Thursday, February 10, 2011

Zonoscope, Cut Copy (2011)

Whenever I encounter a new Cut Copy album, it takes me a while to grow comfortable with the sound. On their first album, Bright Like Neon Love, I was hesitant about the sound because it sounded so middle of the road '80s. I love '80s music, and I love music that aims to sound like '80s music. But, something about Bright Like Neon Love sounded so familiar, it wasn't until I had the album for a few months that I really discovered my love for Cut Copy. On their second album, In Ghost Colours, I was taken back by the dance tracks. Most of the tracks on the album have such a great dance sound and was a little bit removed from the sounds I came to expect. It's great for a band to show growth. Cut Copy certainly shows growth.

Of course, I have grown to completely love In Ghost Colours. I find most tracks on the album to be perfect for summer. When I saw their brief,but fulfilling set at Lollapalooza... I knew they were a band to respect. They knew how to get the crowd jumping. They knew how to reel you in.

Now, their third release. I have given myself a couple of week with the tracks before deciding to form an opinion. Maybe this is still too soon. For now, I'm not as in love with this album as the previous album. On Zonoscope, Cut Copy seems to be creating perfect little pop gems. Not the kind of pop gems your cousins, aunts, and neighbors are going to be familiar with a la Britney Spears. But, the type of pop gem that would not feel out of place on a popular radio station. Or, in the background of a restaurant or club.

If I could sum up Zonoscope in one way, it would have to be Passion Pit's "The Reeling." I am not a fan of Passion Pit. There are a handful of songs I enjoy. For the most part, they're just kind of there. But, their track "The Reeling" is a really great track. And, I feel most of the songs on Zonoscope capture that free spirited, playful, party atmosphere of "The Reeling."

"Need You Now" is the albums opening track and feels like a remainder from In Ghost Colours. The track makes you want to dance and feels full of a lot more energy than the following tracks.

"Take Me Over" starts out sounding like a Men at Work song. The music borrowing heavily from "Land Down Under." At first, this distracts a bit from the song. But, by the tracks end... this need for the humorous reference is forgotten.

"Where I'm Going" feels out of place on the album. The music at the tracks opening reminds me of a Velvet Underground song. I half expect Lou Reed's nasal voice or Nico's too cool for you vocals to come swaying through.

"Pharaohs & Pyramids" is most likely to be the albums successful track. It isn't my favorite track on the album, but it feels as though it has that certain touch that would make for a great radio hit.

All in all, an enjoyable album. Not their best. And, to be honest, I don't think I was finished with In Ghost Colours. I am probably not quite ready for the new album. Maybe by the summer I'll be ready to blare these tracks from open car windows.


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