Cut Copy | Zonoscope
Most Likely To: be 2011′s first enduring record.
When Cut Copy’s Dan Whitford sings, “Have you heard the latest reinvention in the streets? / Take me on a journey with the rhythm in my feet” on “Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution,” he’s summing up Zonoscope, the Aussie outfit’s third full-length release. Zonoscope’s cover features an image of Niagara Falls engulfing the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. That’s a good approximation of the way that Cut Copy makes music. Cut Copy is like the Horseshoe Falls, swallowing iconic sounds, and incorporating them in its swell, while letting just enough of the original bits stick out so they can be identified.
Zonoscope’s first two songs are singles in the old-school sense: stand-alone works that are club-ready, long-lived, and worthy of remixing. “Take Me Over” unites late-era Talking Heads melodies with irresistible tribal beats. “Need You Now” encapsulates an entire night of clubbing in a hair over six minutes. But Cut Copy already proved they could write a great single. “Lights & Music” and “Hearts on Fire” from 2008’s stellar In Ghost Colours (reviewed here) still sound good nearly three years later.
It’s the rest of the record that proves Cut Copy doesn’t pander to electro-pop’s least common denominator. Before forming Cut Copy, Whitford was a DJ. He takes those track-blending skills, which all DJs think they have but only a few really do, and uses them to build an unstoppable blend of electro-disco-dance-pop. Whitford’s voice is also unbelievably flexible. He can sound low and sultry, like Bryan Ferry (“Alisa”) or removed and mysterious (“Strange Nostalgia For the Future”), but most often he’s like a reinvigorated version of 1980s New Romantic crooners (“Pharoahs and Pyramids,” “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat”).
On “Take Me Over,” Whitford announces: “I woke up and now it’s time to go.” Don’t hesitate to cling to his coattails. Zonoscope heralds a journey that is not to be missed.
Listen to Tim Goldsworthy’s Thee Loving Hand remix of “Take Me Over” from Cut Copy: