Toro Y Moi - Boo Boo

by Justin Pearson Rating:7 Release Date:2017-07-14

In what seems like an attempt at a more straightforward pop sound, chillwave stalwart Chaz Bundick has crafted an album of deliberate, carefully constructed songs on latest effort Boo Boo while still maintaining the laid back atmosphere that hangs over all of his past work.

As Toro Y Moi, Bundick has always called upon sounds of the past to color his progressive, modern vision: giving us a sense of nostalgia while adding a distinctive, personalized touch. On Boo Boo, he's managed to maintain a complete 80's vibe throughout without feeling completely imitative. It has that sense of "lost and found" that most of his records radiate, but still has enough originality to sound totally unique.

'Mirage' opens the album, and whether it's intentional or not, the synths are close relatives of 'Think of Me', a deep cut from Madonna's debut album. 'No Show' is as smooth as butter, nodding to 80's new wave with its floating beats.

Even where the album hits a slower tempo, it still finds consistency. 'Don't Try' has a dark vibe, but its drum programming keeps it in the same vein as most of the other tracks. 'Embarcadero' is a straight up 80's style instrumental reminiscent of Sade or something from Wham in their quieter moments. 'You and I' approaches power ballad territory as it builds, but it holds back on the climax making it a little less than it might have been otherwise.

With a few slight missteps here and there - most notably the autotune on 'Windows' and 'Inside My Head' - Boo Boo certainly shows Bundick in pretty good form with his Toro Y Moi project. Who knows if he'll ever make another throwback, free-form masterpiece like 2011's Underneath the Pine? In the meantime, Boo Boo comes pretty close in effort, if not in total kinship.

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