Saturday, 5 February 2011

Cut Copy - Zonoscope

After finding success in 2008 with their second album In Ghost Colours, it might be considered a brave move for Cut Copy to have waited three years before following up with Zonoscope. Pop music is after all, a fast moving business. Would the moment have passed? Would their sound still be relevent?

Answer - bah, who cares when their brand of new-wave synthpop has hardly been relevant since 1983 anyway? The bottom line is there will still be a market for Zonoscope, just as there has been for their previous, unashamedly retro, releases.

High Points

Most of Zonoscope plays out exactly as you would expect from a mid-80s new-wave record, synth heavy compositions, with some fairly poe-faced lyrics delivered in a robotic monotone. Lead singles Need You Now and Take Me Over have that authentic moody atmosphere but lack any killer hook, and placed together at the start of the album, they rather bleed in to one another.

Pharoahs And Pyramids improves matters though simply by taking the tempo up a notch, and that is followed through in Blink And You'll Miss A Revolution, one of the album's real highlights; four minutes of skittering synths and an interesting time signature that really livens up proceedings.

Further down the tracklist Alisa also impresses with a more guitar-based sound, but the proggy Hanging on Every Heartbeat seems strangely out of place. It sounds like it could break into Owner Of A Lonely Heart at any moment.

The Verdict

I don't think I really get Cut Copy, I just can't understand their appeal. They've perfected an impressively accurate pastiche of 80s synthpop, and clearly there is a huge desire for that among a section of record buyers, but for me they just don't do anything new or exciting.

Final Score: 52%


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