Juanes’ new single “Yerbatero” was sent out today to start the on-fire promotion of his latest album. Just as a clarification, we don’t hate Juanes, it’s more of a resentment many of us have towards the industry for filling up our FM radios with what they claim is the ultimate ‘Latin rockstar,’ when we all know he isn’t. He fills the rock-alternative quota with utterly underwhelming songs, not as terrible as Mana per say, but still, a boredom. You didn’t see it, but our staff deeply disapproved of Andrew Casillas' decision to include “A Dios Le Pido” on our Songs of the Decade list, only to find ourselves admitting the song’s unavoidable virtues (plus Un Dia Normal is quite good). But I challenge Mr. Lawyer Casillas to defend “Yerbatero,” it’s awfully bad.
The Colombian star will premiere his single today at the South Africa FIFA World Cup, as if Shakira (and her WakaWaka) wasn’t enough. But see, Shakira is like a goddess, even with such a laughable song she is a better musician and a charmer, something Juanes lacks on every level. As mean as I might sound, it won’t level up to the ridiculous raves this song will be getting in the upcoming hours, example, Latin Gossip: “WOW WOW WOW… it’s amazing, everything we expected and more! Totally Juanes! Totally rhythmic! Totally it!” Sorry for making you read that, but hopefully you get what I’m saying, the balance is off.
Sure, we could act cool and oversee the song and just not talk about it, but this is a Latin Pop music blog, we must speak up. If anything, this song comes to reaffirm Juanes’ sharp sensibility while picking up Colombia’s folklore, something done cleverly in "La Paga" but that sensibility doesn’t go too far when you barely have a template to work with. When trying to be catchy, Juanes falls into the toxic exoticism. Juanes is particularly misguided outside the Santaolalla circuit, something truly noticeable here at the hands of English producer Stephen Lipson. Perhaps not as awful as “Odio Por Amor,” but still painful, this is anything but uplifting, self-remedy ain't for you Juanes.