Day 142 – #333. Toro y Moi – Anything in Return

Toro y Moi - Anything in Return Album Review

Today’s post will officially close out the Toro y Moi catalogue appearances on One Record Per Day.

Fitting, then, to save the best for last.

Anything in Return is the first and one of only two releases from this very year! Which is to say, it was scheduled for release in January of this year, but made its way to the interweb in December when I was assembling the list. The other is a substitute, the only sub I’ve made on the list, and when Yo La Tengo’s latest album Fade comes up later this year, I’ll explain why.

I must say though, that this record is far and away the most polished work yet from Chaz Bundick, an unassuming looking multi-instrumentalist from South Carolina.

Mixing elements of R&B, chillwave, pop and even some funk, Anything is an enjoyable listen throughout. Thematically, Bundick writes about romantic relationships (“Cake”) and perhaps also his being pulled away from the south to California (“Cola”) to record this album.

Actually, I’m just glad to be able to have something to pull me away from Bioshock: Infinite for a decent amount of time. I have been wrapped up solid in what I’m calling a interactive cinematic experience just to justify the obscene amount of time dumped into it the past few days.

I’ve gotta give big props on the album art, which reminds me of that old Nickelodeon TV show from the mid-90s called My Brother and Me. The show was set in Charlotte, North Carolina (South Carolina’s evil twin) and I remember it because of the flamboyant neon dress that was popular then. Also because one of the characters wore a Carolina Panthers jersey, and the team had just come into the league as an expansion franchise alongside my Jacksonville Jaguars. Instant rivals.

This album is, for me, a total shock. Causers of This was good, but Underneath the Pine was a total mess, and a personal let down.

So it was a pleasant surprise to sit down with Anything the whole way through and have to be reeeeal nitpicky to find problems with it. A fine-tooth… ear.. comb? later, and I didn’t find more than half a song to take issue with, and even then, it’s not an especially low point for being “the” low point.

If you learn anything from this post today, it’s that the individual stems on forks are called “tines” and that Anything is a dream from cover to cover, and until I hear all of Yeezus, stands to place in the top 3 on my album of the year list.

From Toro y Moi’s 2013 release Anything in Return, here’s “Say That” –

Standout tracks: “So Many Details,”“High Living” “Never Matter” are head and shoulders above the rest, but “Rose Quartz,” “Touch” (sex!), “Cake” and “Day One” are all on point.
Weakest track: The first half of “How’s it Wrong” closes out the album on the flat side (if only for the chorus), but I’ll be damned if it isn’t redeemed by that floating in space/hanging out in James Cameron’s single pod barreling 10,000 leagues under the sea vibe for the rest of the track.

RIYL: Washed Out, Neon Indian, that new Wavves jam, Beach Fossils, Les Sins (Bundick’s dancier side project). Chillwave, R&B jams.




  1. Pingback: Day 175 – #358. Yo La Tengo – Fade | One Record Per Day

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