Sometimes typical amongst Reggaeton albums is the range length filled with enough filler that its listener is bound to find the right vibe attached to a slew of repetitions. They can be fantastic and consistent, but the components around them have to be captivating. For Myke Towers, it becomes more evident when he leans to the trappings of Reggaeton he falters, despite the talent we hear behind the microphone, with the pen and paper always on hand. Though there is a lot to like about his last album, Lyke Myke, I can’t say the same about his follow-up, La Vida Es Una, which shifts back to the stylistic palette of his first album, Easy Money Baby, except not as firm. Towers has the skills to deliver thought-provokingly visceral visualization with his writing. Still, as he teeters towards the dance elements of Reggaeton, he begins to lose touch with an inconsistent bout in supplying choruses and sensuality in the voice. It makes these tracks feel lesser as he tries to assimilate but misses the spark to take it over the top.
In an interview with MuscoloTV, Myke Towers noted that La Vida Es Una, previously titled Michael, aimed to be the sonic antithesis of his previous album, which imbued a hip-hop core through its pores. It modestly included some Latin flair beneath the high-energy drum patterns, but as he staggers back to the foundational sounds of Reggaeton, there’s only so much he can accomplish. Evident with the choruses of “Voodoo,” “Mundo Cruel,” and “Sábado,” there is a lower ceiling Towers can reach as his singing is as consistent. He has shown moments where he can accomplish a modest delivery, but his swagger doesn’t match the sensuality behind the thematic content. Myke Towers raps and sings a lot about relationships, flexing his status and sex appeal while rarely being reflexive on the nature of this approach. There is little depth to how he approaches themes, as you’re trying to bounce between anecdotes that boast the characteristics of his love or Myke Towers rapping about how awesome it would be to go on a date with him or be with him.
It leaves you twiddling your thumbs as you get through the 23-track, 75 minutes album. As it approaches the second half, La Vida Es Una starts progressing quickly as some songs blend with the others thematically and sonically, shifting from the slightly tepid and smooth pacing in the first half. The slightly disappointing downshift after “Cama King” rarely allows him to breathe, instead just letting it chug along with slight neglect. As Myke Towers continues to rap and sing, it becomes more inconsistent, with tracks like “Lo Que Pide,” “Don & Tego,” and “Flow Jamaican” being clear standouts amongst the redundancies, like “Tu Rehén.” They showcase Towers’ inflated ego under the scope of relationships, never feeling as fresh or fleshed out, sometimes sounding more familiar comparatively. It sounds like he’s trying to focus on being part of this trendy aesthetic instead of finding an avenue full of originality.
The sounds aren’t as rich or diverse – it keeps itself tight-knit on the summery vibe, eventually becoming a cornerstone of the production’s weakness. It loses itself to the rhythm as you try to feel out the vocal performances that bring you back through some hollow layers. Each time Myke Towers delivers with a featured artist, the sounds get more profound, and the choruses have some melodic depth. It benefits Towers that these features perform fluidly through them, that they can circumvent some of Towers’ lesser qualities and rounding them with enough definition where they become easily replayable. You can get taken aback as you start to sense the distance in performative prowess between them, like on “ULALA (OOH LA LA),” where Daddy Yankee’s singing is more refined and captivating. It’s the same with “Conocerte,” where Ozuna keeps it focused and predominantly catchy as you find yourself vibing, easily.
Though not all the features do this, sometimes there to help round out the song around Towers’ verses, but on “Don & Tego,” it’s the opposite. One of the rare times we hear that essence of Hip-Hop, nothing felt more refreshing than hearing two poignant lyricists bouncing off each other, delivering two heaters. You get that with Myke Towers and Arcángel, who keep it 100. Additionally, there are great moments where you hear Towers trying different flows, like the trap-influenced “Lo Logré.” It makes you wonder where Towers wanted to go with this, especially as he continues to refine his sound through Reggaeton & Hip-Hop. There isn’t a part of me that doesn’t feel like Myke Towers is getting there, picking apart varying elements of the music he loves, and contributing to wonderfully, and finding the best happy medium, like his debut. There are many great moments on the album, but as you round the bases, there are some hurdles that put weight on delivering at full impact. It leaves you with a less-than-pleasing experience, but with those great moments, there’s no denying you’ll find enjoyment.
La Vida Es Una initially felt like something with promise, and as it replayed, similar issues continued arising, especially its repetitiveness. It left me feeling like his adventurous nature was slighted by trying too much and too hard to let out some vulnerability; ultimately, it’s when he’s rapping that the music excels consistently, unlike songs where he sings. It was something that I wanted to like more, but its overlong runtime felt like a chore and less rewarding as it went on since the hurdles to get through from good song to song aren’t as forgettable.