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December 2020 / January 2021
Album review

Boy Pablo – Wachito Rico

A laid-back summer daydream of a debut.
Label: 777Music
Released: 23rd October 2020
Rating: ★★★★
Boy Pablo – Wachito Rico
Published: 2:01 pm, October 29, 2020Words: Phoebe De Angelis.

What's this about October 2020 supposedly being the first autumn on record to expect snow? Sounds like the weatherman hasn't heard Boy Pablo's releasing an album and overriding the forecast with warm vocals and a laid-back summer daydream of a debut.

The long-awaited 'Wachito Rico' is not only Boy Pablo's new album but new persona entirely, as Muñoz creates an alter ego to narrate the album through. The title itself is a Chilean phrase which translates as "handsome boy" characterising the perfect John Hughes-ian protagonist for the album's subject matter of love, exploring its pitfalls and its triumphs which seem world-shattering during the impressionability of teenage years. Although Muñoz tells the story through a conceptual lens of this said "handsome boy" he's not fooling us, as it's packed with tropes which match his bedroom pop aesthetic. For this reason, it must be partially autobiographical, not being able to completely lose touch with his own experiences as a 21-year-old lover boy.

This debut has a coming-of-age sensibility which is only reinforced through the rom-com-esque music videos of 'hey girl' and 'honey' where the happy-go-lucky youthful mindset is at its most cinematically exaggerated. However, there are heavier moments in the album where the tone changes to a solemn and nostalgic one: 'te vas // don't go' is one of the more pensive tracks, as it houses a barbershop quartet which drags out the melancholy "you gave your eyes to someone else, what am I supposed to do".

Yet even in these weightier moments, Boy Pablo's optimistic attitude floats above, as we transition into the electronic surf rock that is 'vamos a la playa' where his Latin American roots expose themselves in this feelgood festive track. Muñoz insists on teaching us his carefree attitude by showing us how to dance, as if we've forgotten how to put one foot in front of the other?! It has been a while since the local club has been open, mind you. You're right Boy Pablo, ok fine - you can show us how to two-step.

In 'Wachito Rico' every track represents a diary entry in this character's life. We experience the tortures of first love heartbreak all over again, as we navigate through the gaze of adolescent optimism all while sitting comfortably in our adult disillusion and disappointment.

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