Mahal Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: The seventh full-length studio release for Chaz Bear as Toro y Moi features guest appearances from Salami Rose Joe Louis, The Mattson 2, and Sofie.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. 80
    This project is sure to surprise fans with its unique sensibility, further showcasing how difficult it is to constrict the artist into any specific genre. Chaz borrows multiple elements to create something wholly unique, skating through sounds to create a genre pastiche to suit every taste.
  2. Apr 29, 2022
    80
    It might scare off some of the fans drawn to the pop side of Toro, but for those who appreciate the subtle twists and turns of his early work -- and especially those who wish he had expanded on What For? -- this is Bear and band at their most exciting, most inventive. and most fun.
  3. May 3, 2022
    80
    He combines whispering brush patterns and flecks of industrial glitch in the cerebral ‘Foreplay’ yet writes the perfect neo-soul pop song in ‘The Loop’, exemplifying his cross-disciplinary skill, and ability to marry fluid performance with tonal nuance.
  4. May 4, 2022
    75
    Mahal is as fastidiously layered as the rest of Toro y Moi’s style-shifting discography, but Bear leaves the edges rough, connecting the tracks with radio tuning noises and relishing in unvarnished instrumental expression.
  5. Apr 28, 2022
    70
    At times, the album’s songs are so breezy that they’re barely indistinguishable from one another. There are moments here, as is Toro y Moi’s wont, where the pursuit of mood takes precedent above all else.
  6. Apr 28, 2022
    60
    It’s a smooth ride for the most part but sometimes you just wish whoever's driving this thing would find a decent station and stick with it.
  7. 60
    Mahal is ultimately too uneven to be an album to particularly cherish.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Apr 29, 2022
    10
    yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
  2. May 2, 2022
    9
    its a whole ass vibe... I let this thing play back to back like 3 times before realizing that it was ever started over... Loving the strippedits a whole ass vibe... I let this thing play back to back like 3 times before realizing that it was ever started over... Loving the stripped back vibe all mixed with very good musicianship. Not really a whole lot else to say here. I like it. Ill play it during rainy days, ill play in in blistering hot sunny days... Id say light 9 Expand
  3. May 2, 2022
    9
    A balance of different emotions and vibes expressed throughout a consistently groovy tracklist. What else could you want. Every track is myA balance of different emotions and vibes expressed throughout a consistently groovy tracklist. What else could you want. Every track is my favorite. This is my album for the summer. Expand
  4. Jun 28, 2022
    8
    Chaz Bear, known professionally as Toro y Moi, has released his biggest and most expansive album to date with Mahal, his 7th studio album.Chaz Bear, known professionally as Toro y Moi, has released his biggest and most expansive album to date with Mahal, his 7th studio album. Here he draws elements and inspiration from a wide variety of artists and genres. While still maintaining the electronic, psychedelic and chill styles of his earlier works, Bear has cranked up the diversity and the guitars for Mahal.

    The album starts with “The Medium” and it is a banger. Thanks in part to the guest guitarist—Unknown Immortal Orchestra’s Ruban Nielson. It is a monstrously wonderful song that takes Bear into new, more indie rock territory.

    The tracks “Magazine” and “Clarity” take their cues from the likes of Beck and Tricky and 90s techno & trip-hop—with sultry guest vocals by Salami Rose Joe Louis and Sofie Royer, respectively. While “Way Too Hot” is an obvious ode to 90s brit-pop.

    “Millennium” effortlessly drops us back to the 70s with a smooth, classy blend of funk, soul, and soft rock. On “Last Year,” Bear does a great job of invoking Jazz guitar greats like Kenny Burrell and his layered psychedelics and laid-back vocal delivery work especially well here.

    Brief moments of respect to ELO, Steve Miller, Beasties and even The Sea and Cake appear throughout Mahal on various tracks. Bear has the ability to pull all these influences apart and reconfigure them together in such a way, making them much his own.

    Psychedelics are a staple of Bear’s sound. Here, he uses them slightly differently than he has in the past. Colorful, swirling, psychedelics are persistently threaded throughout most every track. Little added touches of flavor and ambiance that bring the album to the next level. Even when the songs peak with psychedelics and electric guitar, the songs still sound relaxed and inviting.

    Bear has improved at his “chill craft” and the track “The Loop” is a good example of this. This is the kind of song that you can't help but turn up the volume to when it comes on in the car. His smooth vocal delivery and slick guitar playing will make you melt into your seat, put a smile on your face and make your day a little brighter.

    Unlike his past records, the electric guitar keeps surfacing on nearly every track. He shows great versatility while jumping between playing styles and techniques. In comparison to his previous efforts, this is more of a rock oriented album.

    The drums on the album were obviously also a very important aspect to Bear. The entire album is stylistically adventurous, with seven different drummers appearing in total. This makes each song even more distinct in sound and style.

    Several of the songs on Mahal feel really condensed, but they all segue into one another, creating something bigger than the sum of its parts. This was deliberate—it was meant to be consumed as a whole. It's a bold move in today's world where singles are king and albums are scarce, but it's 40 minutes of colorful musical art that surpasses many of today's hit singles.
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  5. Jun 29, 2022
    8
    Toro y Moi can't dissapoint anyone with this album. Definitely miss the days of Blessa and Rose Quartz, but the ambition is really high.