Latin boy band CNCO drops their cover album, “Déjà Vu”


Photo used with permission by SKratc from Flickr

The boy band CNCO in 2019. CNCO has released their fourth album- a cover album in which the band shows appreciation to the older style of Latin music. It has not been announced if there will be a world tour for this album, but they did previously tour in 2019.

Lucy Moon, Staff Writer

On February 5, 2021, Latin-pop group CNCO released their fourth studio album titled “Déjà Vu.” CNCO is a rising boyband that was originally formed because of their win on “La Banda,” a competition series in which people compete for a spot to be the next musical breakthrough. They have openly said in interviews that they hope to reach people of all different languages, and they inspire other people to learn Spanish through their music. Additionally, they have previously incorporated English lines within their predominantly Spanish music, such as in “Pretend” and in their most popular song “Reggaeton Lento.”

“Déjà Vu,” is a cover album highlighting iconic songs sung by older Spanish-speaking artists. Although they did not write any new lyrics, CNCO’s execution of the songs was fantastic.

South Forsyth senior Nicole Montes de Oca used to listen to CNCO when they released their first two albums, but she doesn’t listen to them as frequently anymore. However, the fact that “Déjà Vu” is a cover album appealed to Nicole, so she listened to the whole album. “A lot of their songs used to be more upbeat and lighthearted, but “Déjà Vu” includes more chill and slow songs,” she commented.  

Tan Enamorados: The band released this song as their first single. This is a revamped version of Ricardo Montaner’s version in 1988. CNCO’s execution was more fast-paced and was given more of a hip-hop feel as opposed to Montaner’s more dramatic form of the song. The band also released a music video for this record modeling New Kids on the Block’s video style. Senior Montes talks about this track, saying, “I was translating the lyrics in my head, and it was like a date. It was really cute.”

CNCO's 'Tan Enamorados' music video. CNCO honors New Kids on the Block in their 'Tan Enamorados' music video. They've stated in multiple interviews that one of their main boy band inspirations is New Kids on the Block. It was the first video to be released for 'Déjà Vu.'

Amor Narcótico: Originally released by Chichí Peralta in 1997, CNCO covered and produced a more modern track while keeping Peralta’s upbeat energy. The lyrics exhibit an acceptance of unique love and even toxic love.

Dejaría Todo: This track is one of the most popular on the album, and CNCO also released a music video with it. While Chayanne’s original version gave listeners a ballad love song, CNCO delivered an energetic track, pleading for a lost love to stay no matter the cost. The music video is a simple but effective visual of the song; they’re all sitting on stools and singing into microphones, emotions at the forefront rather than the typical complicated choreography in a CNCO music video. SFHS senior Montes stated that this was her favorite song on the album because of the lyrics, specifically, the emotion behind the line, “Mi piel, también la dejaría / Mi nombre, mi fuerza, hasta mi propia vida,” which roughly translates to forsaking one’s own skin, name, and strength just to be with someone.

'Dejaría Todo' music video by CNCO. 'Dejaría Todo' is becoming one of the most popular tracks on 'Déjà Vu' among their fanbase, The CNCOwners. It was the only music video to be premiered on the day the album was released.

Entra en Mi Vida: Throwing it back to 2002, “Entra en Mi Vida” was released by Sin Bandera as a slow, meaningful love song. Similar to the previous tracks, CNCO added their reggaeton, pop spice and sped it up. The emotion still shines through regardless of these new aspects. The lyrics express a quick, illogical love, like love at first sight. This is one of the sweetest love songs in “Déjà Vu.”

Hero: CNCO recorded and released their first all-english song with “Hero.” Enrique Iglesias released the original track in 2001 with emotional lyrics begging to be someone’s “hero.” This song displays a want to keep someone safe, whether that be from physical or emotional pain. CNCO’s version sounds almost identical regarding instrumentals, but the end effectively showcased their voices and ranges. Richard Camacho and Joel Pimentel hit some impressive runs accompanied by Christopher Velez with a high note. CNCO also released a music video for this song paying homage to The Backstreet Boys with the outfits and setting. They also converted it into a Spanish version.

Senior Nicole passionately shared her discontent with this track: “I think ‘Hero’ doesn’t work for their image. I see them straying away from itty-bitty-babies to more of a manly image.” On the other hand,  this change in image could be good, especially for a throwback album. They’re able to better relate to the older population rather than catering to their younger, female listeners.

