Toro y Moi’s “Underneath the Pine”
“Underneath the Pine will no doubt get your butt moving, your foot tapping, and will definitely have you coming back for more.” -MHMichael Hall
Music reviewers love using buzzwords to classify what they hear. If you need proof of this phenomenon, take a look at the pages of Rolling Stone, Spin, Paste or even the highly esteemed super website, TheBlueIndian.com.
But what to do when something graces the ears that defies pigeon-holing? There is always the old standby of choosing what seems to be the most fitting term, and applying it. More fun though, is to make up a completely new category. This is where we find Toro Y Moi’s new album Underneath the Pine.
Chaz Bundick’s music, the force behind Toro Y Moi, could fall into several categories, so with February’s release of Underneath the Pine, there will be a new category called Progchilltronica Wazz.
It is a mix of progressive, chill wave (whatever that is), electronic music, and jazz. This new classification might be too narrow to apply to other albums, but it also might become a staple of modern music.
In the end though, however you wish to classify Underneath the Pine, you have admit that its catchy, dancy, almost trancy tracks are mesmerizing.
Like a good album should be, it is better listened to as a whole. It is never intrusive, but never boring. It is laden with synthesizers and electronic ambience, but driven by real instruments making real music. It is a post modern work of art that is the reflection of a generation who takes an overwhelming array of influences and bottles them up to create unique and refreshing sounds that come out as completely original.
If Toro Y Moi set out to create an album that moved butts on the dance floor, he has succeeded. It will easily reach and surpass most people’s dance threshold.
If the album was intended to lyrically connect with the listener however, then he did not succeed. The rich textures and layered approach to composition overshadows the lyrical experience, making it difficult to capture the themes of the piece.
So the album isn’t perfect, but so few are. Though it may not be the Revolver of the new generation, the tracks on Underneath the Pine will no doubt get your butt moving, your foot tapping, and will definitely have you coming back for more. Progchilltronica Wazz doesn’t get much better.