Helado Negro, Songs for Gods, Radius | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Helado Negro, Songs for Gods, Radius 

When: Wed., March 6, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $10
On his third album as Helado Negro, Invisible Life (due March 5 on Asthmatic Kitty), Roberto Carlos Lange pushes deeper than ever into hazy electronic textures and languid, machine-made tropical grooves, and his gentle, almost somnambulant croon rests atop this confection like a delicate glaze on a souffle. A few guests contribute almost imperceptible cameos—on “Arboles,” for instance, you can just barely hear guitar from Devendra Banhart and elecronics from Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars—but Lange made the huge majority of the music himself on what the credits call a “computer synthesizer.” The results remind me more than ever of a low-rent contemporary version of romantic 80s new wave (somewhere between ABC and Spandau Ballet), as though Lange is singing in the shower and imagining he’s Bryan Ferry. For the first time he sings in English as well as his usual Spanish, but his lyrics are nearly as slight as his voice—it’s best to let his music flow over you without thinking too much about what he’s saying. That’s a bit harder to do at a show, where he tends to stand behind a keyboard with all the charisma of someone ironing shirts, but it might help to keep your eyes closed. —Peter Margasak Songs for Gods and Radius open.

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