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‘If you’re not here’ by Iñigo Quintero is a knockout… but does it deserve it?

Part of the editorial team evaluates ‘If you are not’ by Iñigo Quintero, current global number 1 on Spotify.

«In the El País article about Íñigo Quintero they point to reggaeton fatigue as one of the reasons for the monstrous success of this song. Although I have my doubts about the organic nature of what happened, it is true that there is an overdose of “pollachochoculometerla”, and that songs like this could not be more different; Whether it is dedicated to God or to another man? (it is not incompatible), ‘If you are not’ is quite nice, the lyrics move between love and existentialism in an accessible way, and Quintero’s voice is not bad at all, helping here to enhance the sweet character of the song.

It’s also curious how “strange” (understand) it is for what it might seem at first glance: there is no epic chorus rush (the first time I heard it I thought that at any moment Morat would come out singing “how dare you come back” ), the chorus in fact only sounds like such only once, it relies a lot on the verses dragging the words almost desperately, even having the outro stuck (the only word that is repeated, “love”, is here), already Throughout the production, both vocal and instrumental, there are like a hundred ideas at the same time. And, compared to the fashion of two minutes or even a minute and a half, ‘If you are not here’ lasts three minutes! Praise the Lord, I guess. Pablo Bacon

«The success of ‘If you are not’ is a miracle for independent music that will be told in the history books, because, unless proven otherwise, and despite what we like to speculate on social networks as if we were researchers of The CIA, behind the release of Íñigo Quintero (sorry but the lowercase letters make me allergic) is not a multinational record company behind it, but rather the distributor Acqustic, through which countless talents from the underground have passed in recent years. It could have happened to Aren, it could have happened to García Picasso, it could have happened to Ilsen, it could have happened to Franc, to PauByChance, to JADDØ… but it has happened to this Galician boy who has been touched by the hand of God TikTok and has ended up at number 1 overall on Spotify. I imagine Bad Bunny scratching his head, Dua Lipa searching “WTF is Acqustic” on Google, Ed Sheeran wondering what he’s doing wrong.

Even so, I am absolutely unable to find sufficient merits in this balladesque composition that sounds to me like a James Arthur demo that is a few turns away from being on par with a good James Arthur song. More than “weird”, it seems to me that it lacks compositional muscle and that the production, with various tricks, desperately tries to liven up a song that is actually melodically flaccid and dull. Iñigo Quintero sings it with feeling, but it seems to me that he pours emotion where in reality there is nothing. The debate about whether ‘If You Are Not’ is a religious song or not interests me less in the times when Rigoberta Bandini can dedicate an entire album to “The Lord” and no one tears their clothes, especially because Iñigo has worried about that ‘If you are not’ is ambiguous and seems like just another romantic song. But I don’t see anything further in this song and the figures it’s making take me further and further away from understanding its success.” Jordi Bardaji

Does ‘If You Are Not’ deserve global number 1?

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Simon Müller

Simon Müller is the driving force behind UMusic, embodying a lifelong passion for all things melodious. Born and raised in New York, his love for music took form at an early age and fueled his journey from an avid music enthusiast to the founder of a leading music-centered website. Simon's diverse musical tastes and intrinsic understanding of acoustic elements offer a unique perspective to the UMusic community. Sporting a dedicated commitment to aural enrichment and hearing health, his vision extends beyond just delivering news - he aspires to create a network of informed, appreciative music lovers. Spend a moment in Mueller's company, and you'd find his passion infectious – music isn’t simply his job, it’s his heartbeat.