Wachito Rico is the debut album from Chilean-Norwegian band boy pablo. boy pablo quickly rose to internet fame back in 2017 with their song and music video “Everytime,” and it’s not hard to see why. Simply put, the band excelled at creating a vibe. The song “Everytime” is a groovy melancholic indie-pop track, full of glistening guitars and synths, and very simple yet cute love-story lyrics. Add to that the charming video of awkward teens playing their instruments in different scenic locations in Norway, and you have a recipe for success in the current musical landscape.
Fast forward to both of boy pablo’s EPs, roy pablo and soy pablo, and things seem to be going pretty well for the band. Songs like “Dance, Baby!,” “Losing You” and “Sick Feeling” all had the same qualities of “Everytime.” Some of the tracks on these EPs were more fast-paced and poppy while others were slower and more melancholic, but they all had an incredible groove, love-stricken lyrics and were insanely catchy.
At this point, boy pablo has been on the radar for three years now, so the news of a debut album was a welcome surprise. The last two projects the band had offered showed potential, but the formula was starting to get stale. And so, fans and critics alike hoped for a breath of fresh air from the album. Sadly, Wachito Rico is more of a short-lived breeze.
To say boy pablo doesn’t do anything new on this album would be a lie. “rest up” is a culmination and evolution of everything that made past boy pablo cuts so great, covering personal themes about mental health. Track 6 “te vas//don’t go” focuses on delivering a sad love ballad on acoustic guitar that’s sung in spanish for a large portion, culminating at the end with a few drums and synths here and there. And the closer “i <3 you” is a beautiful guitar and piano slow-jam where we see boy pablo creating a very touching moment.
But, sadly, other than those three songs, there’s not much else to say about this project. Sure, songs like “hey girl,” “honey,” and “wachito rico” are pretty traditional boy pablo songs, but that’s all they are. They’re not very memorable because we’ve heard this exact sound from the band time and time again. The lyrics are also quite dull, there’s only so many vague love songs you can make before people realize you have nothing to say. Oh, and cute attempts at humor don’t help either. A song about how you can’t grow a mustache? Seriously?
boy pablo has some great songs in their catalog, especially given when they were made, but all that potential seems to have been all they had to offer. The album doesn’t have a whole lot of substance or purpose. It feels as though I’m still listening to the exact same people I listened to back in 2017. They haven’t grown or changed. This album doesn’t seem to have been made because they wanted to say something, it just seems to have been made because… well, just because they can. It’s not a bad album, it’s just lazy. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I guess.