Sunday, January 15, 2012

Albums of 2011 # 6: Cut Copy - Zonoscope

I honestly don’t know how the Australian synth popsters Cut Copy get away with it. Zonoscope is the third album in a row now that finds the band unashamedly mining the electronic excesses of Eighties pop without so much as a whimper of protest from critics. Apparently not for Cut Copy will there be accusations of being a “blatant rip-off”, or of an underwhelming lack of ambition.

So what’s my excuse? Well, I love the electronic excesses of Eighties pop! … always have, probably always will; let’s call it a guilty pleasure and be done with it.

Cut Copy have certainly provided one way of getting a New Order fix without actually having to … you know … listen to the same old New Order tracks. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that Zonoscope is the best New Order album that New Order never made. It probably qualifies as something of an equivalent for fans of Depeche Mode, Blancmange, Simple Minds, etc etc … you get the drift.

But Cut Copy do it well, and while Zonoscope lacks the (minimal) originality and bite of 2004’s Bright Like Neon Love, or 2008’s In Ghost Colours – which were hard acts to follow, admittedly – it is an album with enough pop hooks to keep you humming along throughout.

I have to admit, cynical old me was in two minds upon the first couple of listens, but I stuck with it and eventually got the rewards. If you’d asked me in July where it stood on my albums of the year list I would probably have just laughed and muttered something about “blatant rip-offs” and a “lack of ambition” … but can an album that closes with an epic 15-odd minute synth-tastic masterwork called ‘Sun God’ really leave itself open to accusations of low levels of ambition? Probably not.

Download: ‘Need You Now’, ‘Take Me Over’ (video below is a non-album remix version) , ‘Where I’m Going’, and of course, ‘Sun God’.

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