Ozuna is nothing if not a generous collaborator. In 2017 alone, he helped re-launch Natti Natasha’s career by joining her on “Criminal” (1.5 billion YouTube views to date), gave go-to producer Chris Jeday his first solo hit by contributing to “Ahora Dice” (1.1 billion views), and aided Cardi B in her attempts to build a relationship with the Latin mainstream (“La Modelo”).
The pattern continues on Ozuna’s new album Aura: This time the Puerto Rican star enlisted Akon for a fizzy collaboration titled “Coméntale.” Akon, of course, was already a huge star in the U.S., racking up a heap of gold and platinum records throughout the 2000s; the Senegalese-American singer’s sinister falsetto delivery was an important — and often overlooked — precursor to the Weeknd’s. But Akon’s gold rush had tapered off in the following decade, and he hasn’t cracked the Top 40 since 2011’s “Who Dat Girl.”
It’s a pleasant surprise to hear him in such strong form on “Coméntale.” Akon switches between English and Spanish with ease, making similar attempts by Drake (“Odio”) and Justin Bieber (you know the song) seem drab by comparison. He sings promises of devotion in deft, curving lines: “Do they know what I’d do for you?/Damn near drop my whole crew for you.”
It helps that the beat here is a compact wonder, full of cheerful synthesizers, wiggle-inducing percussion and flickers of guitar that wouldn’t be out of place in a disco hit. “Coméntale” is produced by Toly, Hi Flow and Gaby Music; the latter two are all over Aura, working hard to provide Ozuna with instrumentals that are best suited to his slender voice.
“Coméntale” is one of several strong duets on Aura.