Album Reviews

Cut Copy – Bright Like Neon Love

(Modular/Island) UK release date: 24 October 2005

Cut Copy’s main man Dan Whitford is described by his websitebiography as a 1970s MOR fetishist, but his band, like so many at themoment, take a look at 1980s Manchester for their principal influences.Crucially they integrate this with an eye on the future, employing atacticor two from the French school of catchy, robotic dance music, andaddingsome breathy, captivating vocals into the bargain.

Whitford initially went solo with his I Thought Of Numbers EP, thefirstunder the Cut Copy moniker, but for this album he recruited a band andfilled out his sound somewhat. These new options he uses to greateffect,able to beef up the guitar sound on Going Nowhere with a dark, moodycolouring, its lightly vocoded lyrics inward looking in the manner ofJoy Division but without the rawness.

The tracks more obviously geared toward the dancefloor workhandsomely. Future employs the filter trick with a twist, breaking into a piece ofirresistible funk. Saturdays has a killer chorus, a subtle euphoria inthe intonation “there is a feeling in me, and I don’t know why”, itsbreezy appeal sure to entice fans of Mylo. Here and elsewhere theinfluence of Daft Punk is also key, but not overwhelming, as in ThatWasJust A Dream, which builds into something akin to Republic-eraNew Order, spun over more obviously club bound beats. Again thefilter sees use, but once more in a tasteful way that suits the ebb andflow of the song.

The albums structure is curious and somewhat ineffective at theend, asit seems to contain a couple of false endings. However this proves tobe a bonus in the case of Bright Neon Payphone, as just when the recordseems to have disappeared over the horizon, up pops another uplifting vocal onDream.

What this record achieves best of all is a fusion of guitar basedsongwriting and electronic beats, integrating the two effortlessly togreatly uplifting effect. These songs are strong enough to hold theirown without the beats, but when charged up they gain a strong rhythmic edgethat makes dancing a formality. An excellent album for the fringes ofany electronic music collection.

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