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Mora is an artist that I had some slight hopes for a few years. His debut album Primer Dia de Clases, released back in 2021, was a unique take on reggaeton, featuring creative production and good meaningful lyricism. Despite this, Mora never broke through much of the mainstream, usually not being part of the same conversation with the likes of Bad Bunny or Rauw Alejandro. This was more evident when Mora went on to release two albums in 2022, with both being disappointing as they were just bland versions of his debut.

Prior to the release of his new album ESTRELLA, I reflected on back on Mora’s career and attempted to answer some lingering questions. I came to the conclusion that while Mora does have good qualities that are underappreciated, there isn’t much that separates him from most reggaeton artists. In fact, I will go as far as to say that the reason I initially liked him was based on the virtue that he doesn’t suck amidst the dumpster fire that is the modern Latin scene.

And that’s it. He’s good, but just good…until now.

ESTRELLA opens up with “MEDIA LUNA”, a track with great production that started well with a nice instrumental. I would say that while this album doesn’t contain the best production out of Mora’s discography, it contains his most unique. Songs like “REINA” and “UN DESEO” are chill and provide a nice atmosphere. “AYER Y HOY”, the last track, included some brass that fits nicely with the song, though it lasted a little longer than it should’ve.

There were also instances of good performances from Mora, most especially in “DONDE SE APRENDE A QUERER”, arguably the best song on the album. “REINA” had Mora and Saiko spitting out great flows, and “POLVORA” had some good rhymes and wordplay from Mora, though Yandel had some pretty cringe-worthy bars. “EL CHACAL” might sound a bit too much like an Anuel song, but I would still consider it a highlight.

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While all of these features and more are things I appreciated about this album, that’s unfortunately as far as I can go.

I did say “MEDIA LUNA” had good production, and it started out great, but then Mora hits you with a disjointed flow that almost makes the song unbearable. Songs like “LAGUNA” and “LOKITA” are terrible in every way imaginable, almost laughable to an extent. “COCERGA” and “MAREA” are as bland as could be, and “DIAMONDS” went off the rails after a good sample in the intro. This isn’t even mentioning the horrible lyricism and rhymes that are scattered throughout the record.

Most of the songs I mentioned above included guest features that either added nothing to the song or were a detriment to it. I’ve heard people point out that most of the features on ESTRELLA included unknown artists like RaiNao and Dei V. While I don’t have a problem with those inclusions, I do wonder why Mora didn’t have some bigger names on here, having worked with artists such as Bad Bunny, Feid, Anuel, and even Metro Boomin’. One can interpret this as an omen for Mora’s future.

Here are my ratings for each song on a scale of 0-4:

  1. MEDIA LUNA – 2
  2. PASAJERO – 3
  3. POLVORA (featuring Yandel) – 3
  4. DONDE SE APRENDE A QUERER? – 4
  5. REINA(featuring Saiko) – 4
  6. FANTASIAS – 1
  7. EL CHACAL– 2
  8. LAGUNA (featuring Arcangel) – 0
  9. LOKITA – 1
  10. PIDE (featuring RaiNao) – 2
  11. UN DESEO (also featuring RaiNao) – 4.
  12. DIAMONDS (featuring Dei V) – 1
  13. CORCEGA (featuring Alvaro Diaz) – 2
  14. MAREA – 2
  15. AYER Y HOY – 3

SCORE/Poor: ESTRELLA, in my opinion, was Mora’s last chance to show that he can make it in such a competitive genre. Of course, “competitive” only applies to anyone who isn’t Bad Bunny, who will undoubtedly hold onto his monopoly over Latin music for the next few years. A simple look at Mora’s discography shows that his music is decreasing in quality, and a simple look at the reggaeton community shows a lack of interest in him. This leads me to an unfortunate conclusion: Mora isn’t (and never was) that talented. It’s not good enough to be just “good” (which should always be the bare minimum), you have to be great.

[We rank albums on a scale of Poor, Mediocre, Good, Excellent, and Outstanding]

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