Billboard.com's 10 Best Latin Songs of 2015: Critics' Picks
The top-charting songs of the year are not necessarily the critics’ favorites. But in this case, we couldn’t help but be wooed all around by “El perdón,” which tops our critics' list for 2015.
10. Victor Manuelle, "Que Suenen los Tambores"
This song celebrating the joy of music and the instinctive power of African drums will make your day. On the song first recorded by Cuban singer Laritza Bacallao, Manuelle adds Puerto Rican flavor with his characteristic classic salsa style peppered with urban beats.
9. Maná feat. Shakira, "Mi Verdad"
What could have been a case of clashing titans resulted in one beautiful song. Maná vocalist Fher Olvera and Shakira made some magic on “Mi Verdad,” a simple pop love ballad that just gets better the more you listen to it.
8. Alejandro Sanz, "Un zombie a la interperie"
What a complicated title (“A zombie out in the cold”), but what a stunning song. Kicking of with a slow string intro, “Un zombie” gradually swells into one of Sanz’s trademark lush and complex choruses.
7. Don Omar, "Soledad"
Don Omar has a knack for mixing poetry and melancholy with beats. His take on a woman who loses love and trust is both gorgeous and edgy, and the addition of the accordion just gives added texture to an already compelling song.
6. Alvaro Soler, "El Mismo Sol"
Soler conquered Europe earlier this year with his debut single, a minimalistic feel-good acoustic pop smash complete with a clap-driven beat. The song, ripe for cruising with the windows down, features Jennifer Lopez on its U.S. version -- adding a power that makes the tune feel like a huge celebration.
5. Plan B, "Fanatica Sensual"
With lyrics like “She’s a sensual fanatic, she has a picture of me; I can only imagine what she does when she’s alone,” “Fanática Sensual” isn’t elevated or sublime. But it’s surprisingly well-written and manages to go where few (if any) Latin acts have gone in terms of sheer explicitness that’s a step shy of crass. That the beat leads straight to the dance floor is a bonus.
4. Bomba Estéreo, "Fiesta"
Exuding a vibrant burst of color, “Fiesta” reflects the group’s vivacious musical energy and lives on the edge of melodic pop and hard-hitting electronic beats. The song brought Will Smith out of a decade-long music hiatus when he reached out to the band to lend his voice for a remix.
3. J Balvin, "Ginza"
The song’s electro-tinged dance-inducing rhythms made the reggaeton track an instant club hit. “Ginza” dives into the chorus at its start and the track’s earworm effect makes it hard to not impulsively dance along. The Colombian act continues his meteoric rise with his biggest hit to date.
2. Chino y Nacho, feat. Farruko, "Me Voy Enamorando"
With its official video alone garnering over 220 million YouTube views (and counting), this song was a smash. What got to us was its mix of tropical and pop, of romance and dance. The duo’s tale of budding romance struck a universal chord and bringing rapper Farruko in as a guest act gave it just the right touch of edge.
1. Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias, "El Perdón"
So much has been said about records set by “El perdón,” the second longest running No. 1 song on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. But too little has been said about that mix of sweet and sad and danceable and those plaintive lyrics of lost love that can make girls -- and guys -- cry alike. “When I wrote the beginning of the song -- ‘Did he take you to the moon, and I couldn’t do that’ -- that part hit me really hard,” Nicky Jam told Billboard. Trust us, Nicky, we get it too.