Latin GRAMMYs Trophies
Photo: Rich Polk
Explore The Album Of The Year Nominees At The 2021 Latin GRAMMYs Awards: Bad Bunny, Camilo, Natalia Lafourcade, Pablo Alborán, C. Tangana & More
Among the 53 categories bestowed on the Biggest Night in Latin Music, Album of the Year is one of the most highly anticipated awards of the ceremony. The 10 nominees for the 2021 Latin GRAMMYs' coveted album honor — which recognizes artists, songwriters, producers, engineers, mixers, and mastering engineers — range from Latin folk to experimental Spanish pop, and even include a tribute album from Colombian superstar Juanes.
Before tuning in to the 22nd Latin GRAMMY Awards on Thursday, Nov. 18, GRAMMY.com wants to help you become familiar with this year's nominees. Without further ado, here are the 10 Spanish- and Portuguese-language releases nominated for Album of the Year.
Looking for more GRAMMYs news? Here's everything you need to know about the 2022 GRAMMYs Awards show and nominations!
Vértigo - Pablo Alborán
Laced with succulent string orchestration, Pablo Alborán's fifth album Vértigo is a luscious, passionate affair. Creating the kind of Latin pop balladry worthy of transcending across present and future generations, à la Alejandro Sanz, the Málaga-born singer-songwriter wears his heart on his sleeve, cooing about universal emotions. Also nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Song of the Year for the sweeping "Si Hubieras Querido," Alborán ponders, "¿Cuántos universos hemos inventado?" ("How many universes have we invented?"), evincing his ability to craft musical microcosms amid a vertiginous backdrop.
Mis Amores - Paula Arenas
Paula Arenas' soul-bearing love songs find their way to the heart. A contrast to her buoyant full-length debut, Visceral, Mis Amores is a stripped-down confessional EP that reveals that less is more. Arenas delivers bare-bones songs that thrive under her acoustic guitar and piano, with the singer's warm murmur always at the centerpiece. The project sees the Bogotá musician revive the storied Colombian classic "Los Caminos de la Vida," and she dedicates a tender lullaby to her newborn child with the heartfelt "León." Intimate and profound, Mis Amores explores the numerous ways of how to love, and we are charmed.
El Último Tour del Mundo - Bad Bunny
Apocalypse arrived on Earth in El Último Tour del Mundo (The Last Tour of the World), as Bad Bunny brings a going-out-with-a-bang kind of Latin pop revolt. Alchemized by Puerto Rican-Dominican breakout producer MAG — along with super-producer Tainy — the album positions Bad Bunny as an eccentric madcap that travels across time and space to prophesize his visions of doomsday. Trekking through urbano soundscapes like Latin trap and reggaeton, El Último Tour del Mundo also brings the gleaming sounds of rock guitar in the rock en español-throwback "Maldita Pobreza" and "Te Deseo Lo Mejor." Boasting four Latin GRAMMY noms, Benito's third solo outing is the first all-Spanish release to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 64 years, testifying that this experimental, genre-hopping masterpiece is Armageddon pop at its best.
Salswing! - Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
2021 Latin Recording Acedemy's Person of the Year Rúben Blades and fellow Panamanian GRAMMY winners Roberto Delgado & Orquesta unleash their salsa and Latin swing prowess in full throttle. This exhilarating duo brings their musical mastery to navigate through timeless sonorous cuts that hark back to the golden age of Latin jazz bandleaders (think mambo kings Dámaso Pérez Prado and Tito Puente). Powered by a robust brass section, Salswing! revitalizes the global sounds of the big band era, helmed by a Fania All-Stars alum and a Latin pop legend.
Mis Manos - Camilo
Long before becoming a Latin pop sensation, Camilo Echeverry — better known as Camilo — was already a prolific songwriter in his own right, co-penning the two-billion streaming smash "Sin Pijama" by Becky G and Natti Natasha. The Medellín multihyphenate played a part in the writing, producing, recording and editing of Mis Manos, and the results proved bountiful: Camilo earned ten Latin GRAMMY nods, making him the most-nominated artist this year. Maneuvering through glimmering champeta ("KESI"), somber piano pop ("Manos de Tijera"), rancheras ("Tuyo y Mío"), and a dash of sultry reggaeton ("Machu Picchu") for good measure, Camilo proves his genre versatility while never steering far from a perfectly crafted pop ditty.
