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It goes without saying that "pop" sensibilities are fickle and changeable. Trends in music fade as quickly as they ignite, dragging artists from stardom back to relative obscurity in the blink of an eye. However, Chaz Bundick, aka Toro Y Moi, was never going to be relegated to the realm of the one-hit wonder, despite being lumped in with the ephemeral "chillwave" fad. Bundick, quite simply, has a gift for sculpting feel-good jams that are undoubtedly modern, but gesture toward something timeless. His fourth album What For? sees him conjure up his trademark blissful vibes using a previously untouched sonic palette.

'Empty Nesters' is an effortless and breezy taste of guitar-pop that, like much of Toro Y Moi's back catalogue, has "summer anthem" written all over it. Yet gone are the days of synth-induced euphoria--Bundick has traded his electro setup for a more conventional guitar/bass/drums configuration. His knack for infectious melodies is still intact and newly propelled by funk rhythms and sun-kissed riffs. Guitarist Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra brings his distinctive touch to the table on What For? (see 'Half Dome' for total vintage reverb immersion). While the Toro y Moi that made his name during the peak of the chillwave sensation touted R&B and early '80s influences, Bundick's current incarnation smacks of polished rock n' roll.

'Ratcliff', bold as the assertion is, resonates like 'Dear Prudence': all winsome wording and bittersweet melodic turns. Piano chords and flourishes provide the pensive framework for the track, and Bundick's voice, which has historically come off as youthful and unaffected, takes on a newly nuanced dimension. His last album, 2013's Anything in Return, was flush with saccharine moments--no one would accuse the hit 'Cake' of being particularly dense--still even the weakest line was carried off effortlessly by the strength of Bundick's production.

Admittedly, lyrics have never been a selling point for Toro Y Moi, and this holds true across What For?, but like a true pop songsmith, Bundick's message is secondary to his medium for expressing it.

This record, much like the three that came before it, is innovative in how it integrates familiar sonic tropes. Bundick isn't bending genres, per se, so much as dredging up the sweetest sounds from decades past and subsuming them under the Toro Y Moi banner. 'Buffalo' and 'Spell It Out' both reveal a preoccupation with disco-tinged strumming. 'The Flight' is a dangerously chill downtempo cut that puts Nielson's '70s-throwback riffing in the foreground while Bundick's low-key vocals are sparsely decked out in wistful harmonies. In its slower moments, What For? rolls in like a cloud of smoke, lethargic and intoxicating; 'Lilly' and 'Yeah Right' drift along in an exalted haze, all distant harmonies and glissandos.

Nothing about What For? seems out of character for Bundick. His evolution as an artist has been measured and natural, he isn't stuck in 2010, still lobbying for the laid-back electronics that made his name in the first place. He's far too savvy to stagnate. And 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.

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