Saturday, February 12, 2011

Album Review – Cut Copy: ‘Zonoscope’

What is the difference between OK and addictive? When Cut Copy’s second album, ‘In Ghost Colours’ was released, it seemed like the perfect soundtrack to Melbourne city nightlife (or indeed, any Western city’s nightlife) – swooning vocals, open guitar, pulsating synths - with every track flowing seamlessly into the next and demanding your attention. Most of the same elements are present on their new album, ‘Zonoscope’, and yet it feels much more like scenery than its predecessor. It should work … for example, the 15-minute closer ‘Sun God’ has the potential to be an epic Mancurian-like final track for the ages, with its insistent beat and looping chorus of ‘Are you gonna give me your love/Love will treat you’, and then its winding down for a patient breather before heading into the final flurry. But maybe that’s the problem – it’s all a little bit too much in the head, and built around what should work rather than what does. On ‘In Ghost Colours’, even though a lot of work and craftsmanship undoubtedly went into the music, it also felt like it had been bursting to get out ever since Dan Whitford bought his first Casio. ‘Zonoscope’, in contrast, feels too drawn out, which is not to say that there are not some good tracks on here – ‘Alisa’, ‘Take Me Over’, ‘Pharaohs and Pyramids’ and ‘Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution’ in particular. But it’s never a good sign when listening to a band’s new album makes you long for their last one. Never mind Cut Copy – I’ll still see you when you tour.

Image copyright Modular

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