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Chaz Bundick's (aka Toro Y Moi) latest offering, Anything In Return, sees the South Carolina native veer even further away from the chillwave scene he is often so closely identified with. Perhaps wrongly pigeonholed within that movement, Anything In Return contains pieces from every Toro Y Moi project to date, brought together in a record that is both sweeping in scope and charming in its execution.

While arguably slightly over-long (with several tracks in the albums latter half sounding suspiciously like filler), the album is mesmerising in its scale, range of sounds and instrumentation. Bundick's hypnotic vocals are key to making sense of the album's busy instrumentals, yet his vocals are not to everyone's taste. Bundick's falsetto isn't particularly strong and never really has been. Even so, he, manages especially on this album, to convey a calm assurance and quiet emotion, mainly through some particularly haunting melodies. Nevertheless, while it is clear his strength is in melody construction, there is a consistence desire from a listener throughout this album for Bundick to really give it some and show what he's really capable of vocally. 
 
ALbum Review - Toro y Moi 'Anything In Return'
Although occasionally cluttered , the instrumentals on Anything In Return are an absolute joy. Subtle beat changes, fluid sounds and almost genius samples create an experience that's purely  captivating. Many of the tracks engage in that R&B, hip hop and jazz fusion that The legendary Neptunes so favour with Bundick's use of chord progression of such a level that even Pharrell Williams would be proud. The hip hop connection continues with the downright inspired sampling of Cash Money CEO Bryan 'Birdman' Williams on the funky house anthem 'Say That'. Still, album opener 'Harm In Change' is probably the highlight of the project and as such it is a shame it comes so early. The track represents another foray into house music for Bundick, combined with some snazzy 80's pop synths that are used to perfection again on latter tracks 'Cake' and 'Never Matter'. Yet while 'Harm In Change' is Anything In Return's most engaging track, it would be criminal to ignore the craftsmanship involved in the beautifully built 'Rose Quartz' and the magnificently touching 'Cola'. Bundick's compositions really are something special with the drums on 'Studies' and the breakdown on the Daft Punk-esque 'Day One' emphasising his attention to detail as a producer.
 
While lyrical insufficiencies have often let down other Toro Y Moi records, on this album his words are remarkably poetic and frequently vivid with imagery. However, most importantly, the lyrics are fundamentally relateable in their simplicity and references to everyday life, and much like Bundick's vocals, complement his music perfectly. 
 
Anything in Return is the 80s revival in full effect, a delight of smooth synth bass and vibrant, colourful sounds. Meticulously produced, sampled but not oversampled, Toro Y Moi's is not the most engaging or energetic of albums despite its dancey core. Nonetheless, as a whole, the album has a lot more going for it than alot of the records from the indie scene released in the last quarter of 2012. Rich in detail, Anything In Return is arguably the most consistent Toro Y Moi project since his debut and in its consistency conveying a more positive outlook than anything he's ever released.
 
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REVIEW - JACK O'NEILL
Posted 1st February by Thom
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