Toro y Moi became famous for recording an eclectic range of music. Born Chazwick Bundick, the South Carolina native is often credited as one of the pioneers of “chillwave,” a genre originating from indie pop and new wave music, among other styles. Additionally, the 28-year-old has garnered acclaim from critics and the masses alike. Now, Bundick returns to the music scene with his fifth studio album, “What For?”
The 10-track album begins with “What You Want.” Bundick pulls off the psychedelic rock vibe effortlessly. The song begins with sounds of planes flying overhead, which are soon replaced by groovy guitar riffs. The track is probably the closest thing we will ever get to a Jefferson Airplane/Franz Ferdinand collaboration.
“Buffalo” is truly a gift from Bundick to the audience. The disco-funk feel mirrors the sound of “Lilly,” another fantastic song on the album. He provides melodic vocals that are as sweet as honey.
Bundick makes the brave decision to experiment a little with the track “The Flight,” which is inspired by ska. Think Sublime meets No Doubt. The song is one of the album’s highlights.
“Ratcliff” is not one of the best songs on “What For?” but it does have this calming ambiance to it. It is a fine track to relax and kick back to, as the soothing tone washes away your worries and fears.
The lyrics to “Empty Nesters” are pensive, as Bundick seems to be singing about a love interest. Nonetheless, the track would accompany road trips and parties perfectly, with its carefree atmosphere and upbeat vibe.
“Spell It Out” sounds somewhat like a modern take on older material from Earth, Wind & Fire. The R&B/soul feel to the song is a significant departure from the rest of the album, but Bundick clearly knows what he is doing. He shakes things up a little but the track still jives with the rest of “What For?” Bundick is not afraid to experiment, and manages to do so with confidence and grace.
“Half Dome” sounds much like the other songs on the album, with its slow pace and spaced-out tone, but it is actually one of the album’s stronger tracks. “Run Baby Run” sounds cheerful and peppy. The track definitely belongs on the soundtrack for some coming-of-age teen film.
“What For?” comes to an end with “Yeah Right.” This track is one of the album’s highlights because of the music. The heavy percussion meshes well with Bundick’s vocals. The song is a nice way to end the album.
“What For?” may be slightly redundant at times, but Toro y Moi’s newest offering is sure to solidify his fan base, converting skeptics to admirers while keeping his longtime fans satisfied and begging for more.
RECOMMENDED: Toro y Moi’s new album contains easy-listening music with a psychedelic take.