With his new album’s release yesterday, Chris Baio continues his metamorphosis from “the bassist from Vampire Weekend” to “Baio, the Multifaceted DJ and Eclectic Songwriter.” Man of the World is the 32-year-old’s sophomore independent album.
Within the last few months, Baio released three singles off this album: “PHILOSOPHY!,” “DANGEROUE ANAMAL” and “Out Of Tune.” The first is a saxophone-heavy, dance-inducing tune, and it absolutely belongs on your summer playlist. Shortly after, a music video was released of the artist himself dancing with a skeleton, accentuating the song’s shake-your-hips vibe. And the chorus is relatable for anyone who has taken Philosophy 100 with Crowe or Roochnik: “Sometimes I understand you less than I get Descartes.”
But, to be honest, the second single was a bit of a let-down. “Out of Tune” is fairly cheesy, and its chorus reminds me of the keyboard intro to Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” The track contains the album title in the lyrics, “I’m a man of the world / but I won’t leave The States” — which is an surprising statement for a man who has both played international tours and lived in London since 2014.
However, the opening riff in “Man of the World,” the true title track, brings the album back to an upbeat medium. The rest of the tracks are consistent to Baio’s weird but catchy tendencies. This album features some beautiful transitions as well (see “Exquisite Interlude” into “DANGEROUE ANAMAL”), and offers a great balance of instruments and synthesized sounds.
While Chris Baio started his musical fame as solely a musician, his deep voice is smooth and mature. This album carries a very similar style to his first album, The Names, but the new songs sound hold more personal themes, like “Sensitive Guy” (in which Baio announces that he’s “a sensitive guy / even his tears cry”). And although Baio majored in Russian and Eurasian Regional studies at Columbia, his DJ roots began on the Barnard College radio station WBUR.
So, before you start begging for updates on the fourth upcoming Vampire Weekend album, take a listen to what this talented man has to offer the world.