What For?

Toro y Moi - What For?
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2015 Ratings: #475 / 772
User Score
Based on 153 ratings
2015 Ratings: #391
April 7, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Carpark / Label
Psychedelic Pop / Genres
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www.toroymoi.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
AllMusic
No doubt anyone with a predilection for laid-back, good-time guitar rock will find lots of stuff to love here; so will people who like their pop unassuming and hooky as hell.
80
Drowned in Sound
A shimmering, optimistic record recalling Stevie Wonder and Brian Wilson, the LP makes for a comparative step back in time, with smooth yet fuzzy basslines, funk breakdowns, clever arrangements and soaring backing vocals.
80
The Line of Best Fit

What For? sounds like it could have been snatched from the late ‘60s, veneered of course by Bundick’s characteristic knack for pop melody and production.

80
Loud and Quiet
‘What For?’ sees the chameleonic creator explore new ground and transform into a different shade of colour yet again, with his characteristic electronics less prevalent in favour of gorgeous instrumentation.
75
The 405
As long as he keeps making records like this one--so palatable they might be guilty pleasures were they not so rooted in pristine indiepop--his music will remain relevant.
70
musicOMH

Now, on What For?, he’s shown that he can write great songs, albeit not quite as consistently as one would like. Despite that, What For? still contains over twenty minutes of some of the year’s most decadently enjoyable music. A treat.

70
NME
‘What For?’ falters along the way, but its high points are so charming you're willing to forgive the occasional low one.
70
Exclaim!
Over a concise 37 minutes, though, Bundick makes a great impression, and if his creative blueprint up to this point is anything to go by, don't expect him to stay planted in this style much longer.
70
Under The Radar

What For? is a bright, sunny chunk of laid-back indie pop; it's Bundick's heaviest use of organic instruments, and it's the best thing he's done in a few years.

70
PopMatters

What For? is about as successful a transplant as he can make into a fresh setting.

70
No Ripcord

What For? is an ultimately perplexing collection of songs — a mishmash of Bundick’s best and worst musical ideas, but nevertheless a glimpse into an artist who is unafraid to shift into new sonic territory. 

70
Spin
It’s a little shocking at first — the limber, liberal use of the whammy bar, skuzzy guitar licks, and fuzzed-out solos — but it doesn’t take much time to lean into this (somewhat) new iteration of Toro Y Moi’s endlessly adaptable grooves like a head massage.
67
Pretty Much Amazing
In the absence of the chill-ed out R&B and funk that defined his early sound, Toro y Moi’s newest album just doesn’t stand out from an increasingly crowded field.
67
A.V. Club

The lack of follow-through makes What For? feel more like a lark than the next step in Bundick’s evolution. Even at its most thrilling, What For? manages to sound somehow too daring and not daring enough.

66
Pitchfork

The bigger problem is that What For? doesn’t address much of anything directly, and that’s an issue on a record which appears to make Bundick’s chops as a songwriter and a lyricist a focal point.

60
The Skinny
Perhaps Bundick doesn’t wish to bum out your trip with anything too jive, but a little of the incongruity and inventiveness that characterised his earlier efforts wouldn’t go amiss.
60
DIY
Nothing within the album paves way for the future - instead, it feels like an exercise in honouring the past.
50
Consequence of Sound
It’s an unproductive shrug of an album that can be charming and pleasant if you don’t think too hard about it.
KengojiUltamYT
81
A musical detour for Chaz and one that works out well. The Psych Pop sounds fit Chaz quite well. He stays safe with the vocals which can be a good or bad thing depending on how much you like Anything in Return. A couple of songs are a bit musically weaker than the others but in general, this album is pretty solid.

Best Tracks: Buffalo,The Flight,Lilly,Spell It Out,Half Dome,Run Baby Run
Worst Track: Yeah Right
steviedub
77
Take this album for what it is: A retro look on classic psych rock and pop from the golden age of those respected genres. Sure, Toro Y Moi doesn't try to reinvent the wheel with this album, but nonetheless, it is a distinct and catchy record on all cylinders. This effort has to be respected. Much different from any of his previous work, it doesn't feel forced or awkward. Toro Y Moi stepped out of his comfort zone and into another comfort zone.
jumpYARD
80
What For? sees Chaz going in a new direction and stands out from the rest of his discography. It provides some great throwback rock tracks, but with poppy hooks and a playful breezy sound that feels like summer. The opening track What You Want is one of my favourite indie rock jams of all time!
86
Claramente este álbum bateu-me mais agora que em 2015. Sabe a adeus a juventude, sabe a saudade. Se estranhei estas guitarras 90s skate agora fizeram deitar a lágrima

fav. Half Dome
max2k
70
yeah ok...

What For? is very similar in quality to Bear's next album 'Boo Boo'. The great sonic and lyrical moments are there- but the songs aren't. Toro Y Moi's discography is so hit or miss for me. Thankfully his new direction with Outer Peace is pretty amazing.
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Year End Lists

#10/Gigwise
#17/Blare
#18/Piccadilly Records

Track List

  1. What You Want
  2. Buffalo
  3. The Flight
  4. Empty Nesters
  5. Ratcliff
  6. Lilly
  7. Spell It Out
  8. Half Dome
  9. Run Baby Run
  10. Yeah Right
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Added on: January 19, 2015