Fresh after the release of single ‘Girl Like You’ is Boo Boo, Toro y Moi aka Chaz Bear’s foray into pop music after years of making records under abstruse genres. Though his past ventures can also be labelled under synth-pop, this newly produced one separates itself from the rest for being less niche and more contemporary, drawing influences from not just Frank Ocean but also Travis Scott and Daft Punk, to name a few. While both singles ‘You and I’ and ‘Girl Like You’ has an obvious ‘80s touch to them from the get-go, the era’s thumping drums and synths follow throughout the 12-track album meshed together with Bear’s slick vocals (featuring some sweet falsetto here and there) into a sonically ambitious album that didn’t go too far from the Toro y Moi sound we’re all accustomed to.
Born out of an identity crisis, Boo Boo – which is also Bear’s fifth studio album to date – chronicles the musician’s adjustment to fame and the struggle of not knowing what he wants after his dream became a reality. Fans like us might not be able to relate to the fame part, but we sure know that hollow feeling of not knowing what we want and need out of life.
This is Chaz Bear’s full statement on Boo Boo:
“After seven years of touring and recording, I found myself becoming self-conscious about my position in life as a ‘famous’ person, or at least my version of whatever that is. My dreams had become my reality, yet I was somehow unable to accept this new environment. I couldn’t help but fall into what might be described as an identity crisis. A feedback loop of fearful thoughts left me feeling confused. I felt as though I no longer knew what it was that I actually wanted and needed in and out of life, and at times I felt unable to even tell what was real.
During this time of personal turmoil, I turned to music as a form of therapy, and it helped me cope with the pain that I was feeling. I’d listen to the same ambient song over and over again, trying to insulate myself from reality. I fell in love with space again.
By the time I felt ready to begin working on a new record, I knew that this idea of space within music would be something that propelled my new work forward. The artistes that were influencing what I was making included everyone from Travis Scott to Daft Punk, Frank Ocean to Oneohtrix Point Never, Kashif and Gigi Masin. I recognised that the common thread between these artistes was their attention to a feeling of space, or lack thereof. I decided that I wanted to make a pop record with these ideas in mind. That idea for a record is what eventually became Boo Boo.”
Watch the album streaming video on YouTube:
Or stream the album track by track on Spotify: