The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: Toro Y Moi – ‘Outer Peace’ (Carpark Records)


In a sentence:

Full of short, clipped fusions of different genres, ‘Outer Peace’ is the most optimistic Toro Y Moi album yet.

When Toro Y Moi (the recording name of Chaz Bear, f.k.a. Chaz Bundick) dropped his new single ‘Freelance’ at the end of 2018, it instantly became one of our favourite tracks of the year. Energetic and heavily influenced by disco, the song pointed out to what could have been expected – yet another change in Chaz Bear’s source of inspiration, which this time has clearly been found on the dancefloor.

Outer Peace sees him deliver one of his most consistent Toro Y Moi albums to date, where everything seems to be falling into place effortlessly. Yet, Bear needed to leave his comfort zone to produce an album which would reflect how well he understands the craft of making electronic music, incorporating new influences, such as R&B and hip-hop, and reaching for ideas that he hasn’t talked about yet, despite releasing his last album Boo Boo only 18 months ago.

There are some qualities that can be easily picked out from Bear’s new album, such as the much more upbeat vibe that replaced the formerly prevailing feeling of melancholy. There are also things that are less obvious and require some extra attention from the listener to be noticed. This includes the change of perspective on Outer Peace, where he explores the concept of human’s identity in our vast and often confusing world.

Songs that best represents the character of Outer Peace are definitely ‘Who Am I’ and ‘Ordinary Pleasure’. The first song speaks about fighting “the battle of identity crisis”, as explained by Bear himself, whereas on ‘Ordinary Pleasure’ he sings “Does sex even sell anymore, I feel like I’ve seen it all […] Oh this world, makes a lot of noise for me, makes it hard for me to feel what I’m thinking” lyrics that are a spot-on representation of today oversaturated and noisy world.

In all of that, Bear is still bravely trying to find peace, a safe space where the craziness of our reality becomes less overwhelming. While the short, clipped songs on Toro Y Moi’s new album may not exactly represent a place of calm and serenity, Outer Peace is an album that can bring those qualities to the listener. As usual, listening to Bear’s music does send you to a different dimension, which this time turns out to be equally optimistic and mindful. (8/10) (Alicja Rutkowska)

Listen to Outer Peace by Toro Y Moi here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.