Zedd has been one of those electronic artist who has blurred the line between pop-based mainstream EDM and club-based bangers. He’s been able to do what few of his peers can, appeal to both. This came across wonderfully in his first album- Clarity.
Now onto his second, I can report that its pretty much ‘more of the same’ but to say that Zedd has played this one safe would be perhaps a bit unfair, but not necessarily inaccurate.
Many songs on this album could easily slot into Clarity like a glove on a hand. Take Illusion, and Addicted to A Memory for instance. The latter especially is one of the albums strongest songs so it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in a genre that is absolutely screaming out for something new and original, Zedd simply brings something good, clean and viable.
A bit like cooking a turkey at Christmas, its what everyone expects and is enjoyable, but you secretly wish you could have gone the whole hog and got that turducken.
When listening on a full run of the album, some of the songs do admittedly almost blend into one, almost becoming unrecognisable from one another. Songs such as Papercut, Daisy, Straight Into the Fire and Done with Love suffer from this with their dreary vocals and pleasant if not slightly monotonous synths.
For all the criticism of staying safe, there are still a few surprises on this album.
Songs such as True Colors , the title track, comes across as a real ‘lighters-in-the-air’ Coldplay anthem, and I Want You To Know; a classic upbeat EDM-pop song right down to the presence of Selena Gomez, who’s vocals actually work on this song remains seriously catchy and upbeat, but might not please everyone, however I cannot possibly dislike this song due to how happy and upbeat it is.
Songs like Bumble Bee featuring Botnek is a classic example of how Zedd can create some quite simply excellent big room house, it brings great energy when the album needs it the most.
Transmission is also an interesting change in style, on face-value the rap breakdown does scream ‘lazy, tired uninspired pop song’ but it would be harsh to label it with that. It works as a song on a full play of the album but is probably something you’ll find yourself skipping over if it comes on shuffle on your iPod for example.
My final thoughts here, is that this is a good album, the high production value is there as expected and it gives an overall grand tour of Zedd as a music maker.
There is something for everyone to enjoy. He doesn’t stray too far from the usual he’s known for, but at the same time when he does stray, it’s just enough to suggest there is something yearning to get out and experiment with something darker, probably on the outer reaches of ‘EDM.’
3.5 out of 5