2023 Best Latin Albums: From Karol G to Bad Bunny

On LOS40 USA we review some of the best studio works released in recent months

Archivado en: Carin León  •   Duki  •   Eladio Carrión  •   Juanes  •   Karol G  •   Khea  •   Myke Towers  •   Nicki Nicole  •   Peso Pluma  •   Tainy  •  

If there’s one thing we’re getting plenty of in 2023, it’s good music – a succession of hit tracks that create the perfect soundtrack for various moments in our lives. That’s why every time one of our favorite artists announces an album, we can’t help but jump for joy, knowing that a compilation of songs is on its way to bring us closer to their inner world, making us dance and create new memories.

From Karol G’s history-making Mañana Será Bonito to Tainy’s brilliant and highly anticipated DATA, we recap some of the most acclaimed studio works of this year. In addition to the hits from our favorite Latin artists, this list also makes room for some of the most outstanding Hispanic performers this year, such as Quevedo or Aitana.

#1 ‘Mañana Será Bonito’ and ‘Mañana Será Bonito (Bichota Season)’ by Karol G

The release of Mañana Será Bonito and its more «BICHOTA» version (which acts as its B-side) is a clear reflection of the personal journey that the Colombian diva has embarked on, following a challenging breakup and a relationship with not-so-fond memories.

Featuring incredible collaborations with Shakira, Quevedo, Romeo Santos, Peso Pluma, and Kali Uchis, along with the invaluable touch of Ovy On The Drums, and drawing inspiration from various sources (ranging from «Don’t Worry, Be Happy» to stylistic elements seen in Rosalía’s Motomami (2022), Mexican music, and previous albums by Bad Bunny), Karol G reinvents herself in this dual release, which has catapulted her to the top of charts within and outside of the United States.

Having recently begun her first-ever stadium tour in the country and surpassing Benito in global Latin artist sales, there’s no doubt that the Bichota will continue making history wherever she goes.

#2. ‘Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana’ by Bad Bunny

On October 13, 2023, Bad Bunny surprised all his fans with «Nadie Sabe lo que va a pasar mañana.» From the first track, «Nadie Sabe,» the artist shows that we are probably facing one of his most sincere projects to date. Through 22 songs, featuring collaborations with Eladio Carrión, Feid, Young Miko, and Mora, among others, Bad Bunny explores trap, dembow, and reggaeton to delve into themes like love, fame, sex, and money, sharing his deepest confessions both emotionally and about the fame that follows him.

#3. ‘DATA’ by Tainy

Certainly one of the most outstanding albums of the year, the debut studio work by Puerto Rican producer Tainy. DATA is a love letter to Japanese culture, reggaeton, and immersive sound textures. Its essence is evident from the start through the cover, featuring the android SENA, an anime character (one of the artist’s passions) representing the entire story and inspiration behind «DATA.» It includes a wide numer of dazzling collabds with big names in the scene like Myke Towers, Arcángel, Jhayco, Bad Bunny, Young Miko, Wisin & Yandel and more.

#4. ‘Genesis’ by Peso Pluma

Peso Pluma has completely revolutionized the internationalization of Mexican music this year. Achieving global popularity while staying true to his roots and style, the artist not only gives shape to the recent and specific subgenre of corridos tumbados, but also displays remarkable versatility in his music. He can sing anything from a ballad with Nicki Nicole to reggaeton with YNG LVCAS or Karol G, or even a Dembow track with El Alfa.

Genesis, Peso Pluma’s third studio album, has reshaped the game this year. He’s become one of the most-listened-to artists in the United States, leading the Los40 USA chart and launching the album under his own label, La Doble P Records. Collaborations with Jasiel Nuñez, Eladio Carrión, Junior H, Natanael Cano, Blessd, Grupo Frontera, and more are also featured on the album.

#5. ‘ALMA’ by Nicki Nicole

Undoubtedly one of the most moving and exciting releases of the year comes from Nicki Nicole’s ALMA. The project aims to reflect the triangular relationship between her work, her audience, and herself.

ALMA takes us on a journey through the most human emotions surrounding heartbreak, insecurity, jealousy, and overcoming a toxic relationship. With overwhelming versatility and a prodigious voice, Nicole completes this well-rounded work with the participation of emerging stars like Young Miko and Milo J, as well as collaborations with established names in the genre like YSY A and Rels B.

