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Reviews

Anitta “Versions of Me” Album Review

Versions of Me

Anitta

    • Genre: Pop
    • Date: 12 Apr, 2022
    • Content: explicit
    • Region: USA
    • Track(s): 15
  • ℗ 2022 Warner Records Inc.

On Versions of Me, a dazzling omnibus of pop digitalia, the 29-year-old Brazilian singer-MC-dancer goes door-to-door, trying to unite the people behind her surging campaign for Global Dance-Floor Booty Inspector.

Burning brightest when micromanaging every market-tested and quantized musical detail with blissfully canny zeal, Anitta pinches your cheek while monitoring her streaming numbers. Like a social media feed in fidgety human form, she tirelessly bewitches even the surliest doomscrollers. Resist her at your peril!

Given its gleeful genre-hopping and array of features, it would be a stretch to call ‘Versions of Me’ cohesive or streamlined, but it’s held together by Anitta’s ambition and charisma. She knows exactly what she wants – and on this evidence, she’s going to get it.

Album Cover Artwork

Mannequins severed from their bodies at the chest region are seen displayed next to each other on an elevated platform of three steps. Though all mannequins appear to be the same judging from from looks and complexion, but there are also very striking differences from hair color to facial expressions.

From the perspective given by the album title, it’s easy to say that Anitta, through this project, desires to show the different sides there are to her and emotions.

Tracks and Features

The album plays host to 15 tracks of which 7 are records with guest features. Anitta already conquered the social media app with this album’s opening track, ‘Envolver’, a brilliant reggaetón bop that has become her highest-charting song to date on the Billboard Hot 100.

There’s more rock-solid reggaetón where that came from, especially the sultry Khalid collab ‘Ur Baby’ and harder-edged ‘Gata’, but Anitta also pulls off Panic! At The Disco-inspired powerpop (‘Boys Don’t Cry), dreamy alt-R&B (‘Love Me, Love Me’) and a Saweetie-assisted blend of EDM and Brazilian funk (‘Faking Love’).

Elsewhere, there are nimble, R&B-tinged escapades, one with Ty Dolla $ign, who makes blatant the “La Bamba” sway and shake of flirty pas de deux “Gimme Your Number”; and Khalid, who croons hypnotically over spectral reggaeton pitter-pat on “Ur Baby.”

Echoing the title track, we get an additional double-shot of Eurocentric gloss, with insinuating, self-aware electro-pop heartache (“Love You”); and romping EDM (“Boys Don’t Cry”) which targets guys who mistake desire for romance.

Anitta eases into “Que Rabão,” flowing with a wry, relaxed swagger over a fabulously dinky, plinky beat. Catra hoots in response and a squishy 808 claps along. For an instant, her commitment to airtight craft gives way to a moment of playful spontaneity.

She’s been a staunch ambassador for funk culture ever since. But here, the funk is mainly confined to “Que Rabão,” a raucous lark featuring three Brazilian artists who have also broadened the genre’s scope — trap-funk producer and sampling whiz Papatinho.

She even reimagines the bossa nova classic ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ as ‘Girl from Rio’, an affectionate electro-pop celebration of her hometown. “Hot girls, where I’m from, we don’t look like models / Tan lines, big curves and the energy glows,” Anitta sings sweetly.

Her fans really appreciate her filter-free personality, and this straight-shooting approach works a treat on the EDM-flecked ‘I’d Rather Have Sex’. “Stay up all night in an argument? / Nah, I’d rather have sex,” Anitta coos with casual confidence.

She’s equally candid on the title track, an electro-bop that sounds a bit like a modern update of Madonna’s mid-’80s sound. When Anitta sings “I’m over-the-top / Don’t really care if you like it or not,” owning the fact she can be a bit extra and all over the place.

Tracks

NO Title Artist
1 Envolver Anitta
2 Gata (feat. Chencho Corleone) Anitta
3 I’d Rather Have Sex Anitta
4 Gimme Your Number Anitta & Ty Dolla $ign
5 Maria Elegante (feat. Afro B) Anitta
6 Love You Anitta
7 Boys Don’t Cry Anitta
8 Versions of Me Anitta
9 Turn It Up Anitta
10 Ur Baby (feat. Khalid) Anitta
11 Girl From Rio Anitta
12 Faking Love (feat. Saweetie) Anitta
13 Que Rabão (feat. Mr. Catra) Anitta, YG, Papatinho & MC Kevin O Chris
14 Me Gusta (with Cardi B & Myke Towers) Anitta
15 Love Me, Love Me Anitta

Album Theme

Personal freedom, seizing control, pursuing pleasure, exploding the fear and repression around sex and gender, while reserving the right to be a picky, line-stepping kook.

Production Credits

The album is executive-produced by OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder.

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