By Stephan Boissonneault
Helado Negro – This Is How You Smile
Roberto Carlos Lange’s—known on stage as Helado Negro—recent album This Is How You Smile is just the boost of vitality we need in these confusing times. Fringing on lo-fi, experimental pop and aural indie acoustic rock, the new work doesn’t over or under stay its welcome. The rejuvenating opening track “Please Won’t Please” moves at a steady clip, set with a steady drum clip and glimmers its way to climax full of clarity and organic joy.
The album harkens back to Helado Negro’s Private Energy work and remains consistently ethereal and aurally pleasing. Lange’s song writing on the song “Fantasma Vaga” is some of his best work yet, utilizing his calming voice and young Latin pride with vocals in Spanish.
The instrumentation is hallucinatory and exploratory, relying on an array of whirring instruments that are impossible to label. And yet, the track remains as one of the most digestible on the album.
Indeed, at first listen songs like “Pais Nublado” and “Two Lucky” sounds like a Devendra Banhart track and that’s because Helado Negro’s sound is on par with the freak folk maestro.
In all, This Is How You Smile is tranquil and addictive and demands your full attention.