Toro Y Moi
Causers of This


3.5
great

Review

by Kiran EMERITUS
February 2nd, 2010 | 47 replies | 14,929 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Toro Y Moi takes a step ahead of the rest of the chillwave pack.

It seems a bit strange that after all the momentum built up behind chillwave/glo-fi artists in 2009, with musicians like Memory Tapes, Neon Indian and Washed Out all enjoying brief periods in the spotlight, that Toro Y Moi would choose to release his debut LP after the year had passed. It strikes me as a brave move; rather than watch his work get tossed into the flurry and then filed away and forgotten once attention was diverted elsewhere, as the longevity of interest in these trends tends to mirror that of a goldfish, he separated himself from the group. Of course, this would be rendered meaningless if he didn’t have the chops to back up the release, which would certainly not be as easily welcomed now as it would’ve been should he have decided to join the entourage during its brief stay at the party.

Put simply, it was a good decision. Chaz Bundick, the South Carolinan native behind Toro Y Moi, is far ahead of his peers. He may walk like the others, he may talk like the others, but with Causers of This, he leaves them all cowering in his wake. Don’t be fooled by the abundance of fuzz-veiled nostalgia riding out on sun-soaked lo-fi crackling, as it is certainly a trademark of the genre, but with Toro Y Moi, you’re forced to dig a little deeper.

Bundick manages to harness pop sensibilities, tinges of R&B and even a dash of tropical dancefloor tinkering and seperates himself from the pack by doing so. His beats move with a life of their own, such as on the stuttering “Fax Shadow”, where the rhythm lags and pauses and catches up with itself like a scratched record but always with a careful ear for melody. As a result, his songs are constantly stimulating and distinctively more engrossing than artists like Washed Out, who, if anything, encourage listeners to get lost in their hazy, meandering worlds. Mark it down to a difference in direction but Bundick’s constant focus on keeping the listener with him on the journey makes for a much more rewarding experience.

Highlight “Minors” is as engulfing as it is cathartic (“When I live in newer places / I’ll make sure I’m further from you”), and the beats in the brief chorus rise like a splash of water after a moment of stillness, channeling an almost stop-motion quality with rapid shuffling synths and drawn out vocals (“Is this how it ends? / with someone to be with”). On the other end of the spectrum, “Low Shoulder” is decidedly more upbeat and dancefloor-ready, and leads to a catchy guy-girl vocal layering that showcases the compatibility of Bundick’s reverb-laden vocals to the easygoing atmosphere he creates, often feeling more like a joyride than anything arduous in the least; Toro Y Moi is incredibly easy to listen to.

Causers of This is full of subtle nuances that give the tracks individuality, smartly avoiding the shortcoming many of his peers succumbed to, in allowing their music to meld together to a point where it’s difficult to distinguish one track from another. Still, Causers of This flows smoothly, relaxingly, and feels like the type of record that could soundtrack a day at the beach, or a bus ride home after a long night. To sum it up, Causers of This is the best album to come out of the genre (or rather, trend). Not just that, but it stands alone as an album that can be enjoyed even by those who discarded the artists who preceded him. Forget what you know about chillwave, Toro Y Moi is better.



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user ratings (167)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Fort23 (4)
This ain't willie nelson music....

Smevin Bravis (3)
Causers of This sounds great, but just isn't diverse enough to hold up after multiple listens....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
February 2nd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the more i listened to this, the more i wanted to give it a 4 but i couldnt bring myself to do it

its just really great. very relaxing.

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

Mendigo
February 2nd 2010



2299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like. Both review and album, nice job.
Minors is awesome.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 2nd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its the stupid 'genre' name bloggers gave artists like washed out and neon indian and it stuck. the name 'glo-fi' is just as terrible so i stuck with chillwave.

alachlahol
February 2nd 2010



7484 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

chillwave is the shit

Kiran
Emeritus
February 2nd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this, the memory cassette ep you recd me, and washed outs life of leisure ep are the only chillwave stuff thats actually stuck with me

AggravatedYeti
February 2nd 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Causers of This is the best album to come out of the genre

we'll see ;)

Sounds really interesting though after the read through, good stuff as usual.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 2nd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks, i dont know if youve heard any of the other stuff in the reviewer recs, but if you havent, you should def start here and if you have and enjoyed it, you should get this

hykudos
February 2nd 2010



460 Comments


obtaining now after hearing 'blessa'. hoping for the best.

hykudos
February 2nd 2010



460 Comments


I think I'd like this more if I listened to it while driving or with better speakers.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 2nd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

are your speakers not very good?

cause yeah, this wont do much for you on bad sound quality

Waior
February 2nd 2010



11451 Comments


glad you finally found a way to write this, reads terrific. haven't listened to this yet but probably will before the end of feb

Kiran
Emeritus
February 2nd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks caleb, you doing any better with your review? i was going in circles for ages just writing and deleting until finally i just gushed this all out in one go and posted before i could find ways to dislike it

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2010



15010 Comments


im noti afraid to say that i

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2010



15010 Comments


wtf


im not afraid to say that i love this chillwave fad

Jemidu06
February 3rd 2010



115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ah i liked the other big 3 of chillwave (neon indian, washed out, and memory tapes in that order) a
bit better, but this is still pretty good; i find myself often getting stuck after "blessa" and
"minors" because theyre so great. good review though, gonna pos

Kiran
Emeritus
February 3rd 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i like the chillwave fad in concept, i just havent been able to stomach most of its LPs (psychic chasms, seek magic, etc) in full until this, which is why i love the washed out and memory cassette EPs more than the artists full lengths.

thanks jemidu!

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2010



15010 Comments


blessa is so tight

tylerevans9
February 9th 2010



11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome, genre title actually is not so bad once you get it..... good chill music. Smoke one and relax and get lost.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 11th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah, chillwave has become my favourite relaxant recently

alachlahol
March 3rd 2010



7484 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this lo-fi stuff is still melting my brain and has been for the past several months



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