Cuco really doesn't have any interest in the drama. As his album title readily shouts out: good vibes only, please. Even following personal trauma in the form of a serious car accident requiring a lengthy healing process, a period in which much of his debut was recorded, he remained defiantly, well, chill. When he does feel down, weed, acid, and shrooms are the answer, obviously.

Some have been mildly critical of the uniformly pastel worlds the young California-raised Hispanic artist resides within, but these gripes seem unusual to level. Besides the oddity of the same fans that lap up the likes of Carly Carly Rae Jepsen questioning harmless pop bliss, such concerns also feel akin to asking why Mike Myers hasn't yet produced a Shakespearean tragedy. Why hasn't Justin Vernon gotten happy already, jeez!

Perceptions of what an artist ought to do versus who that artist is or wants to be are as arbitrary and case by case as ever, but here we are, in 2019, judging a young man because he prefers a wash of warmth to forcing angst and artifice.

This isn't to call his work on Para Mi pop perfection. Better in sing along moments or humming along than in cheesy lite-raps, the latter tendency can wear a bit thin. To be fair, there's plenty of self-awareness to these moments, but it doesn't make them particularly more charming.

Musically, however, Para Mi is as smooth as it is generous. Recorded with a group of longtime companions from his high school days, Cuco keeps things organic, breezy, and kind-hearted. For bedroom music, whatever critics make of it, he's clearly tapped into something far-reaching, discovering fans around the world in frankly astonishing time. Chatting weeks before this album's release with a foreign friend all the way in Seoul, Korea about her latest favorites, she could only speak of discovering Cuco. If that doesn't speak to global appeal, I don't know what does.

For the undemanding listener seeking a midday pick-me-up or some smiles in evening solitude, one could do far worse than the songs found here. Cuco might not convert naysayers this year, but he clearly isn't overly concerned. He's delivered an easygoing, often charming set of songs, and that's a mission statement fulfilled. We could all use the carefree smirks found here. Maybe he'll take it a bit further, or more inward, next time around, but this? This'll please plenty.