Review: Toro y Moi – Anything in Return
Published on January 25th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
It seems that modern R&B can be made palatable after all; Frank Ocean did it last year with his Orange LP, and now Chaz Bundick has pulled it off with Anything in Return, his third studio album as Toro Y Moi.
The knack for pleasing textures evident on his previous, more “chillwave”-y work remains, now emboldened by a bright and futuristic production full of jazzily dissonant electric piano chords, popping ‘n’ clicking digi-beats and big, heaving synth bass. This formula deviates little over the course of the thirteen tracks, but it’s hard to begrudge Bundick fully inhabiting this furrow of his own ploughing; and, moreover, it sounds good.
His airy vocals are more assured here than ever, revelling in the subtle sophistication of their immediate surroundings, leaping into a bang-on falsetto on “Studies” and firing off telling lines like (from the aptly titled “So Many Details”) “I don’t wanna bother you, and here is no reason to rush”, which in its way could be the album’s tagline.
The sudden introduction of flittily off-time keys in “Touch” is a delight, while closing duo “Never Matter” and “How’s It Wrong” send Anything in Return off on a high with the two most satisfying chorus progressions of the set, and overall it’s a dense, colourful record replete with delights. Some might say there’s the slight whiff of the one-trick pony about it, but it’s a pretty nifty trick. Besides, if past form is anything to go by, Toro Y Moi will have moved onto something else next time around.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!
Anything in Return is out now on Carpark Records. For more information, please visit www.toroymoi.com