more of an R&B, soul and reggaeton kind of girl, but with this song she went outside of her comfort zone. The song has merengue beat, a genre originating in the Dominican Republic, that is typically fast. It was a fun way to end such an emotional album.

For only being her second fully Spanish album, I feel like Uchis has progressed as a songwriter and from “Sin Miedo.” Though most of the 13 songs were written in 2021, the production was not rushed, which made the album a strong piece of work to listen to.

As I continued to listen to the album on repeat, I stopped to think how each song is lyrically meant for the listener to resonate with and relate to. With themes covering heartbreak, self-love and expressing your sexuality, I think “Orquídeas” is a positive energy listen and an album for anyone looking for something calming. A wide variety of genres show her uniqueness as an artist and how she is able to cater to her audience in both English and Spanish.

This album has truly been a source of comfort to ease the stress of my personal and academic life. The next time you feel alone or overwhelmed, try listening to an album that gives you that sense of comfort, or listen to something new like “Orquídeas.”

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