[New Release] CUCO
Label: Interscope Records
Love songs may be known for their traditionally jovial tone, but on Cuco’s full-length debut album, he gives his love ballads a darker tone. “Para Mi” has lighter moments and a chilled-out hip-hop vibe, but it is Cuco’s searing, often darker imagery that leaves an impression.
The 21-year-old Los Angeles artist Omar Banos, known by his stage name Cuco, has landed himself between indie pop and G-funk hip-hop with his lazy, relaxed and psychedelic album.
Darker imagery in “Far Away from Home” is cushioned with synthesizers, fuzzy electric guitars, angelic whirling and chimes that flutter in the background as Cuco sings, “I’m rotting in the image of my head.”
Though the album is a strong debut, admittedly, it feels cluttered at times. “Best Friend,” for example, starts strong with a Latin music intro but feels bogged down by the bedroom production-style beats that drop in. While the album is thematically and musically coherent, the record would benefit from a standout song — one that breaks the trancelike effect created by Cuco’s lo-fi production.