They did it again. On their fourth LP, Aussie dance-rock idols Cut Copy have created yet another starry-eyed, synth pop universe in which they impeccably blend engaging melodies with good ol’ disco beats that’ll leave listeners in the northern hemisphere craving for summer to return. Packed from start to end with dance floor-ready jams, Free Your Mind proves that with more than a decade under their belt, the band still knows how to effectively use all their crafty elements to leave their followers joyously satisfied.
After the ominous (Intro) that urges you to (you guessed it) “free your mind,” the album unapologetically jumps right into its psychedelic title track. The record then continues with dance track, We Are Explorers, a lush and bouncy disco hit that has Dan Whitford singing about adventurous times over some futuristic beats. So far, damn good.
In Take Me Higher, Whitford and co. present almost six buoyant minutes of chanting vocals, slow-churning synths and precise drum beats that transport the listener into a soothing ambient trance. Another high point is Dark Corners & Mountain Tops, that is somehow reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ nostalgic summer joy. Whatever you do, hope you remember… Without you, I wouldn’t get far, sings Whitford with his ever-endearing feathery vocals.
Thematically, the lyrics are as flat and repetitive as usual, and this time they come with some pretty obvious free love ideals swiped from the Summer of Love. But, honestly, who the hell listens to Cut Copy looking for lyrical depth? It’s on their irresistible melodies and inexorable dance hooks that the band’s appeal rests.
While award-winning Zonoscope (2011) and In Ghost Colours (2008) were filled with dynamism and inventiveness, the new record feels flat at times, recycled and predictable. Moreover, it lacks that moment of inconceivable joy, like when you listened to Hearts On Fire for the first time, and it had you waiting breathlessly for thier next live show and album ever after. Additionally, due to the band’s decision to share half the album before its official release, there are little surprises (both good and bad) left to discover. Aside from the interludes that feel redundant and inconsequential, Free Your Mind is packed with pristine tracks that can be heard and enjoyed from beginning to end without ever feeling that annoying urge to skip a track.
The record ends with the tranquil, straightforward pop tune, Walking In The Sky, that allows the listener to decompress and prepare for the end. And lastly, in Mantra, chant-like vocals encourage you to (yup, again) “Free your mind,” as the cosmic track slowly fades. A tad clichéd, but kind of effective. Another Cut Copy dance record… Need I say more?