Zedd Delivers Pleasant Sophomore Album With ‘True Colors’
Zedd delivers an enjoyable, pleasant sophomore LP with ‘True Colors’.
Zedd’s sophomore album True Colors is an enjoyable, pleasant listening experience. Albeit sound overall, many songs run into one another. That isn’t to say Zedd hasn’t attempted to develop distinct personalities for each song nor does it discount his impeccable musicianship, but it means there’s a lack of killer records. Still, True Colors has some fine moments and is worth the spin.
The album opens commandingly with “Addicted To A Memory,” featuring Bahari. The track is solidly assembled. It begins with pop-oriented sensibility before evolving into electronic fantasies. Zedd, who has a classical music background, shows off thoses skills.
“I Want You To Know” featuring Selena Gomez is successful. Zedd flexes ‘synth-tastic’ muscles while Gomez sings with poise. Gomez does little revolutionary with her performance, but that seems to “go with the territory” with dance music.
Single “Beautiful Now” featuring Jon Bellion is consistent, without screaming outright hit; it floats along. Liken “Beautiful Now” to ‘mild cheddar’ – tasty, but not as pronounced as sharp cheddar. Still give it credit as love, lust, and infatuation is definitely in the air:
“I see what you’re wearing, there’s nothing beneath it / forgive me for staring, forgive me for breathing.”
“Transmission” is more notable, featuring up-and-coming MC Logic and X Ambassadors. Besides sound production, X Ambassadors catchy chorus is a clear-cut selling point. After all, “You’re never too young to die.”
On “Done With Love” Zedd flexes his electro biceps, delivering one of the most intriguing productions of True Colors. There are vox effects galore, slapped bass lines, and dizzying synths among other things. A change of pace segues into “True Colors” is further testament to Zedd’s musicianship – the gift of nuance. Though “True Colors” begins enigmatically, it gains more confidence as it progresses. Interestingly, “True Colors” feels less electronically derived than the majority of True Colors, which is thoughtful contrast.
After the chilling “True Colors,” “Straight Into the Fire” accelerates tempo and rhythm, restoring the danceable vibe of the effort. The tone of the synths are gorgeous, chocked full of enthusiasm – like a child who just got a brand new toy. The lengthy “Papercut” follows, featuring Troye Sivan. Despite its length, “Papercut” is a highlight featuring well-paced production work adorned with Sivan’s pipes.
“Bumblebee” (featuring Botnek) is a big ball of energy, providing ample space for Zedd to showcase sharp production abilities. Chromeo provides the talkbox vocals (“breakthrough”). “Bumblebee” interpolates “Break Through” from Roger Troutman’s 1991 LP, Bridging the Gap.
Penultimate track “Daisy” has quiet energy, characterized by poise and brevity. It’s light, but beautiful and pleasant. The conclusion of segues into “Illusion,” a compelling final statement featuring Echosmith.
Ultimately, True Colors is a solid album without being a game changing one. Some have criticized True Colors, but for the most part, it’s sound. Although not the ‘album of the year’ or ‘second coming,’ but there’s enough here to satisfy, all said and done.
Gems: “Addicted To A Memory,” “I Want You To Know,” “Done With Love” & “Papercut”