Whenever a band that has been around for longer than ten years puts out a new album, there is always the question of what they will do to keep things fresh but maintain the style that brought you to love them. However, this hasn’t seemed to really troubled Cut Copy’s Dan Whitford, as his synth dance based samplings keep on attracting more and more fans. This time around, the band has taken the hypnotic approach to their tunes, which compliments their sound quite nicely.
If you couldn’t tell from the brightly colored album artwork, or even the title of the record, the first taste of this fourth LP, “Intro,” should clue you in to where this band is going. Consisting of some highly altered, deep set and robotic vocals telling you briefly to do as the album’s title suggests, and “Free Your Mind,” serving as the beginning of the hypnosis. On the following title track, the Australian group opens up things for real with their driving dance beat and layered synthesizer patterns. As per Cut Copy’s style, the sound starts off with some base sounds: high-hat sounding percussion and Whitford’s nasal-toned voice, stand out immediately. Then, they build on themselves, adding piano, bongo-sounding percussion, other female vocals chiming in with some “oh, yea’s.” Overall, you get this jungle-esque groove that builds to a choral crescendo, which should have fans happy, as it’s a pretty typical sound for this group.
This cult-ish movement for the group doesn’t stop here, but continues through the album. Of course, if you buy into the hypnotics of the record, it feels great; each song keeps your body moving, but if you don’t completely fall under the spell first presented, it takes a little while for you to get into Free Your Mind; the heavy presence of not so subliminal messaging is a bit overwhelming at points, but there are still some great tracks on the record. Immediate standouts include “In Memory Capsule,” that shows off a slower side, albeit still dance-able, tune that asks “can you feel it/once in a lifetime?” raising the theme of going through the motions of emotions versus actually feeling something. Another hotspot on the record is “Meet Me in the House of Love,” in which driving waves of never-ceasing synth drones and a high intensity beat is asking you to shake it.
Really, this album makes me want to get up and dance in whatever state or location I’m in. It’s quite difficult to not bob your head to these synth dance pop tracks, so if that’s what they meant by ‘Free Your Mind,’ then by all means they’ve succeeded.