From its jaunty, synth-a-licious start, Causers of This feels a bit addled. When last we heard from Toro y Moi mastermind Chaz Bundick, he was all about washed-out, guitar-driven rock, however distinctive it might have been. Here, Bundick essentially ditches his trusted axe for the keyboards and mixing board to new—and initially jarring—effects. All this is not to say that Causers of This is a flop—quite the opposite. Album opener “Blessa” is a warm and intentionally warbled ode to summertime (we think), complete with radio crackle and vinyl “skips” built into the mix. Later, “Lissoms” provides a hip-hop influenced, dance-floor ready reinvention of the synth-pop cheese of yore (think J Dilla meets Soft Cell). By the time we get to the mid-album, multilayered trip-hop of “Freak Love,” it seems all bets are off—and Bundick is simply content to be throwing the party.


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