Toro Y Moi – Boo Boo
By Harry Cunningham
Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bundick) takes you on a drive through dreamy landscapes of sound, stories of lost love and a search for connection, in his latest 80’s inspired R&B pop-electronica project: Boo Boo. Boo Boo shows how much the Singer-songwriter-producer has grown sonically and lyrically. There’s no doubt that Chaz’s 2017 release Boo Boo is a solid and well thought out project. However, it seems Chaz is still holding back from his full potential.
The album kicks off with layers of drawn out synth, which builds a vast, dreamy sonic landscape. The opening track “Mirage” set’s the tone for the rest of the project. Chaz busts downtown rhythms, adding more layers of vocals, claps and synth. Throughout the rest of the first quarter, it seems Chaz is in a state of confusion, reflecting on himself and his past relationship as he realises “Mona Lisa” (the girl he’s deeply in love with) got tired of his lack of commitment – “My baby got fed up with my ego”.”Pavement” takes a dark and twisted turn. Haunted, deep piano keys chime to reveal a feeling of emptiness as voices echo around the track before finding some sort of groundedness in Chaz’s whisper-like lyrics (the breakup?). Chaz attempts to find his feet in “Don’t Try”. He tries to make sense of the dark situation he’s in, “Woke up only cos I had to”, “Don’t try and understand what you are”. “Windows ” echoes new-wave R&B before the instrumental “Embarcardo” slowly opens up a new chapter in his life. Chaz is in love again, which is shown in one of his more upbeat tracks “Girl Like You”.
He’s tired of playing games and is confident she’s the one for him – “I can meet you downtown, take you where you want to be tonight”. Chaz experiments with contemporary hip-hop and R&B tones as he uses vocal production reminiscent of up-and-coming rapper-producer Nav – “From the bottle, no cup”. Finally, he’s found the connection he was looking for. In “You and I” he realises she was there all along, and that he was just thinking too much.
The 12 track LP shows that Toro y Moi, creatively, hasn’t slowed down. Boo Boo adds another dimension to Chaz’s variance in sound as he introduces elements of contemporary R&B and hip-hop covered in nostalgic 80’s soul. Boo Boo is personal and tells a story, but I think even Chad feels the emotion is a bit over the top (as the title mocks his own soft side). The album feels washed out at times, and occasionally goes overboard with the nostalgia, losing groundedness throughout its journey. But overall Boo Boo is a solid production, creative and accomplishes what it set out to do. Perfect for a scenic sunset drive (As shown below).
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Mirage, Girl Like You, Labyrinth