Sometimes things change for the better. Sometimes they change for the worse. Sometimes things just donâ€™t change at all.
Cut Copyâ€™s sound is electropop. Itâ€™s what they made their name on and itâ€™s what defines them. Itâ€™s fun and bouncy, full of colorful synth lines and four-on-the-floor beats. Itâ€™s irrefutably enjoyable music.
Cut Copy re-creates that well-established sound on â€œZonoscope,â€ so, technically, the album is enjoyable. Itâ€™s worth a listen. You could even turn it on while hosting a party and it might raise the collective mood.
But does that make it good music? Depends on whoâ€™s being asked. My answer is no.
There are few moments in â€œZonoscopeâ€ when Cut Copy leaves their comfort zone. Most of the tracks, including the first single, â€œWhere Iâ€™m Going,â€ suffer from a heavy reliance on electronic instrumentation and over-indulgence.
Thing is, the few tracks that escape overcrowding are refreshing.
â€œThis is All Weâ€™ve Got,â€ is an airy salvage smack in the middle of the record. It plays off of (acoustic?!) drums and a relaxed guitar riff with enough open space to let the vocals ring with importance. The track borders on being beautiful.
Itâ€™s encouraging. There are hints throughout the album that Cut Copy is capable of creating something with depth and real personality, but it is only in short bursts, never explored far enough to develop its full potential.
Inevitably the songs fall back into Cut Copyâ€™s comfort zone, packed with predictable transitions and sounds that only computers can make.
Itâ€™s the sound that makes them money and sells their albums.
While I canâ€™t in good conscience call it a bad record, I will say that my hopes are high for the future. â€œZonoscope,â€ if nothing else, proves that Cut Copy is capable of creating tracks with enough depth to bring them out of the kiddie-pool. They just have to dive into the deep end.
Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at email@example.com.