Walker, Turning Torso
by Andrew Casillas
If I may judge a book by its over for a brief moment: Upon going to Turning Torso’s official downloads page, you’ll notice that you can download his releases in virtually any format that you could desire outside of 8-track, which is admittedly quite awesome. On the other hand, when perusing the official description of the album, the very first tag listed is “Dreamwave.” Uhhhh, yeah.
Luckily, Walker, the Mexican artist’s debut LP, actually shows enough creativity to justify these fanciful portmanteaus. For the most part, the record floats by like a duck on water, with chillwave signifiers and programming forming a consistent foundation from track-to-track. Like most chillwave tropes, these tend to meander into pointlessness if extended for long periods. However, Turning Torso wisely keeps his tracks short and distinctive, making a record which lasts under a half an hour feel like its much shorter. There are certainly a handful of highlights sprinkled on this donut: the lean hooks on “True Words” and the title track could certainly pass for In Rainbows b-sides (and that’s a good thing), while “Bebé” and “Almendra” break through their lo-fi foundations into something spry and unassuming.
If there’s a problem with Walker, it’s that there are probably too many pastiches scattered throughout the record. Just by reading the tracklist alone, you can tell exactly what “Jimi,” “Milees,” “Bossa Nube,” and “80’s Dream” sound like, and you would be precisely right. There’s nothing wrong with going knee-deep into genre exercises per se, but it would have been nice for these songs to have been fleshed out a bit more. Regardless, this is a promising little record, one with way more surprises than would be expected from something called “Dreamwave.” And hey, there are plenty of worse ways to spend half an hour’s time…especially if it airs Monday nights on CBS.