CNCO's cover of 'Hero.' This cover is a huge leap for the band- an all English song. In a previous interview with Teen Vogue, they expressed their love for the Backstreet Boys, and they spoke about how much they've inspired their own music and style. This video was a perfect embodiment of their appreciation.

Imagíname Sin Ti: This song was first released in 2000 by Luis Fonsi. Just like the previous tracks on “Déjà Vu,” CNCO took a love ballad and made it a modern reggaeton song. The lyrics showcase an unworthy person begging a past love to come back. Other than this, nothing else really stood out; the message, harmonies, and beat are repetitive.

Un Beso: Aventura, an American bachata group, released and sang “Un Beso” in 2005 and is now a bachata classic. CNCO’s version is not bachata, but it’s smoother and flowier. The music video contained bright visuals and intriguing outfits. There’s nothing crazy different CNCO did to this track, and it doesn’t stand out to me. CNCO always sticks to the reggaeton beat, so converting a bachata classic into a reggaeton beat is disappointing. There are potential and demand for a bachata CNCO song.

Mis Ojos Lloran por Ti: CNCO absolutely nailed this cover. They released their version and music video before the whole album. It seems they’ve decided to honor their favorite bands on this album because this music video is similar to NSync’s vibe in their “Tearin’ Up My Heart” music video from 1997. As for the original creator of “Mis Ojos Lloran por Ti,” Big Boy released his version in 1996. CNCO emulates the intro of the guitar in Big Boy’s version, and they smooth out the rap portion with band member Zabdiel De Jesús. This track is one of my favorites because of the huge contrast between the two versions, and they were able to take an older Latin rap song and twist it into an upbeat, dance track for younger audiences to be able to relate to while maintaining the message within the lyrics.

'Mis Ojos Lloran Por Ti' cover by CNCO. Most of their music videos for 'Déjà Vu' have been inspired by other popular English speaking boy bands, and 'Mis Ojos Lloran Por Ti' is no different. In an interview with MTV, they explain their thought process behind the idea of showing respect to previous artists and boy bands.

La Quiero a Morir: This song has an interesting history and has taken on many different languages. It originated as a French song written by Francis Cabrel in 1979 and eventually was translated into Spanish by Luis Gómez Escolar in 1980. The most popular version of these lyrics is the Spanish version sung and produced by Dark Latin Groove in 1997. CNCO does a fantastic job with revamping this track to sound totally new. Their buildup to the chorus is perfect and the reggaeton instrumentals fit their version nicely.

Solo Importas Tú: In 1986, Franco De Vita released “Solo Importas Tu,” a dreamy, apologetic song. CNCO’s track is completely different from Vita’s, especially when taking into account the music video released with it. CNCO took a more sensual route rather than a sweet, innocent take on the song. Their vocals were amazing, but the music video was my least favorite video released so far with this album. 

El Amor de Mi Vida: Ricky Martin, whom CNCO looks up to as a musical icon and a supporter of their own group, released “El Amor de Mi Vida” in 1991. It contains a beautiful piano background, but CNCO took a different direction with their contemporary sound. This is one of my least favorites simply because it doesn’t stand out; it’s repetitive in regards to the messages within the song selection.

Por Amarte Así: The birth of this song was in 1999, and was originally sung by Christian Castro. CNCO converted it into a reggaeton piece while still maintaining the emotion involved. It’s a song about the desire to be with someone; this someone is so close to you, but you cannot be with them. The most meaningful line in the song is, “Por ir tras de tu huella convertida en sombra/ El peso del amor que me negaste un día,” which translates roughly to “Going after your footprint that turned into a shadow/ I’m weighed down by the love you denied me that day.” These lines capture the essence of the whole song: the feeling of abandonment and yearning. 

25 Horas: Released in 1999, Proyecto Uno provided an upbeat, loving tune reassuring a possible significant other about their real love. Transforming it into a reggaeton beat, CNCO kept the upbeat vibe. This is one of my favorite tracks on “Déjá Vu” because I enjoy the time aspects included in the lyrics, and I like the modern take on those lyrics. 

SFHS senior Nicole found this album completely different from their previous albums: “A lot of their songs used to be more upbeat and lighthearted, but their songs in this album were more slow, mature, and romantic. I thought it was cool that they did covers because I love when people do something different with a cover.”

For an avid Latin music listener, “Déjà Vu” could’ve been an emotional journey. Hearing music they grew up with being transformed into a more modern format causes listeners to reminisce about the past. For young Spanish speakers and English speakers, this album could incite research into these older songs which leads to the growth of a new appreciation for the roots of Latin music and Latin style in general.