What For? feels like an urban record, a record that communicates at street level; replicating conversations in bars, shops or plazas.
A pop record?? I feel a bit like Lady Bracknell here, dealing with some new fangled, but intriguing mystery. And What For?, by Toro Y Moi is such a poppy thing that I almost thought, nah, no point me reviewing it, loads of others more into the hustle and bustle of what's new and hip and happenin' will cover it. But it's such an infectious release, I ended up writing this months after the release date. As it's such a tonic to listen to.
But there's also a tough, sarcastic side to this platter that makes it incredibly moreish. The lyrics are simple and direct, and pack considerable punch. The fizzy opener, What You Want, has the brilliantly laconic line; "So I follow you, or you follow me/Does anybody know where we go from here?". You get more of the same on Spell It Out. And titles like Empty Nesters and Yeah Right just feel sarky. There are spines and prickles to watch out for here among all the bubbly pop.
What For? feels like an urban record, a record that communicates at street level; replicating conversations in bars, shops or plazas. Street hassle or hustle, it matters not. The rhythm in Buffalo has that springy, dusty funk to it, a sort of "In the City" Stevie Wonder shuffle at times. That soul connection is strengthened with Empty Nesters that has a feeling of Tears of A Clown in the bassline. The quieter tracks, like The Flight and Ratcliff have a street-soul element to them too, C21 gospel glitch.
But most of all this record scores as a singalong pop record. There are some classic pop tracks on here: Lilly, Run Baby Run and Half Dome are wonderful tracks, and will take some beating as bittersweet anthems.
Overall, this is a real treat to listen to. You probably know already.