Zonoscope

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5.00
Australian synth-popsters Cut Copy return with a new album three years after their well received commercial breakthrough, In Ghost Colours. And it's much of the same really; glistening keyboards, disco rhythms and crisp vocals all wrapped up into neat little pop songs, albeit not so neat as to differentiate the band with a host of other acts riding the current wave of 80s nostalgia (which seems to have been going on longer than the decade itself). In fact, a cruel soul might describe Cut Copy as a poor man's LCD Soundsystem, it's an easy trap to fall into in 2011 and this band certainly aren't the worst culprits. On the plus side, vocalist and front-man Dan Whitford stated that he was "obsessed" with Fleetwood Mac's Tusk whilst writing and recording these songs, and it's the Mac-esque moments which really work here. "Where I'm Going" and "Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat" have just the right combination of 80s kitsch and un-clich├ęd hooks to build into well rounded, likeable modern ditties. "Take Me Over" bizarrely includes more than just a glancing nod to Men At Work's Down Under (with an inferior chorus), but at 5m50s it goes on for far too long. Most of the album though, is largely forgettable with the last-gasp exception of the sublime 15 minute epic "Sun God", a great end to the album in a Happy Mondays/Paul Oakenfold-remix kind of way which makes you wonder if Cut Copy's natural home should really be behind a mixing desk (as proved to some degree with 2006's excellent FabricLive 29). Zonoscope's content is all very upbeat and poppy, but it's still nothing to get excited about.