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“Anything In Return” album review

By Nick Morrison| Staff Writer

February 4, 2013

Toro Y Moi’s album artwork for his new album, “Anything In Return”

American solo artist, Chazwick Bundick, known most commonly for his solo project, “Toro Y Moi” (a multi-lingual name translating to “The Bull and Me”) released his third full length album titled, “Anything In Return.”

Toro Y Moi’s sound can be classified as an experimental chill wave that has clashed with hiphop, and “Anything In Return” brought more and more chilling synth melodies and striking electronic samples with every track.

“Anything In Return” starts with the track, “Harm in Change” which acts as a great showcase to everything Toro Y Moi has evolved into. Featuring a thumping bass drum and an eerie collaboration of synthesized notes, the first song on the album displays Chazwick’s choice of more and more vocalization in his music, which points more towards a hip-hop sound as opposed to the 70′s grooves that he was so well known for in his second full length album, “Underneath the Pine.”

The album continues to place the listener in a cascade of synthesized square-waves and funky grooves, which came together in an absolutely brilliant way; not in the sense that it is a masterpiece of music, but rather an interesting blend of genres that could only be put together by such an evolved and tasteful musician. The synth-poppy sound and hiphop style of drumming make for a very profound, dark, modern sound that pleases the most avid fans of Toro Y Moi and new listeners alike.

Although not entirely different from anything produced by Toro Y Moi in the past, one simply must stand back and appreciate Chazwick’s ability to blend the very synth heavy sound of his first album, “Causers of This” with the aforementioned grooves of his second album.

Coming from a musician’s standpoint “Anything In Return” is not just a tonally pleasant album, but a modern work of art featuring influences of various genre’s that had me at the edge of my seat listening ecstatically to beautiful soundscape that had been so valiantly placed before myself.

Toro Y Moi has a great sound that is found in plenty of pop music today, which makes “Anything In Return” a great choice for anyone who wants to start branching out there musical tastes into hip-hop and independent subgenres. Toro Y Moi truly delivered a great work of art with this early 2013 release, and makes me excited for all the different albums that have yet to be released this year. Chazwick Bundick certainly set the level of expectation from musicians this year to a previously unforeseen plateau, and there is only more to come ahead of us.

“Anything In Return” has set an industry standard for how a synth-oriented band should produce an album, an incredibly heavy, chill, barrage of music used to capture the listeners in its funky grooves.

As a result of excellent production in studio and during live performance Toro Y Moi will always have a special place in the cold, dark, vacuum to space I call my heart, but regardless of how great Chazwick is evolving as a musician this album didn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary for a full length Toro Y Moi album. A great set of tunes and certainly a well made album can be heard  here, but a collage of two previous albums sounds can only do so much to impress avid listeners always hoping for more.

Toro Y Moi’s “Anything In Return” earns a solid 8/10, a great album overall, but lacks in overall tonal versatility.

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