Helado Negro

Double Youth

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The dreamy soundworlds Roberto Carlos Lange created on Awe Owe and Invisible Life were steeped in a nostalgic haze that, in theory, seems like a perfect fit for Double Youth, which was inspired by a long-lost poster he discovered while cleaning out a closet in his childhood home. While Lange's fondness for gauzy sounds is definitely on display on his fourth album, it also features some of his most direct and funky songs yet. He conveys Double Youth's childlike essence with bouncy melodies and rhythms, like the hopscotching beat on "It's Our Game" and the playful swing of "Ojos Que No Ven," both of which embody youth rather than looking back on it longingly. Throughout the album, Lange moves between past and present -- "Myself on 2 U" and "That Shit Makes Me Sad" have a distinctly grown-up perspective -- and Spanish and English with a seamlessness that's all the more impressive for how effortless it sounds. "Friendly Arguments" and "Queriendo" give the drifting feel of Helado Negro's earlier work a more purposeful pulse, but Double Youth's standouts are remarkably streamlined. "I Krill You" gets listeners' attention with its echoing beats, heavy bass, and brassy coda; "Triangulate"'s wavering bassline nods in dubstep's general direction in a way that's more spellbinding than heavy-handed; and "Invisible Heartbeat" sets soulful harmonies afloat a rolling rhythm section. If this is the direction Lange takes on future Helado Negro albums, it's an exciting development indeed.

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