#6. ‘RR’ by Rosalía & Rauw Alejandro

«RR» is not the only EP on this list of albums. Although the breakup of its authors, Rauw Alejandro and Rosalía, has somewhat overshadowed the three songs that make it up, we believe it’s appropriate to include «RR» in the list of the best of 2023 because, besides proving that Rauw and Rosalía can create timeless works of art in the studio, such as the bolero «Promesa» or the dark reggaeton of «Vampiro,» this EP includes «Beso,» which is undoubtedly one of the songs of 2023. After all, who doesn’t still know «Ya yo necesito otro beso, uno de esos que tú me das… Estar lejos de ti es el infierno… Estar cerca de ti es mi paz»?

#7. ‘.mp3’ by Emilia

It has been truly enjoyable to witness how, amidst so much urban and reggaeton, Emilia has stood out with a project like «.mp3.» It seemed easy to take the electronic and hip-hop from the 2000s and make an album with such a marked aesthetic. However, the pop princess from Argentina has done it in an outstanding way. She has paid homage to artists from that era without losing her essence or her willingness to continue learning and climbing positions within the music industry. She is a hit-maker, and «.mp3» is an album that I will be delighted to revisit whenever platforms get bored with the usual.

#8. ‘Donde Quiero Estar’ by Quevedo

Reggaeton arrived in Spain via the Canary Islands, so it’s not surprising that solid figures like Quevedo, one of the genre’s emblems in this new generation in our country, are coming from the islands. «Quédate,» his session with Bizarrap, put him on the radar of many people, including Bad Bunny. Quevedo has succeeded in making it clear that we can confidently look towards Latin America when it comes to reggaeton. Omar Montes and Jc Reyes from here, or Myke Towers (Playa del Inglés) from across the pond, join him on «Donde quiero estar,» the debut that respects the genre’s rules but also breaks free from chains, revealing the artist’s most personal vision in the last part of the album.

#9. ‘Mor, No Le Temas a la Oscuridad’ by Feid

In «Mor, No Le Temas a la Oscuridad,» we delve into a universe of unfamiliar and unexplored sounds for Feid himself. He blends his most characteristic reggaeton with other genres that he also loves as a music consumer, such as dancehall, afrobeat, dembow, or electropop. He steps out of his comfort zone to shed light on a varied project catering to all tastes, always with the Ferxxo signature embedded in his lyrics.

#10. ‘3MEN2 KBRON’ by Eladio Carrión

In March, Eladio Carrión made us all vibrate with anticipation as he released his fourth studio album, «3MEN2 KBRON.» It’s a prime example of Latin trap, intermingled with some of the most influential styles from American hip-hop.

The album includes collaborations with Lil Wayne, Future, 50 Cent, and Quavo, among others. A well-rounded effort that firmly places Carrión as one of the unmistakable leaders in the urban genre hailing from the Puerto Rican school. Esteemed names in the genre like Bad Bunny, Myke Towers, and Ñengo Flow also join the party here.

#11. ‘Colmillo de Leche’ by Carín León

Carín León debuts his eagerly awaited album titled Colmillo de Leche, featuring a collection of 18 tracks that his devoted fans have already had the pleasure of experiencing across various streaming platforms. Songs like «Si es cierto que te vas,» «No es por acá,» «Mil maneras de morir,» and «La Primera Cita» are swiftly ascending the charts. This remarkable new studio project stands as a clear testament to the evolving landscape of Mexican music.

Furthermore, the album boasts captivating collaborations with internationally acclaimed artists. Camilo joins forces in the track «Ni Me Debes Ni Te Debo,» while Pablo Alborán contributes to «De Piedra a Papel,» and Ángela Aguilar adds her essence to «Vete Yendo.» These partnerships add an extra layer of allure to an already spectacular musical offering.

#12. ‘Playa Saturno’ by Rauw Alejandro

If Rauw Alejandro managed to take us musically to another planet with «Saturno,» he made sure to throw his own party outside of Earth with «Playa Saturno.» It arrived in July for a clear reason: to become the soundtrack for beach afternoons and plans with friends.

With a fusion of reggaeton, R&B, dance sounds, and hip-hop, the Puerto Rican artist once again proves that no genre is beyond him, and music has no limits to surprise us. In fact, his collaboration with Miguel Bosé is one of the great surprises of the project. Produced by Rauw along with other industry professionals, «Playa Saturno» is the perfect tracklist to celebrate good weather.

#13. ‘Antes de Ameri’ by Duki

After dominating the dance floors with Temporada de Reggaeton I (2021) and II (2022), Duki has ushered in a new musical era that has evoked a sense of nostalgia among his most loyal fans. The Argentine artist returns to his trap roots, the sounds that initially propelled him to fame within the industry, and he does so through the release of a fresh studio album.

