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Back when Cut Copy released 2004’s Bright Like Neon Love, the idea of backing dazed, introverted indie pop with a utopian house thump was still relatively novel. And though that sound has since inspired legions of followers and copycats, still no one does it quite like Cut Copy themselves. 2008’s steamrolling In Ghost Colours was an album of anthems; tracks like “Hearts on Fire” and “Lights and Music” were transcendent pop that stuck in heads for days. But Zonoscope is something different. It’s an album-album that puts serious work into movements and transitions, and it works best when you hear it all in one chunk. That doesn’t mean it’s Cut Copy‘s OK Computer; it just means that the group has put more work into building a vast, rolling landscape rather than a series of peaks.
Compared to the last two albums, Zonoscope has precious little guitar crunch, which makes it hard to even call Cut Copy a dance-rock band anymore. And that’s for the best– not just because that combination seems like a less thrilling prospect in 2011 than perhaps it once did, but also because Cut Copy have the architecture of dance music down perfectly and the confidence to execute the genre’s moves with absolute precision. Even in the dead of winter, Zonoscope does its job beautifully. Imagine how it’ll sound when you don’t have to layer up to go outside. – Pitchfork