Review: Toro Y Moi

Categories:  Music    Opinions
Thursday, January 24th, 2019 at 12:01 PM
Review: Toro Y Moi by Britton Rozzelle

Is it too early to call an album record of the year? Some did it in 2018 with Jeff Rosenstock’s “Post-” and it was a label that, somehow, stuck - denoting the album to being one that was relevant, interesting and powerful enough to stand next to the greats. “Outer Peace,” the new record from Chaz Bear is something that reaches those highs without overstaying its welcome. Despite being less than an hour long, it is no less packed with exciting new rhythms and house-inspired, ‘80s tinted jams, and  a fantastic way to start off 2019.

With a powerful opener in “Fading,” the record takes listeners into the world of a disco fever dream, not unlike the mood set by Neon Indian’s latest, and continues down that path - ebbing and flowing, stopping and starting, until the ultimate destination is reached and the album concludes on a peak with “50-50.”

“Laws of the Universe” too stands out, existing as an infectious ode to house music with a Toro Y Moi spin, modernizing the laws of the genre and giving a nod to famous electronic musician James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem fame - calling back to their smash hit “Daft Punk is playing at my House.”

The content of the album, centered on themes of getting out of one's comfort zone, complements Bear’s own ability to let go of the sound of his past records and create something uniquely him that still succeeds and borrows from modern RnB and hip hop. “Outer Peace,” as such, exists in a strange realm of its own, escaping from the more mellow (read: dreary) sounds of his last album “Boo Boo,” and honing in more on the frenetic, drone-like instrumentals of disco.

 Without sounding too retro, or too masturbatory in regards to a time in music history that is, whether artists decide to acknowledge it or not, over, Bear stakes a claim in the worlds of electronic modern disco and house - as well as rnb and hip hop. If nothing else, this album challenges listeners familiar with the project to accept a more pop-like sound while opening up the door for rnb-focused listeners to find something new this season. It's a refreshing bit of positivity pressed onto wax and maybe that’s the energy we need to bring into the rest of this year.

“Outer Peace” is out now on streaming services, as well as available through Carpark Records. 

Standout tracks: "Fading," "Laws of the Univese," & "Freelance" 

Britton Rozzelle | 

Tags: review, music, arts

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