Album Review: Outer Peace by Toro y Moi
Contributing to the chillwave and house pop scene since 2010, American singer/songwriter and producer Toro y Moi’s released his newest album Outer Peace in January 2019. It’s another one of his many great projects which delivers its audience a collection of ambient instrumentals, foot-tapping choruses, and wavy beats.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Chazwick Bradley Bundick, known professionally as Toro y Moi, released his first album Causes of This back in 2010. After dipping his feet into the realm of the chillwave movement, Toro y Moi began releasing more work after his debut and has since paved his way to defining himself as an independent artist who hovers over a medley of subgenres in the domain of pop and rock.
Outer Peace is a 10-track album who’s cover art displays Toro y Moi’s studio in the midst
of a sunset-themed backdrop. The project begins with the upbeat song “Fading.” This track
serves a cool vibe as listeners dive deeper into the album and come across other beats with
similarly bouncy melodies. The 2018 single “Ordinary Pleasure” is placed under this track and it fails to disappoint listeners with its catchy and zesty chorus.
A little further down the album comes the gem “Miss Me,” featuring celestial vocalist Abra. This track is soft, sultry, and an essential on any lovers’ playlist. Following “Miss Me” comes the track “New House,” which is an interesting rendition of lyrical technicalities. The chorus goes, “I want a brand new house, something I cannot buy, something I can’t afford.” In one way, Toro y Moi may be literally expressing the fact that he wants to buy a new house but does not have the means to support it. On the other side of the coin, he could be singing figuratively about a desire of his which he craves something that goes beyond the material world. Yet, he is lost on how to get it or he believes that he is not good enough.
Contrarily, tracks seven through nine serve more as filler throughout the album rather
than providing a new and innovative sound. It appears that Toro y Moi overuses a mix of bubbly sounds and it consequently comes across as music fluff. The track “Monte Carlo” featuring pop group Wet is a seemingly hollow tune that includes lyrics like, “Uber messed up everything, driver canceled on me, I can’t take another train, oh no.” However, the last track “50-50” featuring musical artist Instupendo comes through as an introspective yet melancholically sweet track that serves as a great outro for the album. The subtle use of autotune makes this track the most likely to be found on a jukebox in an underground dive bar in SoHo.
All in all, Toro y Moi’s Outer Peace is a solid project that has its strong points but its
flaws as well. Although listeners may find their favorite tracks concentrated towards the first half of the album, the project as a whole houses the potential to serve a medley of various moods that Toro y Moi skillfully ignites.
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