10 Best Latin Albums of 2016

Helado Negro, Alex Anwandter and more of the year's best from Latinx artists

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J Balvin, 'Energia'

4. J Balvin, 'Energia'

On Energía, J Balvin's breakthrough album, the Columbian lothario spends 45 minutes lighting up the dance floor while attempting to steal somebody's girl before last call. Not that J Balvin is particularly smooth – think more Jean-Ralphio Saperstein than Arthur Fonzarelli. Just give a listen to "Bobo," where our man advises a friend that the best way to get over her ex is to ... casually go to bed with J Balvin. But Energía is at its best when at its most sinister: "Veneno" is a brash slice of Latin trap; crossover track "Safari" is a slinky club number dripping in pre-coital sweat; and the provocative "Ginza," with its deliciously liquid beat, is among the finest three minutes in reggaetón history. J Balvin may be corny, but he can buy you a drink. A.C.

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