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ZONOSCOPE
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 20 March 2011
Cut Copy are one of the brightest talents on the aussie scene, this LP was purchased with a real tingling of anticipation....FIRST LISTEN....hmmmm......not as good as "In Ghost Colours".....SECOND LISTEN...those glacial synths...the odd beats...the skittering hints of something new....THIRD LISTEN.....i'm in love!

Whitford and Co have returned with a classic, two years on from the indie-disco classic "In Ghost Colours",we get a blend of the old, the familiar and the new, there is far less FX-laden guitarwork here, this is a tight funky,almost DISCO 70's sorta vibe. There is fun to be had as well as the usual mix of pathos.

Nothing here to alarm anyone lyrically, Cut Copy stay the wiser side of "happy" but they keep creating great sounds...moods...i'm in love with this little australian gem.....the only weak-ish track is track three...where it all goes a bit psychedelic for four minutes.
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on 6 August 2016
like brand new
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on 23 May 2012
Just in case anyone is put off by the reports of gaps on the audio CD, I bought the special edition CD/DVD in April 2012, and I can happily report that there are no gaps on it now.
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VINE VOICEon 19 August 2011
Cut Copy have quite an interesting pedigree their early work sounding quite nu-rave - despite the band coming from Australia which isn't a place one naturally associates with cool club friendly music. In fact Cut Copy are a very un-Australian band. With each album they have developed their sound and "Zonoscope", their third on super cool label Modular, has given their sound a number of highly accomplished embellishments.

Compared to their previous album this is much a more song structured work, maturing and broadening their sound into a lot of interesting areas. Tracks such as "This Is All We've Got" have a psychedelic undercurrent whilst "Ailsa" and "Where I'm Going" are clearly pieces with a melodic feel moving into the indie/pop area. There are still songs which feel more like the earlier incarnation such as "Pharaohs & Pyramids" and "Need You Now" which could fit onto the last album although the latter also sounds like it could just as easily fit on something by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.

There are echoes of all kinds of influence throughout the album. Addition of bassist Ben Browning has given them something of a deeper sound. It is a slickly created work and there really isn't a bad track here. Reminding your ears of everything from New Order through to Hot Chip, this is a hugely enjoyable album brimming with danceable beats and melodies attached to well-structured high quality songs. It's a long album but it really doesn't flag thanks to this consistency. Closing tracks "Corner Of The Sky" - a percussive synth heavy groove - and the epic "Sun God" are the firmest reminders that Cut Copy aren't ready to give up their dance roots yet. The latter is something of a highlight building to a wonderful electronic climax conjuring up images of vintage era Giorgio Moroder. Never uninteresting, this is a definite highlight of 2011.
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on 24 February 2011
I pre-ordered this album with a degree of glee, having been completely smitten by the breakthrough sophomore effort In Ghost Colours, which was a huge step up from their promising debut, Bright Like Neon Love. The packaging is divine in this deluxe edition - great box set and bonus DVD of the making of Zonoscope, in which we get to see that Dan Whitford is a music geek and proud, rummaging through racks of vinyl and talking about enjoying an album as an "experience".

Now, with Zonoscope, the experience *should* be there for the taking, but sadly, on my CD copy (and clearly on many others too, judging by these reviews) there are two-second pauses between tracks. This isn't a problem for the small number of tracks that simply fade out. However, when a song ends with a bubbling electronic sound, then cuts off dead for two seconds, then resumes with the exact same sound, you know that this was supposed to be a seamless fit. It breaks the continuity. I am disappointed. If anyone has a CD that doesn't do this, please say, because I am loath to send this back only to have the same problem again. I much prefer physical music products to mp3 downloads so it is quite galling that this beautiful deluxe package seems to have a silly, avoidable error.

Quibble aside, Cut Copy have delivered the goods with this album. It's not In Ghost Colours. There is no song on here to rival the dizzying heights of Lights and Music. However, Zonoscope is a consistently very, very good record. The first thing I noticed was the sound has morphed from the indie disco sheen of In Ghost Colours to a more tribal, percussive sound. It's also a slightly muddier sound - the drums are not particularly dominant in the mix, but they're there. Vocally, there is more layering going on and a little bit more of a trippy, psychedelic vibe. Need You Now starts off sounding quite slow and ordinary, Dan crooning in a low voice, but it slowly builds up to a great climax, showing the songcraft and clever structuring work of Cut Copy.

