Toro Y Moi’s “Outer Peace” Will Get You Drunk as Heck – Review
Let’s play a Toro y Moi drinking game. There’s only one rule. Every time there’s a ~chill vibe~ take a sip. After about 5 songs you’re going to be passed out on the floor with one sock on wearing glasses that aren’t yours.
With his 6th full length album, Chaz Bear (professionally known as Toro y Moi) returns to his iconic chillwave sound, but something feels different. His previous work is well produced and cinematic, with ambient synths and soft vocals gliding over 80’s drum patterns. These albums are all pleasing to the ear, but they feel a bit vacant. If you’re not actively listening, songs blend together and fade out of your memory, leaving your craving for ~chill vibes~ strangely unfulfilled.
If his first album felt like it was drowning, then Bear’s subsequent ones feel like he’s been swimming up to the surface. With Outer Peace, Bear keeps his diving gear on, but he sticks to snorkeling just below sea level, blowing up bubbles of fresh air. With hot tracks like “Fading” and “Freelance,” Outer Peace borders on synth pop, bringing us out of the reverberated haze and onto a foggy disco dance floor. On “Monte Carlo” (ft. Wet), Bear adds some Travis Scott-esque auto tune and sings about his preferred mode of transportation over a trap drum beat and eerie background vocals. Outer Peace is stacked with good tunes but the clear stand out track is “Ordinary Pleasure.” From the moment you hear the first smack of the bongo—accompanied by a dreamy synth effect and a pleasant stream of water—you know this isn’t going to be your grandpa’s chillwave. The bass slaps you into the capital-F Funk and before you know it you’re tapping your foot and bobbing your head. By the time the chorus harmonies come in, you’re either making the stankiest funk face or your body has already gone limp, being now controlled by the spirit of dance.
Unlike a lot of Bear’s other work, Ordinary Pleasure wastes no time moving from section to section and keeps the same 3 chords going for the whole tune. At a brief 3 minutes, the track leaves you wanting more, eager to press rewind instead of aching to skip ahead.
Toro y Moi has hit a righteous balance of ~chill vibes~ and pop energy, making Outer Peace his best yet. I’d give this an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes and recommend it to all ye lovers of music and dance.
P.S.—When he’s not doing music, Bear works as a graphic designer, and for an excellent visual representation of what it’s like to listen to his new album, check out his music video for Freelance.
Edited by John Wright