Music, Movies & More: "Anything in Return," "Gangster Squad"

Ariana Beedie

“Anything in Return”

Toro Y Moi

Rating: 5/5 stars

The experimental mastermind Toro Y Moi, otherwise known as Chaz Bundick, released his third studio album Jan. 22 titled “Anything in Return.”

With progressive dance beats, R&B influences and old-school hip-hop, this is Bundick’s sexiest and longest album to date.

This album expands on all previous compositions, evolving from the initial “chillwave” genre. “Anything in Return” gives the listener much to listen to.

This composition shows Bundick’s growth as an artist while also displaying the depths of his emotional maturity. Plus it’s so fun.

This album is one to listen to while getting all dressed up or even setting the mood. Two singles from the album give a little taste of the decadence packed into this release.

“Say That” grooves and seduces as Bundick croons, “I know I can’t always be home but I never left. Don’t think like that.” As the synth progresses, the song breaks on a dance beat. This is a perfect preview of the quality of this album.

Another single, “So Many Details,” was released a few months before the album release, so listeners could know what to expect. This track, being quite bass-heavy, also shows another part of the album – his emotional appeal.

“You saved my life, and to somewhere I can’t describe,” Bundick sings.

“Anything in Return” describes his commitment to his partner, and the dedication of moving across the country and adjusting to life in the west. This is a great musical start for 2013.

By: Ariana Beedie

“Gangster Squad”

Rating: 4/5 stars

“Gangster Squad” is a movie that isn’t intended to be scary, but that still leaves the viewer feeling frightened.

That’s what Mickey Cohen did to Los Angeles in the 1940s.

The trailers mislead viewers into thinking it features a cop turned bad or was planted into Cohen’s gang, but that’s not the case.

The LA police chief knows some of his men are compromised and asks war veteran John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) to get rid of Cohen (Sean Penn). Cohen – with the help of his people – kills others and while there are witnesses, no one wants to turn him in, essentially signing their own death warrants. 

O’Mara is still in war mode and will sacrifice everything to be the hero. He recruits his own men to form a “gang” and sabatoge Cohen’s plans. Of course, the lovely Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) joins and appears to be the logicial person in the schemes. 

Wooters volunteers to make sure O’Mara doesn’t risk his own life to ruin Cohen. 

Wooters doesn’t seem to care about his own life too much, though, because he’s hooking up with Cohen’s girl, Grace (Emma Stone). But when O’Mara wants to use Grace to get to Cohen, Wooters throws in the towel – he doesn’t want to risk Grace being killed.  

Sean Penn is a fantastic actor because the first time I saw the trailer, I never knew it was him. He can transform himself into a character completely – it’s both great and scary. He can be rationally calm and then irrationally crazy, ready to whip out his gun at any moment. 

By: Shannon Hall