Arca “Kick ii” Review


The concept of the “Kick” series, according to Arca, is “if it feels oppressive, kick against it,” which is made immensely clear in her music. Introducing herself with her rhythmically disturbing, yet enchanting mixtapes, she’s adopted a sound which only seems to be able to be constructed in an entirely different dimension, serving as an integral part of Arca’s artistic footprint.

In terms of what separates this project from the rest of the “Kick” series, it seems as if this one to adopt a sound of cloudy, twisted reggaeton. From the singles “Prada” and “Rakata,” as well as other cuts such as “Luna Llena” and “Tiro,” it almost sounds like Arca’s take on the neo-perreo sound. The aforementioned songs, in terms of supporting this concept, are probably one of the strongest of the project. It’s infectious, empowering, yet emotionally vulnerable, and probably some of Arca’s most accessible and interesting material to date.

The second half of the record, though, is a bit more diverse with its sound, as well as comes off as hit or miss. “Araña” and “Andro” are the longest tracks and delve into the more unpredictable side of Arca’s mystique. While sonically impressive, it can take patience and more appreciation for Arca’s otherworldly persona and atmosphere as a whole to fully click with it. Especially the ladder song, it can seem as if Arca’s revisiting her older material on “Mutant” or her early mixtapes. While it’s still done well, it can chop up the pacing of the album, especially in contrast to its first half.

“Born Yesterday” featuring Sia is, perhaps, my least favorite from the album. While Arca does include some of her familiar sound design, it sounds more like a Sia track than an Arca track. Unlike how Arca used Rosalia’s vocals on “KLK” as an instrument and effect in the overall mix, chopping them up, having them glitch in and out of the track, Sia’s vocals, for the most part, stay untouched and is a much more predictable moment in the project.

Kick ii, however, still doesn’t disappoint, even with its slower and somber cuts. “Muñecas” and “Confianza” are excellent examples of this, encapsulating that feeling of drowning in its withering and delicate sound design, whether it be complex chord progressions played on piano or her vocals coming in and out of the song as they repeat the same phrase almost like a lullaby crooning a voice of acceptance. This album is a great follow-up to the first “Kick” and shows yet another way Arca reinvents herself.

Consensus: Arca is pioneering a new chapter for avant-garde reggaeton on “Kick ii”

Score: 8/10