Nana, Tom, Vinicius - Nana Caymmi
Brazilian chanteuse Nana Caymmi delivers a heart-rending tribute to two late icons of bossa nova: composer Tom Jobim and poet Vinicius de Moraes. Backed by a sweeping jazz orchestra, the saudade-tinged album is a poignant, yet dazzling love affair that honors the legacy of música popular brasileira. Whether enjoyed during a retro-cocktail hour, in a grand ballroom, or in private quarters, Caymmi's evocative vocals throughout Nana, Tom, Vinicius are sure to blow you away.
Privé - Juan Luis Guerra
For more than three decades, Juan Luis Guerra has continually rewritten the Latin pop playbook, blending equal parts elegance and rebellion to his native island rhythms, including merengue and bachata. The Dominican legend channels his sly tropical splendor on Privé, as exemplified in the opener "Las Avispas." Carefully arranged with acoustic instrumentation, the album—which features two new cuts and three reimagined Guerra classics—highlights the various shades of smooth listening en español, from blues to classical configurations. Produced by Janina Rosado, the five-track EP closes with a downtempo jazz remake of his debut single, 1989's "Ojalá Que Llueva Café," propelled by Guerra's pristine voice.
Origen - Juanes
Drawing from his eclectic musical past to inform his forward-thinking renditions, Juanes elevates his deep affinity for hard rock and Latin folklore on Origen. The Medellín native embarks on a quest to reclaim his musical roots, honoring the legends who came before him with covers of 12 songs by different artists. It all starts in his beloved Colombia, where Juanes riffs through the invigorating salsa hook of Joe Arroyo's manifesto ("La Rebelión"). He time travels to tango territory in Carlos Gardel's "Volver," and climbs up the Andes to uncover Julio Jaramillo's beautiful boleros with "Nuestro Juramento." He eventually makes his way towards the Caribbean to embrace Bob Marley's reggae on "Could You Be Loved" and Juan Luis Guerra's mesmerizing merengue ("La Bilirrubina"), before crossing over to the all-American rock of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark." Juanes' ninth album captures his own personal nostalgia while reinventing himself in a thrilling way.
Un Canto Por México, Vol. II - Natalia Lafourcade
As Natalia Lafourcade put together her previous project, 2020's Latin GRAMMY-winning album Un Canto Por México, Vol. 1, she realized that a second volume was appropriate to make this collection complete. Initially born as a benefit album to rebuild a son jarocho cultural center in her native Veracruz, the album became a beacon of hope for Mexican pride and culture. On Vol. II, Lafourcade starts with the hauntingly stunning fable of "La Llorona," displaying a bewitching coo with complete serenity. She unites with Pepe Aguilar for a mariachi tribute ("Cien Años"), and displays her huapango skills alongside Aida Cuevas ("Luz de Luna"). Veracruz icons Los Cojolites turn up the scene with an arsenal of jarana guitars, as Caetano Veloso, Jorge Drexler, and Rubén Blades bring international appeal to famous Mexican odes, finely reconfigured by Lafourcade.
El Madrileño - C. Tangana
On his third full-length album El Madrileño, C. Tangana fuels his creative agency by introspecting within his culture, informing an all-encompassing Ibero-American masterpiece. Genre-hopping from Spanish copla to postmodern art pop and Latin folklore, the 31-year-old maverick brings together an array of brilliant stars of past, present, and future. Cuban son legend Eliades Ochoa adds his genius on "Muriendo de Envidia," while Tangana invites Argentine rock storyteller Andrés Calamaro for a riveting outing on "Hong Kong," assisted by Uruguay's Jorge Drexler. Then there's the twinkling, lovelorn "Te Olvidaste," a duet with Chicano soul revivalist Omar Apollo that is up for Record of the Year. With captivating twists and turns in every track, C. Tangana's El Madrileño contains the qualities of an ambitious record that will surely stand the test of time in Hispanophone pop.
The 2021 Latin GRAMMYs, hosted by Ana Brenda Contreras, Carlos Rivera and Roselyn Sánchez, will air live on Univision on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT). It will also air on cable channel TNT at 19.00 (MEX) / 20.00 (PAN-COL) / 21.00 (VEN) / 22.00 (ARG/CHI), and on Televisa on Channel 5. Learn more about the 2021 Latin GRAMMYs Awards via the Latin Recording Academy's official website.