ALBUM REVIEW: Zedd’s debut album Clarity

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Born into a family of musicians, it seems as though Anton Zaslavski – more popularly known as Zedd – grew up in an environment conducive to nurturing his musical talent. He started out playing the drums and piano as a classically trained musician at the age of 4. After discovering French duo, Justice, a few years ago, he began exploring and producing electronic music. Since then, he has joined a growing number of young DJs/producers whose careers have blown up in the past two years.

His single releases have all been wonderfully crafted electro-house bangers that have their signature dirty Zedd electro/complextro drops. It’s the genre he gained popularity with and the genre, I assumed, he would most likely stick with.

And then he released his debut album, Clarity – an album that stretches far beyond the electro you might expect following previous Zedd hits like Dovregubben, Slam The Door, and his remix of Skrillex & The Doors’ Breakin’ A Sweat. He has made an obvious effort to step outside his comfort zone with Clarity and it is an album that showcases his versatility as a producer and, ultimately, an artist.

1. Hourglass (feat. Liz)

The first track of the album, opens with the ticking of a clock and a simple keyboard melody.  snare under Liz’s beautiful vocals with the ticking of a clock leading up to a very pretty drop. Hourglass is a great warm-up/opening song for the rest of the album; not as bass heavy and more progressive, the track ends with the familiar tune of Shave It Up, reworked to create a flawless transition from track to track.

2. Shave It Up

Since its release in 2011 on OWSLA, Shave It has been wrecking dancefloors and festivals around the world. It features the fat, heavy basslines that Zedd fans have all come to know and love with a new orchestral string ending.

 

3. Spectrum (feat. Matthew Koma)

The second single off of Clarity, Spectrum, is one of the best electronic music releases of 2012. Although Matthew Koma gives the track a slightly more poppy feel, Zedd’s unique sound is still evident in the underlying production. To me, it seems as though Zedd has done a stellar job of taking his strengths and re-packaging them into a progressive hit that has become a favourite for DJs and audiences of all kinds around the globe.

 

4. Lost at Sea (feat. Ryan Tedder)

Lost at Sea is the cheesiest and most mainstream pop-sounding track on the album. It’s probably Ryan Tedder’s style of singing that gives it that feel and this song is probably one you will either love or hate.

5. Clarity (feat. Foxes)

Clarity is the title track of the album and is another song, like Spectrum, that showcases Zedd’s talents in a new and refreshing way. Foxes is brilliant on the track and her voice paints a touching picture of heartbreak, anguish, and love. Porter Robinson is also credited with adding some backing vocals to the track and the thought of hearing this song live, sung together by hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of people all together sends chills down my spine.

6. Codec

After the emotional Clarity, Codec takes us back to the Zedd-lectro house that first caught the attention of Dim Mak Records and OWSLA. With a fat bassline accented by some big-room synths and a stuttery sample, Codec is a track that will surely melt faces when played on any major sound system.

7. Stache

Stache is heaviest track on the album and is another showing of Zedd’s talent as an electro house producer. A simple arpeggio lays the foundation for the track and is heard throughout, starting as a simple synth and evolving into a much grimier sawtooth electro sound. This kind of progression of sounds is applied to several elements on the track, with slight tweaks and changes that make the song a lot much fun to listen to.

 8. Fall Into the Sky (feat. Ellie Goulding)

Fall Into the Sky is an energetic electro track featuring Lucky Date and the one and only, Ellie Goulding. Since many of Ellie’s songs were picked up and remixed by house and dubstep producers, she has been lending her vocals to EDM artists more and more. This collaboration with Zedd is nothing special and the song lacks the kind of melody that Ellie’s voice works most beautifully with.

9. Follow You Down (feat. Bright Lights)

Follow You Down is a progressive house tune with Zedd’s usually basslines noticeably absent. Bright Lights’ voice has a slight airiness to it that just instantly calms your soul and puts you at ease. Perfect for a sunny day or a late night drive, this is probably one of my favourite tracks on the album.

10. Epos

Epos is the final track on Clarity and it seems to summarize the album quite nicely. He combines progressive and electro house flawlessly, moving from segments of typical progressive synths to bone-shaking bass. As the bass and kick disappear leaving just the melody, you can hear the tick of the clock that opened the album start to fade back in. And as if you have just woken up from a really good dream, you want to go back and do it all over again.

To find out more on the young producer, head to his fanpage on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @Zedd.

Purchase Clarity on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/clarity/id565825194

Sarah Chiu EDM TOR

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Adele Desloges

Adele is the owner of Tranceported. She also heads up the social media as well as the photo and video teams, and was a promoter of events across the Toronto area for years. She has been a fan of Trance music since the mid-90s and has been shooting Trance events since 2011..

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