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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

6.9

Cut Copy
Zonoscope

Let me first say, the artwork for this record is some of the coolest shit I've ever seen. The front cover features an image by Japanese photo-montage artist Tsunehisa Kimura and it's amazing.

Much like the cover art, Cut Copy are slick. Their brand of indie electronica sits way more comfortably alongside the LCD Soundsystems or the Hot Chips as opposed to many other clunky Aussie upbeat acts. Zonoscope, the band's third studio album isn't the obvious hit machine that was In Ghost Colours and this is definitely a conscious decision from Dan Whitford and the boys. They are sitting on credibility now and they know it.

In Ghost Colours could have gone either way. It's a balls out synth driven pop record that worked as well as the band could have hoped. They realised critical acclaim overseas with extremely well executed pop tunes and then Australia got on board and labelled them the best Oz electronic act since the Avalanches. Whitford pumped out hits like Hearts On Fire with such conviction that any of the stench that lingered from their dubious first outing Bright Like Neon Love, drifted away. This left Cut Copy in an interesting position. Do they go for it again and make another hook-driven record? Or do they carefully build on their street cred with something they think James Murphy would be proud of? Zonoscope has taken the latter path to equal parts success and failure.

Cut Copy's shot at making more of a grower with Zonoscope often negates some of Whitford's straight up pop songwriting talent and replaces it with wide soundscapes and more daring arrangements. With This Is All We've Got they bury the vocal in the mix and hence bury a lot of the potential immediacy — and it works to great effect. Alongside Need You Now and even the short but beautiful drawl of Strange Nostalgia For The Future, This Is All We've Got succeeds triumphantly in marking out an exciting new direction for Cut Copy. However, when they surround the aforementioned tracks with the likes of Take Me Over and Pharaohs & Pyramids which revert to the In Ghost Colours production style, where the hooks ride shotgun and the glittery synths roar, the whole thing gets a bit confusing.

The problem is that Dan Whitford wants to stay calm and deliver class, but he also naturally gravitates towards Fuck Yeah Club Bangers, and in this case putting Pharaohs & Pyramids and Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution on the same record as the brilliantly understated Need You Now or the minimal trance of Sun God doesn't really work.

Still, all flaws considered, Zonoscope boasts more than enough highlights with a couple of the best tunes from the last 6 months in Need You Now and This Is All We've Got. I just hope with their future releases that Cut Copy forget to chase the cred, stick to their guns be they of the poptimist variety or of the more restrained, and just let it all come a bit more naturally.

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Comments

Rav

I will be wilfully ignorant and won't bother listening to this record for fear that I will enjoy some of it and hence lose my status as a Cut Copy Hater, but this was a great review and almost convinced me to steal it for a quick listen. Noice Whaley.

8 years ago

tiddles

Bright Like Neon Love smelt like baby smiles.

8 years ago

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