Viva Friday Playlist: The Best Music of the Week by Christian Nodal, Arthur Hanlon & More

Sami Drasin
Christian Nodal photographed on April 24, 2018 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

Viva Friday is a compilation of the best new Latin songs, albums and videos recommended by the Billboard Latin editors.

Christian Nodal - Ahora

Two years after dropping his debut studio album, Me Deje Llevar, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy, Christian Nodal released his newest production, "Ahora." Simply translated to “Now,” the Regional Mexican artist pours his heart out once again in 14 new tracks. The production, which stays true to Nodal’s romantic essence, includes his singles “No Te Contaron Mal,” “De Los Besos Que Te Di” and “Perdoname,” released with the album on May 10. Despite having similar ranchera melodies and mariachi tunes throughout the production, each track tells its own heartfelt story and demonstrates Nodal's mature sound. Recommended songs are: "Para Olvidarme," a song that talks of a love that's unforgettable even when one of the people tries to move on and “Esta Noche,” featuring the only collaboration on the album with Sebastian Yatra, a track that perfectly fuses both fresh voices in a song about lost love and heartbreak. Listen to "Ahora" below -- JESSICA ROIZ


Juan Luis Guerra –  “I Love You More”

Guerra can shift easily between Dominican styles, and here he goes both traditional and contemporary. “I Love You More” is a quick merengue, so fast-paced it sounds like a merengue ripiao. But it has surprising touches: sudden  modulations in tonality, and of course, the repeating “I love you more,” in English, which turns delightful when he adds codas like “I love you more than rice and beans.” With superb arrangements, this is simplicity elevated. --LEILA COBO


Arthur Hanlon – “Balada Para Adelina”

In honor of Mother’s Day, pianist Arthur Hanlon has released a new version of the classic instrumental track “Balada Para Adelina,” which was originally recorded by pianist Richard Clayderman and became a global hit in the 1970s. In the updated version, Hanlon revisits one of the songs he learned as a child and had the honor to rediscover  during a social media challenge he made last year for Mother’s Day. “I realized that melody is still a favorite of music fans and definitely of fans of piano music,” said Arthur Hanlon in a press statement.  The video for “Balada Para Adelina” was filmed in Miami.  Watch it below.  -- SUZETTE FERNANDEZ

Paula Arenas, Visceral

Colombian singer Paula Arenas has officially realeased her first album, Visceral. The 16-track set is a magical piece that shows how powerful Arena is vocally and gives a reason for her 2017 Latin Grammy nomination for best new artist. Visceral  is a combination of ballads and pop that touches on different love stories in the many ways of feeling it. It also reflects on how a woman suffers for love in songs like "Nada" and "Ahora Soy Libre," and also has a feminist touch on “Tiempo al Viento” and “Bandida.”  Overall, Arena’s Visceral is the album you enjoy with a glass of wine. Salud! -- SF  

Mike Bahia & Ovy on the Drums - “La Lá”

Colombian artist Mike Bahía has teamed up with producer Ovy on the Drums to deliver a new party jam called “La Lá.” The track is home to many Caribbean fusions, such as reggae, urban and dancehall. “La Lá” is a song about a man who’s after a girl that’s up to no good. The music video, filmed in a beach setting, gives off the major tropical vibes the song conveys. Watch it below. -- JR

Chyno Miranda, Farruko – “Celosa”

Venezuelan singer Chyno Miranda has joined forces with the Puerto Rican singer Farruko to release the tropical/urban track “Celosa.”  The song describes a girl who they love so much but is jealous. She looks through text messages, ask for everything and  more. At the end, love takes over leaving behind the insecurity. Sound wise, the single offers danceable tropical rhythms from the Caribbean. It’s a good start to the summer. -- SF

Regulo Caro -“Piensalo Bien”

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Regulo Caro drops his new single “Piensalo Bien.” Ahead of the release Friday (May 10), the Mexican singer asked fans what type of songs they prefer: love or heartbreak. “Piensalo Bien” is both. The heartfelt ranchera tune is a song about a man who’s fighting for his relationship, asking his significant other to think twice about her decision of ending it before it’s too late. “‘Piensalo Bien,’ straight to the heart, for all the moms on their day,” he expressed on social media. Watch the music video below. -- JR

Macaco – “Blue (Dimunuto Planeta Azul)” ft. Jorge Drexler and Joan Manuel Serrat

Joan Manuel Serrat opens with a pivotal message ushered by the sound of water at seashore on “Blue (Diminuto Planeta Azul),” Macaco’s new single which draws together a trio of greats. Anchored by superb yet unpretentious songwriting, the song puts Macaco’s artistic perspective to the fore with Drexler’s warm confidence and poetic susceptibility. With just a few harmonic elements, “Blue” surrounds itself by a resilient missive speaking of love and its simplicity and its attempt to overcome our ego in the most elementary moments. -- PAMELA BUSTIOS

Montoya “Otún” featuring Nidia Gongora

Afro-Colombian Nidia Gongora’s vocals make their way boldly trough Colombian Montoya’s electro-ancestral beats with commanding African elements on “Otún,” an ethereal chant convening the lumbalú, a funeral cortege of African origin.The song pounces on the mystic ceremony of sending off the spirits of the deceased. The video directed by Andres Gomez together with the Palenque community, is a celebration of ancestral chants and prayer, torches and frenzied dance: “vamos con cantos y rezos/ hoy preparando el altar/ para el ser que te despide/ por siempre a la eternidad” (“with songs and prayers we go/ today as we prepare the altar/ to farewell that being/ forever to eternity”.) --PB

Superfónicos- “Cumbéalo”

Rerouting from their accustomed recordings, Austin-based, Colombian Superfónicos releases “Cumbéalo,” an old-school cumbia recorded with no overdubs flanked by a sharp unison passage of funk horns and flutes. The band weaves an invigorating mix of influences from their Colombian heritage and African stimulations, with the drum and gaita as common language, pushing forward the sound of their culture’s roots. -- PB