22 February 2011

Cut Copy: “Zonoscope”

Been slumped with work … but back with a few posts and plans of arranging a few on camera interviews again in the near future. Thanks to all our readers for the constant support and hope all is well.

I remember when I first heard Cut Copy’s sophomore album, “In Ghost Colour” (2008), in the days before this blog. Hailing for Australia, Cut Copy’s take on electropop was distinct from the electropop revival in the UK or USA. Listening to that album, again and again, was such an amazing experience. And though the north is embracing a harsh winter, it is now summertime in Australia, and the time was prime for Cut Copy to releases their third album, “Zonoscope” (8 February 2011 in the USA as download). In the time between listening to the album and writing, I have heard the opinions of some of my friends about the album. Their opinions, at least initially, were not the best, but the more you listen, the more you start to fall into Cut Copy’s hypnotic spell again.

When I first heard their lead single, “Where I’m Going,” even I was a bit put off. I thought to myself, “This does not sound like the Cut Copy I came to love. Could they be going a different direction with their music this time around?” Though the track was not the conventional Cut Copy track that we are accustom to listening to, it really is a nice change of pace. All of those initial reactions are more our expectations of what we expected the album to sound like. The lack of obvious synthesizer arrangements in “Where I’m Going,” have a closer to “analogue” sound than expected, is actually quite refreshing once you get rid of your expectations. This is the first clue that their craftsmanship is expanding and they are not allowing themselves to reproduce the same sound again and again.

When I heard “Take Me Over,” the second track of the album, the bass memorized me, for it has this common feel and depth that is associated with Caribbean music styles. It easily carries a great tune that is infectiously catchy. Then there is “Alisa,” which was a big surprise; the best way to describe it is as Britpop meets the post-punk feel. But ever a band owned the title of “alternative dance,” it is Cut Copy in their monumental closing track: “Sun God.” Fifteen minutes long, the track struts though various soundscapes of lusciously arranged layers of music. It is like being in a labyrinth: you have no idea of which way the music is going to twist and turn, you have no idea where in the song you are, and you simply don’t give a damn either.

Though “Zonoscope” does not live up to initial (false) expectation, Cut Copy has produced an excellent album with nice experimentations. And as you continue to listen to this album over and over, you realize one thing: Cut Copy did it again. They are ahead the curve; they are pushing the envelope of what is expected of them, and, indeed, bridging the gap between electronica and electropop.

Track Listing:
1. Need You Now
2. Take Me Over
3. Where I’m Going
4. Pharaohs & Pyramids
5. Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution
6. Strange Nostalgia
7. This Is All We’ve Got
8. Alisa
9. Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat
10. Corner of the Sky
11. Sun God

Keep up with Cut Copy at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. Here is the USA link for iTunes, where you can preview and purchase “Zonoscope.”

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