Cut Copy’s latest record Free Your Mind showcases the band’s efforts to create even more vibrant, colourful electronic pop music, edging further from their earlier, rockier material. They clearly take inspiration from dance acts like Black Box as seen in the title track, which is full of dreamy synths and piano melodies reminiscent of Ride on Time. ‘Footsteps,’ with its infectious hook in the chorus and soaring vocals, wouldn’t be out of place in a Pet Shop Boys or Frankie Goes to Hollywood compilation. The band works best under the influence of such eighties synth pop masters, from whom they take their best ideas and fuse them with the group’s own distinctive voice and character. The standout track is certainly ‘We Are Explorers,’ which could be the sequel to the outstanding ‘Take Me Over’ from Zonoscope.
50 minutes of synth-pop-magic can, however, be slightly exhausting, and not every track is as immediately entrancing as the ‘We Are Explorers’. For example, ‘In Memory Capsule’ and ‘Take Me Higher’ are too similar to everything else on the album to stand out, while ‘Meet Me in the House of Love’ takes note of everything we try to forget from 90s Europop like Rhythm is a Dancer and Ace of Base. Even ‘Free Your Mind’ is reminiscent of ground already covered by bands like Yeasayer three years ago.
Overall Free Your Mind allows Cut Copy to explore even further the synth-heavy pop for which they’re garnering a big reputation. While not perfect, it is a solid effort with some excellent, infectious pop music.