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Written Before Listen

Ok, I know that there is a new Kendrick album, and I know I’ll get requests for it, but trust me, it’s Kendrick, I'm still digesting it, the review should be out any minute, but for now, Toro y Moi released an album not too long ago, and this will work as a little appetizer, so without further ado lets get into it.


Toro Y Moi seems to focus on the production of the album here. Making sure the bass is crisp, the guitars are rhythmic, the drums are fat and everything in between has its space. With the opening track alone, it's a psych-rock drifter with a groove that could work over a hip-hop instrumental tape. With tracks like “Magazine”, “Clarity” and “Millenium”, Chaz shows that he remains a student of nostalgia but with songs like “Postman” and “The Loop”, he shows that he can have a lot of fun with aesthetics. He makes sure it's his responsibility that this album turns out a complete vibe.


Toro Y Moi might be a good musician, but he can get derivative at points. With the song, “Goes By So Fast”, he goes in a Prince-style ballad direction and I don’t know about you, but the double-tracked vocals and reversed guitar solos on “Deja Vu” are kind of Beatle-esc. There are two sides to Toro Y Moi. The first side is the bedroom side where he takes influences from people like MGMT, The Flaming Lips, and Mac DeMarco, and then there is the soul side where he takes influence from people like Thundercat, D’Angelo, and Sly & the Family Stone. I honestly think he remains this way throughout the record. Do I think it’s a bad thing? Not in particular, but it does bring down my enjoyment of the record a little bit.


Toro Y Moi makes sure that psychedelic music is the main focus, but with that genre itself, you can experiment with pop, rock, folk, and soul. With the opener and closer, for instance, Toro Y Moi rocks out with fuzzy guitar solos and hypnotic grooves. With songs like “Goes By So Fast”, “The Loop” as well as “Clarity”, Toro Y Moi brings his inner Prince and brings out some sensual soul songs. With songs like “Magazine” and “Deja Vu”, the trippiness gets turned up with a huge hint of nostalgia, and with songs like “Way Too Hot” and “Millenium”, he can make songs that are ready for radio. Toro Y Moi also shows he can shy away from psychedelic music, but remains unsuccessful. The song “Mississippi” is his take on a modern soul track, but it winds up being sleepy and uninteresting. The song “Postman” is a groovy funk song and despite being fun, it’s pretty corny and half-efforted. I will although say, that the jazziness of the song “Last Year” is enjoyable. It’s jazzy, but it doesn't shy away from the album's aesthetic. Overall, I think Toro Y Moi knows how to make psychedelic music, but when he tries to shy away from it, it doesn’t work in his favor.

Vocal Performances

Toro Y Moi is not the strongest vocalist and even he will admit that, but what he does with it is kind of unclose and personal. I think a lot of his more intimate moments are more intimate but I think my favorite instances of his vocals are when he double tracks them. It’s the John Lennon method and a lot of the people who use that, make it sound nostalgic as hell whether if its Elliott Smith, Kevin Parker, or Blur era Damon Albarn. Toro Y Moi is just another one out of many trying out this style, and I honestly enjoy it.


Well, alongside from being derivative, it’s also dime a dozen. I feel like I’ve listened to numerous songs, albums, and artists that go with this type of aesthetic already. It’s perfectly fine to go with this style, but he’s far from the first or most original to do it. On the other hand, This is pretty good.


This is a pretty nostalgic album. Also, a good little warm-up for my next review which I know is something larger than life. This album is worth checking out, don’t miss out on some nostalgic bops if this is your thing.



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