11 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Underneath the Pine is the excellent sophomore full-length from Toro y Moi — a.k.a. Chaz Bundick. The album evokes Stereolab, Robert Wyatt, and Ariel Pink, and it also incorporates subtle hip-hop and R&B touches. But Underneath the Pine has its own of-the-moment sound. It opens with “Intro / Chi Chi,” a track with a head-nodding groove, blissful distortion, and wordless vocals; it serves as a good example of Bundick’s way with pleasing timbres and entrancing riffs. Springy synth and rhythm guitar pull the listener in on “New Beat,” and it’s clear that despite his taste for hazy atmosphere, Bundick can create a pleasurable earworm, too. On “Before I’m Done,” mellow acoustic guitar picking is set against a backdrop of mellotron-ish tones and jazzy drums, before the track slips into a cloud of pulsing keyboard and softly intoned vocals. (It could almost pass for a lost King Crimson or Giles, Giles & Fripp track.) “Still Sound,” with its irresistible bass line, effective keyboards, and lovely vocal harmonies, might be the best song here. Its combination of the propulsive and the spacey is wonderful, and very Toro y Moi.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Underneath the Pine is the excellent sophomore full-length from Toro y Moi — a.k.a. Chaz Bundick. The album evokes Stereolab, Robert Wyatt, and Ariel Pink, and it also incorporates subtle hip-hop and R&B touches. But Underneath the Pine has its own of-the-moment sound. It opens with “Intro / Chi Chi,” a track with a head-nodding groove, blissful distortion, and wordless vocals; it serves as a good example of Bundick’s way with pleasing timbres and entrancing riffs. Springy synth and rhythm guitar pull the listener in on “New Beat,” and it’s clear that despite his taste for hazy atmosphere, Bundick can create a pleasurable earworm, too. On “Before I’m Done,” mellow acoustic guitar picking is set against a backdrop of mellotron-ish tones and jazzy drums, before the track slips into a cloud of pulsing keyboard and softly intoned vocals. (It could almost pass for a lost King Crimson or Giles, Giles & Fripp track.) “Still Sound,” with its irresistible bass line, effective keyboards, and lovely vocal harmonies, might be the best song here. Its combination of the propulsive and the spacey is wonderful, and very Toro y Moi.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
169 Ratings

169 Ratings

lvrtits ,

This is excellent.

Just, excellent. There was a time before this, not so long ago when I thought, "I can't possibly chill any harder than this". I was so ******* wrong.

EugeniaL ,

Nothing amazing

It's listenable, but it's hookless. This second album by Toro y Moi sounds like a disco-funk take, but without the right hooks. I can play it in the background and it does not bother me, but it doesn't make me wanna jump out and actively listen to it either. I had the same problem with his first album too.

GRIZZLIEST BEAR ,

What better way to bring in a new season?

So after listening to this album I've realized that this is so fresh and new. It's perfect to listen to anytime of the day and every song is like listening to a whole new album because no two songs are anything alike. Make the purchase, support Chaz, enjoy the nice, electropopfunk, chillwave, discoberry style music. Do I know anything of what that means, not really, but I'm sure that's kind of what this album does to you. Puts you in a trance of good music listening!

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