I have to speak up only because I know how much influence Pitckhfork has and I don’t want anyone who reads Right Hear to sleep on this shit just because Pitchfork dissed it. I gave TORO Y MOI‘s LP, Causers of This a 95 in my review. I gave it a 95 because almost every song is great. That’s the equation for a very high album rating on Right Hear. If the album’s song-average is around 90, it’s gonna score high on this site. You can’t average those kinds of numbers with a bunch of aight-to-poor tracks on your shit. Some albums have great top-of-the-year tracks, but that doesn’t make the album necessarily great. It’s the consistency in the album that matters, as PHOENIX‘s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix most recently exhibited. Really almost every song on Causers is great. Maybe you don’t think it’s a 95, but bottom line: it’s not a 76, which is what Pitchfork gave it. You’ve got to be kidding me.
Pitchfork gives Causers a few of those good props, kinda out of the side of their mouth, saying he’s a great producer. But that’s a sideways diss, straight up. Pitchfork saying he’s a good producer in the same breath as saying he’s not as poppy as his counterparts NEON INDIAN and WASHED OUT is the same as saying “he doesn’t write good songs.” That’s a healthy load of bullshit right there. Pitchfork specifically points out that NEON INDIAN and WASHED OUT “put more of an emphasis on hooks,” going as far as to say that “their songs are generally catchier and more straightforwardly composed” than TORO Y MOI’s. Right in Chaz Bundick‘s face.
Pitchfork even says that TORO Y MOI’s work on Causers of This “might lack the immediacy of a Deadbeat Summer or Feel It All Around,” but that his music usually has “deeper, more interesting layers.” That’s the consolation?! That Bundick’s music is deeper than Alan Palomo‘s or Ernest Greene‘s?! That’s what people say about music they don’t like. They give it a consolation prize. They give consolation prizes to losers. It’s total bullshit. Because first off, Pitchfork’s comparing the shit on Causers to Deadbeat Summer and Feel it All Around, two of 2009’s best songs, and tracks that are #2 and #8 on this site’s TOP 20 TRACKS OF 2009; that were TOP-10 for most people.
You shoot down an entire album because the music isn’t as good as some of the best music from last year?! Cuz it’s not as good as Feel it All Around, arguably 2009’s best song?! That’s not fair man. Still, it doesn’t even really matter because Causers does boast a TOP-10 track in Minors. And the album doesn’t “lack the immediacy,” as Pitchfork argues, because this song is an example of Bundick taking everything he’s got and dropping it on your face during the first second of the song. Pitchfork is fronting, having to bring up two of the freshest tracks from 2009 as the measure for whether this album is good or only all right. Minors is that fresh, and Minors‘ greatness is immediately recognizable from the song’s first second. Off the mark.
Off the mark on everything, really. Pitchfork goes on to slam the end of the album, saying the quality tails off, specifically hating on You Hid and the album’s closing track, Causers of This. The Pitchfork article has lost all credibility by now. You Hid is absolute fire. The listener is immediately transported through time to the 1970s, placed on top of a tiger rug near a raging fireplace and given some sexual intercourse. It’s just like that. And before you even get to the album’s last track, you hit Low Shoulder, another one of the record’s awesome jams, which the review glosses over. Pitchfork doesn’t think Bundick’s shit is catchy enough. No, Pitchfork is not impressed with Blessa or Minors, referring to them as “nice,” or with Low Shoulder or any of the album’s other gems. Pitchfork instead highlight’s its ineptitude by singling out the album’s worst song, by far, Fax Shadow, which is still a good song. It’s just the album’s least great track is all. Pitchfork says it “serves as the best representation of Toro’s potential.”
Jeez, it’s rare to see a review miss the mark so hard. And Pitchfork even hates on the album’s closing track, saying it sounds too “cluttered.” Yeah, it’s cluttered with amazingness. Pitchfork wants to dictate when music should be simpler now. In the end, Pitchfork says “if Causers of This stayed consistent through the end, it might be up there with the assured debuts of his peers; instead, it’s just a few notches below.” You’re a few notches below.
by: Brad Horenstein