It really is about time Toro Y Moi made a good record. This one comes after a period of self reflection presumably after he realised how bad his previous record What For? was. Taking influence from artists ranging from Gigi Masin to Frank Ocean, initial impressions seem to be more R&B influenced with the dreaded autotune on show. You never show. If he ever does anything as good as Underneath the Pines again I will prepare my hat and eat it.
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He can't stop. He simply can't stop making records. The problem has been that none of them have glistened with the sort of songwriting brilliance as 'Underneath the Pines' - his glory work nor his ear pricking debut 'Causers of This'. Things reached a head on his previous album 'What For?' which I absolutely hated. In the review of that piece I suggested he take some time off and try to recall what it was that he did so well. In fact Chaz Bundick hasn't listened to me at all and has churned out another with a year saying that he'd got depressed about his place in the world and that music had become a therapy.
I do hope that it has made him feel better but it hasn't exactly wiped the slate clean. 'Boo Boo' is possibly better than 'What For?' or at least promises to be. He's gone back to a more electronic based sound that he says is influenced by listening to Frank Ocean and Daft Punk. There's a couple of moments where these influences come through to really positive effect - the heavily autotuned 'Windows' is weird enough to catch the ears with it's looped vocals and Oneohtrix style synth patterns. This is good, as is the bristlingly funky dance floor ready opener 'Mirage' and 'Mona Lisa' is passable but there's too many moments that suggest Bundick is as tired as anyone of what he's doing.
I'm frustrated. His recent appearance on the Avalanches record and the brilliant title track from his Chaz Bundick meets the Mattson 2 album show an immense talent at work and I want to like this as much as I did his old albums... but I just hear water treading and a waning of inspiration.
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