EEven when he was considered one of the key players in the chillwave scene of the late 2000s, it was clear that Chaz Bear’s Achilles heel was that his production skills comfortably eclipsed his ability to write genuine memorable songs. A decade later, his seventh album as Toro y Moi suggests little has changed. Woozily maximalist psychedelia mixes with disengaged, processed vocals, funky bass lines (Postman) and lo-NRG disco (Millennium), and it all sounds suitably opulent. Every once in a while the disparate elements coalesce into something special, most notably in the gorgeous Days in Love, which would have been on Tame Impala. Solitude. Almost as good is the gently seductive Goes By So Fast, which echoes English Riviera-era Metronomy.
Just as often, though, the disparate elements stay resolutely that, and the resulting sketches look frustratingly half-baked. It is possible to listen to Foreplay several times in a row without leaving the slightest trace in the memory. Similarly, Deja Vu is so instantly forgettable that it could have been better titled Never Heard. mahal is ultimately too uneven to be an album to particularly cherish.