The result is a ruminative, melancholic album that, at its extremes, dispenses with beats altogether (on the Satie-ish "Desesperado" or Hammond-blanketed lullaby, "Bed-Time Stories") and, elsewhere, morphs into a full-on homage to 1950s jazz. "Used To Be Like This," which features Juan Cruz Urquiza on trumpet, sounds wasted yet resiliently energetic, like Chet Baker rolling out of an LA jazz club at 6 AM, blinking and grinning in the morning sunlight.
The best tracks, however, are a central cluster on which Guti splits the difference between his club and jazz personas. On "Desidia" and "El Solitario," his piano figures weave over shuffling beats, muffled dabs of bass, chirruping electronics and atmospheric organ pads. Fans of Nicolas Jaar will love "La Salida," a discursive piece of dewy-eyed, wee hours electronica.
But let's not over-egg it. Rompecorazones (which translates to "heart-breaker") is not as daring or emotionally intense as, for instance, Hauschka's Abandoned City, a recent album that explores similar territory. Guti's piano style is too laidback, too smooth, too pleasantly melodic for that. There are tracks—such as the saccharine "Magia" or "To My Latest Love," with its swelling major chords—when it all gets rather mawkishly MOR. It may lack a radical edge, then, but in its fusion of electronics and piano, Rompecorazones frequently jells into something beautiful.