Cut Copy

Haiku From Zero

Astralwerks

Sep 21, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Back in 2013, we praised this Australian dance-pop unit's fourth LP, Free Your Mind, while admitting it wasn't a much of a step in any direction for their sound. Four years later Cut Copy returns with Haiku From Zero, and still little has changed-and perhaps it's time new directions be explored.

From its start with "Standing in the Middle of the Field," Cut Copy's upbeat electronic sound is not far off from what first put Dan Whitford and company on the map in 2004, but with a heavier lean toward organic noise thanks to its xylophone- and cowbell-driven rhythm track. "Stars Last Me a Lifetime" is laid back and blissful, a sweet love song built on an economical drum track. The watery guitar strums that open lead single "Airborne" recall Tom Tom Club's oft-sampled "Genius of Love." Moody closer "Tied to the Weather" does enthralling stuff with stereo panning, but that can be lost on anyone without headphones or proper speaker placement. Highlights, for the most part, end there.

Haiku From Zero is more than pleasant, with its chill vibe and dancefloor-ready pop meditations. What it lacks, though, are those hard-hitting thumpers that were the hallmark of Cut Copy's earlier efforts: there's no "Lights & Music," no "Need You Now," no "Out There on the Ice." Haiku misses the moments that make you take notice; songs worth interrupting the flow of the record to go back and play over again. Without those audience-pleasers to kick up the energy and shake out the groove, being pleasant is simply not enough, and the songs blend into one another like an uninspired DJ set. Haiku From Zero is fine filler for a late-night dance party, but we can't fathom reaching for this album as often as those prior-too much of it borders on forgettable. (www.cutcopy.net)

Author rating: 5/10

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