Sunday, 12 May 2013

Helado Negro - Invisible Life

Album review by

As opening track 'Llumina Vos' buzzes and throbs into action, it feels as though you're about to embark on an dreamy and exotic adventure, in part down to the vocals not only being in Spanish, but having an almost tribal feel to them, especially with the voices in the background. It almost sounds like, for his third album, Helado Negro is successfully transplanting sounds from around the entire globe into one universal musical mass. This theory is given credence by press release quotes like "Helado Negro is a bilingual tour guide into the transcendent zone of wavelength where music is mutually transacted bouncing between artist and listener."

Is that a load of old cobblers or a genuine message that this album is about exploring the power music can have on the mind, body and soul? It may sound pretentious but as we move into second song 'Lenamente' you can totally understand where he's coming from, and this is music of power and incredible individuality, and it does resonate with you in a strange way. He switches to English (this is his first album that's not totally in Spanish) for 'Dance Ghost' and all is going well, you're just waiting for the magic to spring from the album somewhere, for that extra connection that is seemingly the plan.

As you move through more and more songs you begin to realise that perhaps this plan has hit a snag. 'Invisible Life' isn't a drone-rock album; it doesn't work by capturing you in its hypnotic repetitiveness, all the songs are different, but not by much. Interest begins to wane as each track passes by at an almost identical slow pace, with perhaps 'Catastrophe' or 'Junes' being the only tunes to alter things. There aren't any songs here that are bad, and many are very good, but with ten tracks of near identical tempo, boredom begins to set in. 'Arboles' would be a great song in isolation, but it passes by in a blur with the rest of them here. It's difficult to fault someone for attempting something new and doing it in an accomplished way, but unfortunately it's also difficult to get through 'Invisible Life' in one sitting without your mind wandering elsewhere.

Helado Negro's website

Stream or buy the album

Catch him live:

Monday, May 13, 2013
Matthew E. White and Helado Negro @ Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St., New York, NY (United States)
Set: 9:00 PM, Doors: 8:00 PM, 18+
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Owl's Head Festival @ Owls Head Festival, 40 Chemin du Mont Owls Head, Mansonville, QC J0E 1X0 (Canada) Set: 8:00 PM, All Ages, Tickets: $0
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Hipscotch Music Festival @ White Collar Crime, 319 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC (United States)
Set: 8:00 PM, All Ages

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