Written By: Andrew Sedo
Originality: (2.5 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (4.0 / 5) Lyrics: (2.5 / 5) Production: (4.0 / 5) Average: (3.3 / 5)
If you’ve heard of Norway’s boy pablo, chances are your introduction came via the “Recommended Videos” tab on Youtube. The 18 year old’s video for “Everytime” garnered some serious attention from an algorithm update and led to an explosion of attention for him and his small crew of Scandinavian schoolboys. The science behind what qualities attracted so many to such a seemingly obscure song is complex and rooted in taste profile trends beyond normal comprehension.
That being said, the software seemed to latch on to boy pablo’s relatable unpopular teen odyssey and en vogue DeMarco style warbly guitar tones. “Everytime” seems almost engineered to attract millennial attention, but comes with an absurdly genuine sensibility. The song features a protagonist admirer looking out for a friend in a relationship where one party seems consistently stepped over. Resentful, yet upbeat, and well produced, it’s easy to see how so many young people have found Pablo an understandable experience worth exploring further.
However, as the group expands their catalogue with their first EP, Roy Pablo, it remains to be seen if they can reach a deeper understanding of the teen experience beyond tired tropes. “Dance, Baby!” features forced lyrics, an out of place airhorn, and covers the same “I know what’s better for you than you do” territory. The last 3 tracks feature similar rhythms and are almost caricatures of the teen admirer love experience.
Thusly, the charm of an artist like boy pablo is the authenticity of the feeling of discovery. The sentimentality is undoubtedly childish, but boy pablo is not a child prodigy. It’s this every-man mystique that moves him in a direction polar to that of a young artist marked for greatness. Pablo’s music is not likely to receive critical acclaim, nor should he change for the harsh brightness of the binary anointed spotlight. The innocence of Roy Pablo is redeeming beyond all its technical faults. Time will tell if maturity brings boy pablo in a more introspective, illuminating direction, for now simply being one of the boys is enough.