Fact: Zedd knows how to get a party started.
The German-born DJ Anton Zaslavski – known better under his moniker Zedd – has been churning out fresh and endlessly enjoyable EDM-pop for a few years, culminating in a Grammy win, production credits on songs for Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, and in global recognition on the music scene. However, the question over whether he can keep leaping forward sonically has been on peoples’ lips.
For his second album, Zedd aimed to develop his EDM sound, and while not exactly reinventing the wheel – after all, his biggest hit to date ‘Clarity’ (with British songstress Foxes) has its footprints over a lot of the album – Zedd has learned to paint outside the lines (expect a lot of colour puns henceforth) with his second album True Colors.
Most of the album is simple sonic fun – lead single ‘I Want You To Know’ with pop princess Selena Gomez is frothy fun (sidebar: Gomez needs to be more electronic tracks), while ‘Transmission’ is a rave-infused dramatic track set to drive partygoers at festivals into states of ecstasy, and ‘Beautiful Now’, with its sing-along feel and inspired vocals from Jon Bellion, is set to become a festival anthem for this summer. Zedd even imagines to tug at our heartstrings – album closer and Echosmith collaboration ‘Illusion’ is a soaring number that touches, while the title track is nothing less than a true dramatic pop ballad.
Unfortunately, Zedd plays it safe on a lot of his tracks, echoing his previous work – namely, album opener ‘Addicted to a Memory‘ which mimics the pounding, crunchy beats of previous standalone single ‘Slam the Door’ to near-identical effort (so much so I had to check to make sure it hadn’t sneaked in somehow). ‘Bumble Bee’ is a mediocre moment amongst the album, despite it’s bubbling synths, while ‘Straight into the Fire’ is never bad – but it never soars to greatness.
Fortunately, the highlights of the album – the Troye Sivan collaboration ‘Papercut’, an impressive slice of house-pop helmed by Sivan’s promising vocals, and the cinematic ‘Daisy’ amongst others – help make this an interesting listen, if not a wholly original one. Zedd has a mind brimming full of talent, and while he may have lead a mixed sophomore LP, he’s painting with broadstrokes, and has created a largely fun EDM album for the summer, one that fans are sure to enjoy.