"Underneath the Pine" by Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi
Underneath the Pine

Carpark Records
2011

Review

Toro Y Moi make music that has no hidden agenda. When that shit hits my ears, it's just trying to make me feel like everything is OK. It must be the surf-rock inspired lyrically delivery. Has there ever been an ominous album that had a lyrical delivery that was pure surf-rock that you could define as "ominous"? If so, I ain't heard it. The only scary about this record is maybe the album art. There's something unnerving about facial hair up-close.

Let's talk negatives and get that out of the way. There are some slower paced, more methodical tracks that just don't do it for me. Specifically, "Divina", "Before I'm Done", "Light Black", and especially "Good Hold". Everything else, though? If I could write a sentence that would sound like me doing that stereotypical Italian kiss meaning "fantastic" I would. Instead, I'll just settle for a non-descriptive shortcut with the word "wow".

"Go With You" is the one. It's the one that sells me. It's everything good about Toro Y Moi whom I have heard ShawnJ refer to as "an amazing musician". Yes. Most definitely.

I don't know how
How we're gonna get out
But I'm not scared
Of getting point to point

I guess not exactly the most hopeful of lyrics in and of themselves. However, when coupled with the music, they become something really uplifting into something that can make you feel like everything is fine.

If I might indulge in a brief digression, this year has been really, really hard for me. There's been a lot of near-misses when it comes to people I care about not being here anymore. There's been a lot of painful moments both personal and professional. People I thought that had my best interests at heart have proved untrustworthy. In essence, life has been life. Sure there's been good moments too, but they've been few and far between to the extent where I just can't wait for this year to END (all-caps). Toro Y Moi, tonight, thanks to this album, and for the duration of it, made me forget all that.

...how's that for an endorsement?

3.900 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Intro / Chi Chi (02:25)
2. New Beat (04:04) 5
3. Go With You (03:57) 5
4. Divina (02:18) 3
5. Before I'm Done (02:42) 3
6. Got Blinded (03:09) 4
7. How I Know (04:05) 4
8. Light Black (03:23) 3
9. Still Sound (04:29) 5
10. Good Hold (02:27) 2
11. Elise (06:01) 5