Antes De Ameri transports us directly into a unique universe meticulously crafted by the Argentine. «Ameri, for me, is that place we all want to reach. In this case, at this moment in my life, it was the inspiration. For other people, it can mean the next level, personally or professionally. It has to do with the illusion of reaching that place we dream of. Ameri, for me, represents goals that one wants to achieve in life,» explained Duki himself.

His latest studio work includes songs with Lucho SSJ, Jhayco, WE$T DUBAI, Akapellah, Quevedo, KHEA, and Bizarrap, among others.

#14. ‘Cupido’ by TINI

This 2023, the Triple T returned stronger than ever. The Argentine has released «Cupido,» allowing us to delve into her thoughts and discover everything that goes on in her most intimate thoughts. She has made us feel like «Carne y Hueso,» some «Muñecas,» and believe in the most powerful man of love, Cupid. Because without a doubt, what Tini, Tini, Tini has done is open her heart to us with her lyrics and has even let us cross it.

#15. ‘alpha’ by Aitana

Aitana has showcased her versatility as a pop icon with «alpha,» making electronic sounds her own in an exquisite way – «Los Ángeles,» «Ella Bailaba,» and «Dararí» are pop excellence – and acquiring a much more recognizable identity for the adult audience. This album defines her unlike any other due to her personal involvement in the lyrics, fitting into the professional moment the artist is experiencing. She has finally embraced her position as an international diva. Because everyone will always remember the alpha era. Dance with Aitana for ages!

#16. ‘Vida Cotidiana’ by Juanes

In May of this year, Juanes unveiled his highly anticipated album Vida Cotidiana, a remarkable release that delves into the intricate aspects of everyday existence, exploring evolving perspectives on matters of love, matrimony, family, and his native Colombia. The holder of an impressive 27 Grammy and Latin Grammy awards, Juanes persists in reconnecting with his core by blending pop/rock elements with the rich tapestry of Latin American rhythms.

This marks his 11th studio album, accessible in both digital and CD formats, signifying the continuation of a fresh creative phase, partly born from the introspective journey undertaken during the pandemic and the triumph over a personal and familial ordeal. These encounters lend profound significance to this new composition.

#17. Manuel Turizo: «2000»

«2000» won the award for the best Latin album of the year at the LOS40 Music Awards, and there were plenty of reasons. After the mega success of «La Bachata,» Manuel Turizo returned with a new album consisting of 15 tracks, including this and other previously known songs like «El Merengue» with Marshmello or «Éxtasis» with María Becerra, blending with ten other unreleased songs. A tribute to the year he was born and the culture that reigned in that early century with electric guitars («Despecho»), urban pop («Pal Carajo»), or Latin pop mixed with R&B («Triste»), among other genres that make clear the eclecticism of his proposal.

#18. ‘Forever King’ by Don Omar

Merely a month after its release, Don Omar’s most recent album, Forever King, has garnered significant acclaim. It represents a captivating and multifaceted musical creation, highlighting exceptional skills in seamlessly melding classic reggaeton rhythms with tropical influences. This latest artistic endeavor remains firmly rooted in the reggaeton genre, serving as both a tribute and acknowledgment of his illustrious musical heritage. Don Omar and other seminal figures who solidified the urban music landscape in the early 2000s played a huge role in shaping the present-day identity of the genre.

Within this album, the Puerto Rican artist vividly showcases his eagerness to explore an array of rhythms. This diversity is evident in dynamic collaborations such as «Flow HP» with Residente and «Bandidos» featuring Cosculluela, as well as in tracks like «Magdalena» featuring Maluma, which exude emotional depth. The album also embraces introspective pieces like «Carcelero» and «Sincero.»

#19. ‘SEROTONINA’ by Khea

The musical comeback of Argentine trap artist KHEA materialized this year in the form of an album. SEROTONINA is a journey where the artist captures his personal process, intersecting various themes and emotions related to mental health. This kept our protagonist away from music production for some time.

With significant compositional effort behind it, the album brings us a more mature KHEA, capable of conveying greater depth in his lyrics and eager to share his experiences. It includes songs with Tiago PZK, Asan, and one of the emerging urban talents in Argentina, Milo J.

20. ‘Afro’ by Ozuna

There’s nothing better than stepping out of your comfort zone from time to time, and Ozuna did just that with the «Afro» EP, sharing a fresh and danceable vibe through its seven tracks, influenced by Afro-beat and Caribbean rhythms without leaving the urban radar. Ideal for enjoying the summer with the best vibes. Tracks like «Eva Longoria,» featuring Davido, have accompanied us during these vacations, bringing back memories of our relaxation time. And yes, it’s not the only thing he has released this year, but it’s the one that made him deviate from the established script, and that must be taken into account.