Album Review: Cut Copy, Free Your Mind

How do you follow up the success of a hit album, an ARIA and a Grammy nomination? That was the question hanging over Melbourne electro-pop quartet Cut Copy throughout the creation of their fourth album Free Your Mind. And their answer appears to be technology.In September, the band made the full version of the five-minute title track available on billboards at six specific locations around the world. When standing near said billboard, people could open an app on their smartphone, which would allow them to stream the track.Even if you missed out on getting the song “Free Your Mind” on your phone (only one of the billboards was in Australia), you’re still in for an electronics-laced experience when you hear it. The piano melody, accompanied by a dreamy synth line, is irresistibly upbeat, reminiscent of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You”, and like most of the album’s tracks is oriented to the nightlife scene of dance clubs and lounges.More than half the songs on Free Your Mind are over four minutes long, and feature vocal samples and House-style percussion. Another mainstay is front man Dan Whitford’s hazy vocals which, when gliding over tracks such as “Let Me Show You Love”, “Dark Corners And Mountaintops” and the electro-power ballad “Walking In The Sky”, sound a great deal like those of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker—I wonder if it’s a coincidence both their bands are signed with Modular Recordings?  Interspersing the longer tracks are four experimental interludes, starting with a 20-second instrumental “Intro”. Three songs later, a similar idea is introduced by a cowboy-sounding voice on “(Into The Desert)”, and the brief genre-bending continues on similarly-bracketed tracks “(Above The City)” and “(The Waves)”.As a whole, the album illustrates Cut Copy’s return to the indie-electro sound of their roots, which could easily have been a poor decision given the more conventional guitar-bass-drum sound of their last release Zonoscope (2011) was what helped them to their success mentioned earlier.But the wisdom behind Free Your Mind is that it transcends genres and settings, and sticks to the popular themes of dance music, meaning the songs will inevitably connect with larger audiences and further boost the bands popularity and career.There’s no need to buy the album for yourself, it’ll probably be a mainstay at your favourite nightspot by the time this is published.by Alexander Darling 

November 13th 2013
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