Take Me Over is about as poppy as proceedings get, and while it's been compared to Down Under by Men At Work, the only similarity I can really detect is in the rhythmic flow of it and the bouncing bass lick. The vocal melodies and synths sound unique to me. It's a suitably sparkly pop nugget for anyone nostalgic for the 80s. Where I'm Going was a shock at first, with the unashamed "Yeah, yeah, yeah, woo" refrain and Beach Boys harmonies but this is another solid track, quite laidback indie in a way, a bit like Doves. Pharaohs & Pyramids is Cut Copy's Walk Like An Egyptian -here they take inspiration from Egypt and deliver some plump pop with rather haunting, quavery synths.

Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution is a highlight, fabulous driving bass and a plinky plonky riff with Dan's vocals seemingly aping Bryan Ferry and David Byrne... This is All We Got reminded me a little of the Stone Roses, or even some of the early 90s shoegaze acts, it must be something about the lush layers and Dan's soaring, soothing vocals.

Alisa is my favourite song on the album - jagged, ragged, angular guitars sparring in a way that I'm sure Bowie would kill for. It sounds like an alternative post-punk song but leads into a truly dreamy pure pop chorus. Hanging on to Every Heartbeat is another upbeat synth-drenched, radio-friendly slice of pop. There is a slight resemblance to Owner of a Lonely Heart by Yes, but the song is still its own man. The opening of Corner of the Sky reminds me of Bowie again, this time Lodger era. The album finishes with the 15-minute rave epic Sun God, which feels like another departure and may hint at a different future sound.

All in all, a great album - just wish those stupid song gaps weren't there!
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on 15 May 2011
Well I'm going to admit I was totally addicted to Cut Copy's "In Ghost Colours" album (which I might just add you should def get as well if you haven't already) but never really knew that they had released a second. So when I discovered Zonoscope I was a tad over excited and was expecting, as so often happens with second albums, it not match up the the previous one. This was not the case - I listened to it the whole way through without even stopping. Twice.
It is similar in style to their first album and yet each song is still distinctively different. It is also one of those more subtle albums that don't necessarily grab you the very first time you hear the song, but the tunes build and build in such a way that you don't get bored of them and after the initial few listens they are in your head and you just want to play them over and over again.
So yeah, may have got a little carried away there, but what can I say.. it's awesome. Need You Now is my fave track on the album. But when listening to it online before buying I could only find a shortened version that was only 3mins long or so - the version on the album is 6mins which allows it to build for longer, and so it is infinitely better. Gettit. It's ace.
(Ps. If you like cut copy try The Naked and Famous - I just discovered them and think I'm in love)
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on 12 February 2011
This fantastic third album showcases a wide variety of electronic, synth-pop and indie sounds to create something perhaps even more beautiful and complex than before. If you didn't love the single 'Take Me Over', don't be put off...I think it's probably the weakest track on this, just a bit too poppy and vaguely remniscent of a certain Men at Work track at moments as well... Far better are the opener 'Need You Now', the interestingly dancy tracks such as 'Pharoahs and Pyramids' and 'Sun God', the moments that recall a bit of 80s/90s indie like 'Take Me Hand', which reminds me more of the Stone Roses than anything else, and the more updeat 'Alisa'. My particular favourite track is 'Hanging Onto Every Hearbeat' which gravitates from a fairly downbeat start into a sheer burst of shimmering electronic goodness with the first chorus. And the cover art is great as well.

To summarise, buy this album. It will enhance your life.
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on 31 January 2014
Absolutely cracking album. Very 80s sound. I hear bits of New Order, OMD early Pet Shop Boys. All good but still sounds very new.
If love check their latest release, Free Your Mind. Even better. I just don't understand we they not made the big time!
I believe they are also very good live but never seem to come to the UK much. Same.
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on 9 February 2011
cut copy's third album well and truly sees them deliver to the full potential that debut album "Bright ike Neon..." suggested they could reach. You should check the brilliant opening track "Need you Now", the kasabian shoot the runner-esque "Where I'm Going" and the awesome 13 minute final track dance wig out that is "Sun God" - truly stunning! god bless Cut Copy!
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on 7 May 2011
Boy do Cut Copy know how to make a catchy tune! Brilliant 3rd album, to me it sounds even more 80's influenced than In Ghost Colours did, this time borrowing from Fleetwood Mac amongst others.

Don't let the low average rating put you off (technical issues with cds seem to be the cause for most of them). My copy doesn't have the issue, so based on the music, this is a fine album.
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