By: Emily Holtzman, Asst. Editor-In-Chief
Last week, Cut Copy (Australia’s hottest boy band) released their fourth LP, Free Your Mind. Now, before I dive into this album, let me make one disclaimer; I can’t really stand it when reviews reference a band’s previous work in comparison to what is being reviewed. You may disagree with me on this, but for now I’m just going to look at Free Your Mind for what it is. Yes, I understand it’s not as amazing as In Ghost Colours, (or Zonoscope even), and I will get into that later. For now, here’s my take on Free Your Mind on it’s own:
It’s clear that Cut Copy had a very focused idea for the theme that runs throughout this album, and that is usually something I really respect in an album. However, I wasn’t sure if I was onboard with what I felt the theme of this album to be. There were a ton of meaningless, motivational pop one liners (Shine brighter than the sun//just keep holding onto love//just believe) present throughout the album, and while it’s great to be consistent, I couldn’t ignore how cliché they were.
At first, I was really not drawn to this. I found these lyrics cheesy and tired out, and they distracted me from the actual music I was listening to. More than that, Dan Whitford’s vocals felt half there, and I just wanted to shake him and make him project his voice.
After all of my immediate urges to not like this album, I finally took Cut Copy’s advice, and I *freed my mind.*At this point, I started to come to a different realization about this album. As I listened to “Let Me Show You Love” again, I realized I was being way too analytical. Yes, the lyrics are a bit cheesy, but the actual songs are pretty great. In fact, “In Memory Capsule” is perfectly catchy and “Take Me Higher” builds up to an amazing drop that feels very unique to this album. And you can’t deny the single, “Free Your Mind,” is a perfect motivational dance song – it really does make me want to shine.
As I continue to go back and forth with this album, one thing I am sure about is that something is missing. It’s got something to do with the restrained vocals I mentioned earlier, and the fact that every song seems to develop into the exact same beat. I was looking for something more to grasp from this album, but I just felt like it wasn’t all there. It didn’t give me the satisfaction I normally get from great pop songs – that feeling as you listen, when you can picture yourself dancing wildly in slow motion to that song (Lena Dunham on cocaine, style).
To break my earlier rule, Free Your Mind has many of the same great qualities that earlier Cut Copy albums had, but it felt a little dull in comparison. At the same time, Cut Copy has consistently made great music; they seem to take a new direction with each of their releases while still maintaining their own sound, and this is something I can’t ignore when I listen to Free Your Mind. Overall, while it won’t be my first choice for a Cut Copy dance party, Free Your Mind is solid, well made, and if it were warmer out, you’d definitely see me cruisin’ around and blasting it from my car speakers.
Take Me Higher
Free Your Mind
In Memory Capsule
Also, Alexander Skarsgard is running around shirtless in the “Free Your Mind” music video, so there’s a plus.
Emily is Originally from St. Louis, MO (cue Nelly lyric) and majoring in English & International Studies. You can hear her play music’s greatest ladies every Wednesday from 8-10pm on Who Run the World? Thanks to our cool new website, I now get to combine my two greatest pastimes: opinions about music and writing.