Album Review: KiCk i by Arca

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Alejandra Ghersi, more known by her stage name Arca, is a Venezuelan producer and singer based in Spain. While having four studio albums, she’s more known for her producer work with Björk and Kanye West. KiCk i marks Arca’s fourth studio album, which comes three years after her previous, self-titled album.

The first track and shortest track from the album is Nonbinary. Just clocking in under two and a half minutes. The majority of the album is actually composed of sub three-minute tracks. While the first half of the track contains rap/spoken word sections, the track gets more experimental in nature during the interlude. On this track, Arca talks about her thoughts on identifying as nonbinary, and then later identifying as a trans woman.

Time opens up with a jumpy electronic beat that basically has notes jumping back and forth between octaves. In simple terms, it’s pure synthpop. Besides the chord progression, it’s kept the same throughout the entirety of the track. Her smooth vocals open up the track, but as the track progresses, her vocals continue to get more distorted and reverbed to no return. The concept of the track could have two meanings. The first one could be achieving your goals and taking as much time to achieve it. The second could be coming to terms with your identity and the time it took for her to come out.

Mequetrefe is a Latin American slang term, usually used to describe a man that is weak or annoying. Arca heard that word growing up as derogatory. While it has roots and ties to reggaeton, the song is very experimental in nature and has some pure ‘noise’ elements towards the middle and end of the track. I believe that the track is in Spanish or at least some dialect of Spanish.

After that, we have another Spanish track named Riquiquí (besides the chorus). Translated to English, it’s supposed to mean something delicious. This is definitely more chaotic and energetic in nature compared to some of her other tracks on the album. You have a pulsing bass note in the background that really pushes the energy up. The track talks about Arca being confident with her identity.

örk sings an excerpt from a poem titled Calor is the first track on the album that is over three minutes in length. Calor translates to warmth or hot. The track also slows it down a bit, with a piano playing in the background. On this track, she talks about her relationship with music artist Carlos Sáez. She also talks about how she allowed herself to fall in love again.
Afterwards has a feature from Bj Anoche cuando dorm ía. After she sings that opening, Arca comes in with a reverbed part in English. She talks about healing from her pain in the past.

Watch opens up with some quick, high-pitched electronic notes. It also opens up with some rapping by Shygirl. This marks the second collaboration between the two. The instrumentals definitely remind me of Euro-club music. As I said before, a lot of the tracks are sub-three minutes. I wish that this track was a little longer in length since it has a lot of potential.
ÍA feature on the album that we were looking forward to. I’m definitely getting some club music vibes from this track as well. KLK could refer to the section of the song that goes, “ é lo que?” On this track, both of the artists talk about how far they have come in their careers. It also shows how quickly they created a song together after becoming friends.

Next, we have Rip the Slit. The vocals during the chorus seem similar to the Technologic voice by Daft Punk, except a little higher in pitch. It’s very repetitive in nature, but it’s definitely catchy, which proably explain why it’s repetitive. According to Arca, this is one of the mischievous and kinky tracks from the album.

La Chíquí opens up with Arca repeating the phrase “Menéalo.” It seems like the phrase is stuck on an endless loop. The phrase stands for ‘shake it.’ The electronic beat sounds very industrial in nature with the harsh beat at times. During the chorus of the track, Arca and SOPHIE seem to play with their use of different pronouns.

Machote opens up with some scratch-like electronic sounds. On this track, it opens up with smooth vocals from a sample on Quiero una Chica by Latin Dreams. Just the spaced-out beat in the background makes this track worth the wait. Arca says that she’s not afraid to call this track a cover, but she switched around the pronouns to make it more unique for her.

The final track and longest track from the album is No Queda Nada. Nearly six minutes in length, it’s a love ballad dedicated to Carlos Sáez, her boyfriend. It opens up with a quiet synth droning on in the background, with a few other drum kit samples here and there. The instrumental is very minimal, and probably the least experimental track on the album.

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