The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 28th


Music short: Toro y Moi, Anything In Return

Chaz Bundick has had a busy past few years. He’s the name behind electro-pop outfit Toro Y Moi, and Anything In Return is impressively his third full-length in three years. But what was named as a key part of 2009’s “chillwave” movement is now a distinct project that has appropriately matured in its own vein.

Feel-good, laid-back, Anything In Return is simultaneously a build on and a departure from Bundick’s two previous LPs. He has created more creative distance with each of his albums, but it certainly isn’t a bad thing. There’s a more polished feel to the album, a refreshing result of the greater infusion of smooth jazz and striking synth.

Tracks like “Say That” and “Rose Quartz” strongly start the album, with funky jazz beats and slow-building, scintillating synth. And they’re what help demonstrate how Bundick’s role as producer takes precedence, an important tweak that sets him apart from fellow artists like Washed Out and Neon Indian.

The emphasis on meticulous production is one of the most rewarding parts. Like a visual artist, Bundick first blends funky synth and delicate beats into the background, finally adding his own vocals to the foreground.

Yet its length can be considered one its drawbacks. Bundick succeeds in creating variety, but after 13 songs, there’s still a risk of repeat. Regardless, Toro Y Moi remains accessible and triumphant in steering clear from being labeled a stereotype.

Ultimately, Anything In Return is an album best taken whole. Because before you are able to untangle the instrumentation, the album’s infectious waves will gladly sweep your mind away from it all.

Dive verdict: ???½

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