Music Review: Cut Copy, “Zonoscope”
A beautiful summer album arriving in the dead of winter, Cut Copy’s “Zonoscope” shows the Australian trio largely shelving the arresting midnight electro-rock of 2008′s “In Ghost Colours” in favor of bright, top-shelf pop. A deep romantic current flows through these 11 tracks as vocalist/chief musical architect Dan Whitford keeps a balance between au courant synth rock and some key 1980s influences that only heighten Cut Copy’s melodic thrills.
During the recording of “Zonoscope,” Whitford mentioned the band was frequently listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk,” that band’s flash-fried, “White Album”-like masterwork from 1979. Hints of that album’s ramshackle aesthetic can be heard in the eccentric guitar-and-toms chorale “Where I’m Going,” but because Cut Copy’s members are such pristine stylists, the closer touchstone is 1987′s “Tango in the Night.” In fact, the stunningly buoyant first single from “Zonoscope,” “Take Me Over,” bites the rhythm from Christine McVie’s “Everywhere,” and the ninth track, “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat,” shimmers with Lindsey Buckingham-style harmonies and sparkling arrangement.
Elsewhere, Cut Copy is on the same page as LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, building a thoroughly modern dance-rock sound using the sonorous vocals and martial rhythms of early ‘80s Talking Heads and British electropop as its foundation for “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution,” “Corner of the Sky” and the epic 15-minute closer, “Sun God.” There is not a bum track on this bountiful blast of sunshine: Whitford and his mates are throwing their arms around their listeners with “Zonoscope,” sharing the warmth of perfect skylarking pop music.
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