Track Review: "Criminal", Hello Seahorse!

Rating: 9.0

(7.5) Andrew Casillas. For an album that tries to sound as deliberately paranoid as Bestia, "Criminal" is a breath of pine scented air. Beginning with a fairly typical post-punk instrumental, Lo Blondo's vocals float over the track in an almost prescient fashion, at least until the 2 and a half minute mark, where the vocals actually float. From there, the tempo gets kicked up as "Criminal" goes into dance party mode. What's that, a Hello Seahorse! song that you can dance to?! YES. If only the whole thing were just the second half...

(9.2) Carlos Reyes. The third single from Bestia is a brilliant moment of clarity for Hello Seahorse! “Criminal” is in itself, an encounter of the band’s former sound in composition with their inner desire. It starts on violent passionate terms “Se me secaron las lagrimas de mi mente criminal” that could’ve been part of The Honeymoon Killers or even more interesting Profundo Carmesi, only to shift the music through a vey danceable tune that makes the whole situation hypnotic and spellbinding. Death, sacrifice and promises are elevations of a narrative that ends up being supportive to their smash it “Bestia” and a mesmerizing hymn of its own.

(9.5) Jean-Stephane Beriot. As the months pass by I become more attached to the lastest album by HS!, not only for its emotionally-driven songs but also for its fearful premise. “Criminal” is one of several songs that bleeds feeling from its core and yet feels like it could’ve been part of Hoy a las Ocho. I’m going to sound like the guys from Pitchfork when they review Spanish-language albums but sometimes I do struggle to get some of the lyrics and as a funny fact, it bothered me that the song states that everyone has a poem inside, sounded cheesy as hell but I had to revise my statement once I learned it says “everyone has a beast inside” and it just redefined the song completely. A knockout!

(9.7) Juan Manuel Torreblanca. This song is the bomb! A complex piece built upon several parts; brilliant melodies, crunchy and exciting beats, deeply woven synths, & (finally) a dancey upbeat groove that links it to Hello Seahorse’s past without disconnecting from the concept that the first hit off the record Bestia established for the whole. On the contrary, “Criminal” elaborates on it bringing us to the marrow: todos tenemos una bestia por dentro que vive de nuestras lágrimas y fracasos, pero duerme si le hacemos entender que su papel es existir y no insistir… genius. And how exquisite is that voice?